Online Poker at NY Online Casinos

Fact Checked by Peter Mooney

Online poker is one of the most popular means of online gambling in the world alongside slots, blackjack and sports betting. The virtual version of this exciting game may soon be coming to New York with the introduction of online casinos. Whether you currently play poker or want to learn, now is the time to find out everything you need to know about online poker. In this guide, we'll walk you through the best legal online poker sites that will probably be available in the state, the benefits of playing online versus in person and how to stay updated on the legalization process.

❓ Online Casino Gaming in NY: Everything You Need to Know

While online poker is not yet legal in New York, land-based casinos are striving within the state, making it only a matter of time before legal online poker sites arrive. When sports betting was first legalized in New York, the first questions for prospective bettors involved where they could place a wager and how to sign up for a mobile sports betting account. The same will be the case for players who are interested in New York online poker rooms. Online poker rooms are very popular in other states, so New York will do its best to follow those successful examples and ensure that internet poker is handled correctly with approved New York poker sites.

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The Future of Online Poker in New York

Online casino gaming is obviously the key to unlocking the future of the online poker market in New York. So online poker players will need to wait until they become legal before poker sites pop up around the state. The first step was tribal and commercial casinos launching in NY, then online sports betting was legalized. Now the wait is on for online casino gaming.

Top Online Poker Sites for New York Players

The most well-known online poker sites are surely ready to break into New York as one of the biggest states in the country from a population perspective. Among the top brand names many players will recognize are BetMGM, Caesars and PokerStars. When New York online poker is legal, you can bet these brands will be the first to offer such games as seven card stud. But the New York State Gaming Commission will ultimately determine which poker sites make the cut, so check back here for updates.

What Kind of Welcome Bonuses & Rewards Will NY Poker Sites Offer?

One of the key components for players signing up for a poker account at a New York online casino will be finding out what kind of welcome bonuses and rewards you can get. As soon as New York online casino gaming is legal, poker bonuses will be a determining factor in where poker players decide to play. If you play online poker, you want to take advantage of as many bonuses and rewards as you possibly can. The section below breaks down the different types of promotions you can expect from casinos that offer online poker in New York when legalized.

  • First Deposit Bonus A first deposit bonus is exactly what it sounds like, as it is a way for an online casino site to reward new poker players right away for signing up for an account there. Sometimes you will need to roll over the amount you initially deposit a certain number of times before you can cash out. This is also called a playthrough requirement. For this reason, we always encourage you to read the terms and conditions of the offer.
  • Freerolls A freeroll allows you to participate in a poker tournament without paying an entry fee. Some poker sites will use freerolls as a way to attract prospective players to enter their tournaments.
  • Reload Bonus A reload bonus is a loyalty reward given to players who keep coming back time and again. To earn a reload bonus, players have to follow rules similar to the first deposit bonus where they need to roll over the deposit amount.
  • No Deposit Bonuses A no deposit bonus is like a freeroll in the sense that you do not need to do anything to earn the reward. The deposit amount will just appear in your account and can be used to play immediately, but it may be subject to rollover requirements like other bonuses described above.
  • Rakeback/Cashback The rakeback/cashback bonus can be viewed as a frequent-player program where you can receive a percentage of the rake generated by your participation in certain poker games and tournaments. This bonus can be paid out daily, weekly or monthly depending on the site.
  • Sit & Go Leaderboard A Sit & Go tournament starts when a certain number of seats are filled, designed to speed up the pace of play. With a Sit & Go leaderboard, prizes are awarded to the highest places from multiple tournaments over the course of a certain period of time (i.e. daily or weekly), and players can enter multiple times during that stretch to win more money.
  • VIP Program A VIP Program is another name for a loyalty program such as MGM Rewards where players can earn valuable points and exchange them for items like hotel stays, show tickets and so forth. Programs like this are especially important for returning players who like to play at one site or a select few, and some of the bigger brand names will offer better rewards to entice them. You will also find these types of programs at New York's commercial casinos for the same reasons.

How to Choose the Best New York Poker Site

Again, one of the biggest differentiators in choosing the best internet poker site for you is figuring out which one has the best promotions and offerings. New York poker players must look at all the options and then choose accordingly based on what is in their best interests. For example, one internet poker site might offer the biggest first deposit bonus while others may have more freerolls or better reload bonuses. If you do not do your homework and research what is best for you, then you will potentially miss out on getting the most bang for your buck.

