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How To Play PokerStars In New York

by edward

Poker is a game that has captivated millions of players across the globe, and with the advent of online platforms like PokerStars, it has become increasingly accessible to enthusiasts worldwide.

However, as a resident of New York, you may be wondering how you can join the action on PokerStars and enjoy the thrill of playing poker online. Thankfully, this comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to start playing PokerStars in New York state.

Can You Play In New York?

Playing online poker has become increasingly popular, but the legal landscape surrounding real-money poker can be challenging for players in certain locations, like New York State. However, PokerStars has found a way to accommodate players in the Empire State by offering a free-to-play poker site at PokerStars.bet, without any geographic restrictions. This means that players worldwide, including in New York, can freely enjoy poker without worrying about breaking any laws or regulations.

PokerStars.bet is an excellent platform for beginners who want to learn the game and practice their skills without the pressure of wagering real money. It’s also a fantastic option for experienced players looking to enjoy and engage in poker without financial risk. The site offers various games, tournaments, and promotions that cater to all kinds of players. However, if you are a New York resident interested in playing real-money poker games online, you will face some challenges due to the state’s current gambling laws. As it stands, online poker remains unregulated and illegal for real money play in New York.

How To Get Around Geo-Restrictions?

To legally participate in real-money online poker, players would need to cross the border to neighboring states like Pennsylvania or New Jersey, where online poker is legal and regulated. Another effective option to circumvent the geo-restrictions for real-money poker would be to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

By using a reliable VPN service, like NordVPN, players can circumvent geo-restrictions on real-money poker platforms like the PokerStars sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. However, using a VPN to bypass geo restrictions and access real-money poker sites in states where it’s legal can be risky, as it violates the terms of service for those sites. Players found to be using a VPN may face account suspension or even forfeiture of their funds.

How NordVPN Works

NordVPN is a virtual private network service that provides an encrypted and secure connection between your device and the internet. By routing your online traffic through a VPN server, NordVPN hides your true IP address and assigns you a new one based on the server’s location. NordVPN features a massive network of servers in more than 60 countries, including many throughout the United States. This vast network allows users to choose a server in a specific location, such as Pennsylvania or New Jersey, to bypass geo-restrictions on PokerStars’ real-money poker sites.

Top 3 Alternative Poker Sites

For poker enthusiasts in the Empire State who cannot play on PokerStars for real money, there are alternative online poker sites that cater specifically to NY players.

1. BetOnline Poker

BetOnline has become one of the best online poker sites thanks to its innovative capacity. The poker site was launched in 2001. BetOnline was originally a sportsbook but has evolved to an online casino and poker room. The poker site made the headlines for becoming one of the first online poker platforms to accept cryptocurrency payments. With new software, license from the Panama gaming commission, reasonable cash game traffic, and mobile app, there is no reason for players to look past BetOnline. BetOnline is currently ranked fifth in cash game traffic in the United States. You can get started on BetOnline Poker here.


  • Accepts almost all types of US credit cards
  • Accepts players from all 50 states
  • Supports several cryptocurrencies
  • Active poker tables even up to the $5/10 NL level
  • Generous welcome bonuses
  • Quick payouts


  • Bonuses have to be requested manually
  • Limited deposit options
  • No HUD option

2. Americas Cardroom Poker

Americas Cardroom started its journey by becoming a safe haven for online poker companies, that were falling apart. The operator has been in the market since 2001 and has become a secure platform for poker players in the country. Despite being one of the oldest poker sites,  Americas Cardroom is as popular as ever and it is not difficult to see why.

No other poker site has occasional tournament guarantees of $1,000,000 like ACR. The site remains the second-largest real money American network. ACR operates under the Winning Poker Network and has regulations from the Cyprus Gaming Authority. Also, iTech Labs conduct occasional audits on the website. No limit action are among the top performing fixed limit games on the website, which is good news for Omaha poker players. You can get started on Americas Cardroom here.


  • One of the oldest online poker sites available
  • Fast cryptocurrency payments within 12 hours
  • Conducts some of the largest poker tournaments in the country
  • Generous welcome bonuses
  • Double bonus for cryptocurrency deposits


  • Poor native mobile app ratings
  • Poor performances in terms of instant play option
  • Some aspects of convenience are lacking on the site’s interface

3. Sportsbetting Poker

SportsBetting Poker is almost an exact replica of BetOnline with so many similarities to the latter, yet it manages to stand out as one of the best Omaha Poker sites for 2023. Sports betting Poker uses a large number of cash tables and with bigger real money bonuses, online poker players get to enjoy additional perks. Although Sportsbetting is known primarily for online sports betting, its poker portfolio is nothing short of impressive with the site ranked fourth in real money game traffic in the US. Sportsbetting has been in existence since 2012 and is licensed by Panama gaming commission. It is advisable for poker players to have a real money account at this site and BetOnline to enjoy deposit bonuses or promotions twice. You can get started on Sportsbetting Poker here.


  • Same benefits as BetOnline
  • Has the lowest credit card decline rate in US
  • Deposit bonuses clear faster than other poker sites
  • Above average in terms of fish rating
  • Offers real money mobile poker software


  • Tournament scheduling isn’t the best
  • Limited features on software
  • High minimum check payouts
  • No blocking of HUD users

Final Thoughts

Although New York players face certain limitations when it comes to real-money online poker, there are still various options available for both free and alternative poker platforms. Each platform has advantages and disadvantages, so players must carefully consider which site best meets their needs and preferences.

As the landscape of online poker continues to evolve, players must stay informed about the legality and regulations governing the game in their jurisdiction. By doing so, poker enthusiasts can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and compliant gaming experience.


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