Registration & Sign-Up

When the time finally comes that online casino gaming is legalized in New York, players will need to know how to register and sign up for a poker account. This mainly involves players proving their identity through a comprehensive verification process. Because online sports betting is already legal in New York, it may be helpful for players to sign up for a sports betting account now so that they know what to expect with online poker.

Social Poker in NY

Another good way to learn about how NY online poker may work in the state when legalized is to play social poker. Many social poker apps currently available in New York can teach you how to play online poker games and get you ready for cash games like seven card stud and pot limit Omaha. You can play a real cash game at New York's commercial casinos as well, helping you better understand the rules and how to play.

Live Poker in New York

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The best experience you can get to prepare you for online poker is playing live poker at one of Upstate New York's four commercial casinos, including del Lago Resort & Casino, Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino, the Rivers Casino & Resort and Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Then there are additional land-based casinos known as racinos (racetrack casinos), such as Empire City Casino and tribal casinos like Turning Stone Casino. Whatever New York poker room you choose at land-based casinos, it is important to fully understand which poker games are available and the rules that go along with them.

The Potential Benefits of Playing Poker Online in New York

One of the biggest advantages to playing in online poker rooms in New York versus commercial casinos is the ability to focus on winning in your own comfortable surroundings where you can try to control any potential distractions. Plus, there are virtually no restrictions on when you can play, so you can play whenever from wherever. If you participate in poker games at commercial casinos, you run the risk of being outplayed by others in New York poker rooms who are more experienced in-person players and can also face other possible obstacles that you would expect from being outside your comfort zone. Online poker options in New York will give players the opportunity to compete on their own terms in their own environment and the chance to take advantage of valuable bonuses and rewards as well.

How to Choose the Best Online Poker Site in New York

Online poker sites in New York will be a dime a dozen, so narrowing them down to figure out the best ones can be a challenge. First of all, you should choose a top online poker site that is a known global poker brand you are familiar with and have at least heard of. Secondly, what kind of bonuses and rewards will be offered for online poker in New York? Once you find a name you trust, then pick a site that offers the most online poker games and benefits such as the aforementioned bonuses and rewards to get the most bang for your buck.

Tips for Winning at Online Poker in New York

New York poker players — new and old — can always use tips for winning. Legal online poker games in the Empire State will not be too different from poker games played at commercial casinos in terms of the actual rules, so there are common ways for you to succeed in both if you know how to play. However, when starting at an online casino to play poker, begin with low-stakes games that will allow you to learn on the fly without the risk of high-stakes games where you can lose more. It is also helpful to initially play at a single table, which can build your confidence. From there, mastering the skill of bluffing might be the most important tip of all. Participating in online poker tournaments in New York can enable you to improve your bluffing techniques while competing against others without venturing outside of your own home.

Online Casinos for Poker in New York: The Top Picks for Players

When will New York legalize online poker? That is anyone's guess right now, but based on New Jersey's current available apps, the best online poker sites in New York will likely be PokerStars, (World Series of Poker), BetMGM and 888 Poker. With mobile sports betting already legal in New York, it is probably only a matter of time before online casinos are legalized. As already mentioned, the key factors that determine the best online poker sites are bonus offers, safety and security and the quality of the software. The last two factors go hand-in-hand, as top-quality software ensures that an app is safe and secure.

Offshore Poker Sites

Are Offshore Poker Sites Safe for NY Players?

If offshore poker sites were safe for New York players, then why would the state still be fighting for online poker? The New York poker player community has been trying to bring online poker to the Empire State for years because it means safety in playing the games they love. While some offshore poker sites may be safe and secure, some are not, and nobody wants to be dealt a losing hand, so to speak.

Offshore poker sites are not regulated, so you are taking a gamble if you sign up for an account and do not know for sure where your money is going. Playing legal online poker in New York will give you peace of mind, knowing that you can deposit and withdraw funds securely and enjoy the same level of confidence that you would in the Empire State's four commercial casinos.

Benefits of Playing Poker Online vs Land-based Casino

Playing at an online poker site can be a lot more preferable to playing at a land-based casino for obvious reasons. As mentioned earlier, convenience is a huge benefit that cannot be understated. Playing a live poker cash game at tribal and commercial casinos such as Turning Stone Casino or Rivers Casino can be fun, but it may not be the easiest thing to do depending on your location. The early success of online sports betting in the Empire State has shown that the future is bright when they legalize online poker as well. Playing online in New York will be a game-changer just as it was previously with sports betting, giving gamblers the comfort level they are seeking where they can learn and improve at their own pace from wherever they want.

Payment Methods for Playing Online Poker in New York

Deposits and withdrawals are handled similarly in current states where online poker is legal, using common electronic transaction methods like:

  • ACH/bank transfers
  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal
  • PayNearMe

This includes New Jersey, where all of these payment options are accepted in addition to Play+, which is a popular prepaid credit card that can be linked directly to your debit card or used at an ATM for withdrawals. The Empire State is expected to follow the Garden State's lead with regard to payment methods when online casinos are legal.


How to Sign Up to Play Online Poker Once Online Casinos Are Legal in NY

Signing up for an online account in New York will be comparable to New Jersey and other states where online poker is currently legal. While the process will vary from operator to operator, here are the general steps to get started:

1️⃣ To register for an online account, you will first need to visit the operator's website or download their mobile app.

2️⃣ Submit personal information such as name, home address, email address, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number.

3️⃣ Deposit funds using one of the approved payment methods mentioned above.

4️⃣ Start playing online poker in New York!

How to Play Online Poker

Playing online poker is not much different than playing in a poker room at a land-based casino. The biggest difference with online poker is that you can play in the privacy of your own home or another environment you choose with fewer distractions as discussed earlier. The game of poker itself is the same, with a certain number of cards dealt to players (typically five or seven). Then players note the strength of their hand and bet accordingly. Bluffing, which is pretending to have a better or worse hand than you actually have, is a crucial element; obviously, that is a major difference between playing poker online and playing in person where you can see the expressions on the faces of others and try to read them.

Online Poker Tips and Betting Systems

Here are a few tips, strategies and betting systems that players use to win at online poker:

⭐ Vary your betting size - by switching things up from hand to hand and game to game, you will avoid losing the same amount all the time and keep your opponents on their toes.

⭐ Observe betting patterns - you can gain a perceived edge over your opponents by watching how they play the game and trying to predict what they will do next.

⭐ Do not become predictable - just as your opponents may develop a betting pattern in a game, you do not want to fall into the trap of becoming predictable.

NY Online Poker: Other Considerations

Now you may feel that you understand everything you need to know about online poker. But there's more to consider before you put down your hard-earned cash once online casinos become legal in New York. Let's take a look. 

  • Online Poker Apps in New York Online poker apps that are legal elsewhere have to go through a thorough approval process, and that will be the same in the Empire State. Once approved, most NY casino apps will be available for download in both the Apple Apps Store and Google Play Store, so you can pick whichever one works with the operating system of your mobile device. Be sure to review the apps that each operator offers to find out what other users think, helping you decide which is best for you.
  • Software & Security How effectively and efficiently the software works will really be the key for NY online poker sites when legalized. The safety and security of online gambling sites and apps should be carefully considered to help you make up your mind regarding whether or not you use them. The most reputable operators will use SSL encryption and two-factor authentication to protect your personal information and transaction data.
  • Customer Service Online casinos will need to offer even more customer service options than land-based casinos because many of them will solely have an Internet presence through an app and/or website. For that reason, these companies must be available to be contacted via email and online chat in addition to telephone. Most top online casinos operating where online gaming is currently legal will offer customer service 24/7 basis since they are open around the clock.

Responsible Gambling

The Responsible Play Partnership was formed in New York by the New York State Gaming Commission, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the New York Council on Problem Gambling to address issues that may arise as a result of compulsive tendencies. The Empire State will have a long-term commitment to prevent and treat compulsive online gambling, and part of that is making sure vendors comply with all rules and regulations and offer support programs for gamblers who might be suffering from these issues.

New York Online Poker FAQ


Matty Simo is a Las Vegas-based writer who has resided there for more than 20 years and covered sports since the age of 16 in suburban Chicago. "Vegas Matty" (as he is known in Sin City) has been involved in the sports gambling scene since graduating from Syracuse University, writing betting articles and helping grow Vegas football contests through his popular proxy service. He is an avid fan of the Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas Raiders and Las Vegas Aces, adopting them as his favorite teams upon their arrival.