You can now enjoy your favorite casino card games and table games online in New York state.

The best casinos offer slick free-to-play games available on your desktop or mobile devices. All it takes is a simple log-in, and you are ready to go.

Let’s examine the kinds of games you will find to play online and which sites offer the best ones.

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NY online casino laws in 2019

Gambling laws in New York state have moved fast over the past few years.

Sports betting is now legal, and New York welcomed its first sportsbook at Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady in July 2019.

In neighboring New Jersey, online casino gambling is fully legalized and regulated. New Yorkers can’t enjoy that luxury yet. However, that doesn’t stop the thousands of players in New York from driving over the state line to log in and play slots and table games at NJ online casinos.

Luckily, there are a couple of choices in New York if you are an online casino player.

Free to play and real money casino games

If you are in New York in 2019, you have two choices when it comes to online casino games.

There are several legal play-money casinos where you play games with credits.

At licensed, real money casinos, you will find a wide range of developers and games. Social casinos that offer play-money games don’t have the same vast selection. But if you want a quick game of roulette or blackjack, you can usually find a few tables where you can spend your credits.

Offline casinos vs. online casinos

New York state has a long tradition of tribal casinos and racinos (racetracks combined with casinos). Big casino resorts are a more recent phenomenon.

You can now play at major integrated resorts including Resorts World Catskills. These large, new casinos offer up to 6,000 slots machines for players, plus high-limit gambling and table games.

Advances in technology mean you can now play in New York against human croupiers or on electronic gaming terminals.

Games including blackjack and roulette are available for real money via computerized touchscreens. They are quick, easy to play and you can withdraw your winnings instantly.

The most significant difference between land-based casinos and online casinos in New York is stakes. It’s legal to gamble for real money in person at land-based sites through the state.

Regulated online casinos in the state only provide play-money games at the moment.

Some of the big land-based sites in New York offer play-money casinos games online. It’s legal to register and log on to these casino websites and play games without risking any cash.

Empire City Casino offers an online casino where you can play a selection of slots for free. Del Lago casino, in Waterloo, also provides a social casino on the Play4Fun network. Here, you will find slots where you can win credits and low-level cash prizes.

Popular games and live dealer casinos

Here are some typical games you will discover at a decent New York online casino.

Slots

Video slots are the most popular game found at NY online casinos. The best sites spread hundreds of slots with a range of themes and gameplay.

You choose stakes at the start of the game, and big money progressive jackpot slots give you the chance to share a six-figure prize pool.

You can often enter a slot tournament online. Tournaments give you the chance to share a prize pool with your fellow gamblers. You get a limited number of spins on selected slots. Topping the leaderboard will bag the biggest share of the credits.

Roulette

In a land-based casino in NY, you can typically find American roulette at a range of stakes.

Online, you are likely to find both American roulette and European roulette. Most NY casinos offer electronic roulette terminals, too.

At real-money casinos, your stakes can start low. Online stakes are often much lower than at a land-based site. Once your bets are placed, the wheel spins.

You are paid out according to the numbered pocket where the ball lands.

Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino card games.

In New York casinos, you will find at least a few interesting variants of blackjack. Online, classic blackjack is most common, and the house edge can be low if you play optimally.

In blackjack, both you and the dealer are dealt two cards. The idea is to keep drawing cards and get as close to 21 without going over. If you beat the dealer, you win.

Baccarat

Baccarat and EZ Baccarat are standard options at online casinos.

To win, you place bets on which hand (player or dealer) will be the highest. Picture cards and 10s count as zero. Whoever is closest to a total of nine, wins.

Video poker

Video poker terminals are second only to slots in prevalence in New York land-based casinos. However, you will also find video poker games at the best online casinos.

You are dealt five cards to play. You aim to hold or discard cards to form a winning five-card poker hand and you are paid out according to a set pay table. If you hit a royal flush and play at the maximum stake, you win the top jackpot available.

Most video poker games offer jackpots, and some let you use wild cards to form a five-card hand.

Live dealer casino

NJ casinos offer live dealer games, and we expect NY to provide the same once the state regulates online gambling.

Some land-based casinos in New York state are also beginning to introduce live dealer action.

In a live dealer table game, you play roulette or blackjack against a human croupier. However, you place bets via a touchscreen terminal and never on the table itself.

You place online bets using your mouse or touchscreen. However, the roulette wheel and blackjack cards are real, and the croupiers are trained professionals.

You can even talk to the dealer using the on-screen chat.

Casino promotions and bonuses

All good online casinos offer promotions.

Real-money sites tend to run welcome bonuses. Social casinos may offer free credits when you make your first purchase.

A welcome bonus usually matches your first deposit at the casino. Whether you are playing with real cash or purchasing credits, the casino usually offers a 100% match bonus.

Real-money casino welcome bonus:

  1. Open an account.
  2. Make your initial deposit in US dollars.
  3. The casino will 100% match your deposit.
  4. The casino will release your bonus cash once you meet the wagering requirements.

Some casino games count toward your bonus playthrough. Slots generally contribute 100%, and table games and video poker may contribute up to 20%, depending on the site.

Free-to-play casino bonus:

  1. Open an account.
  2. Make your first purchase of play credits.
  3. The casino will 100% match the purchase.
  4. The casino will add bonus credits instantly after a successful purchase.

You may also be able to earn a bonus if a social casino is aligned with an existing land-based casino in New York state. By using your current casino’s loyalty card, you can earn extra play credits to use on free-to-play slots and table games online.

VIP programs

VIP promotions can vary widely between casinos.

Reputable real-money casinos run multitiered loyalty programs where you can earn benefits the more you play. A VIP program may offer cash back on losses, faster cash-out times and access to a personal manager.

Social casinos tend to weight their promotions toward credits.

A great online social casino should offer a daily log-in bonus and add free-play credits to your account. As long as you play regularly, you can benefit.

Account registration and security

It is easy to sign up to a legit online casino.

If you live in New York state, download the app or client and create a unique username and password.

Once you have set up an account, verify your identity by confirming your email address. Real money casinos may also ask for a scan of a valid NY or US driver’s license, plus a utility bill.

Once you have registered, you will receive play credits if the online casino is a social gaming site. If the casino is a real-money site, you may also be eligible for a welcome bonus.

Online casinos take security seriously. The best sites are protected by cutting-edge SSL (Secure Socket Layers) protection, which helps to safeguard your personal details. If you have real cash on the site, your transactions are also encrypted.

Mobile casino games in New York state

Most play money sites in NY let you enjoy casino games on your smartphone or tablet.

Typically, you can download a dedicated app via Google Play for Android. The Apple App Store offers apps for iOS phones and iPads.

Alternatively, you can log on to a mobile casino directly through the website using your username and password. Visit the mobile casino website via your device and enter your log-in details on the homepage.

Instant-play mobile casinos work through a standard browser like Google Chrome or Safari.

We recommend that you keep your mobile web browser current to avoid any connection issues. Most slots and table games now operate in HTML5, a web-based language that works well across multiple platforms.

The best mobile casinos offer a great selection of games for touchscreen. The functionality and gameplay differ slightly from standard desktop games. You may only see a portion of a table or slot games at one time.

However, in terms of payouts and random number generators (RNGs), everything is the same.

Winning money with sweepstakes

Recently, social casinos in New York state have come up with sweepstake-style casinos where you can win real cash prizes. You don’t need to make a purchase to win. There are multiple ways for you to earn a free entry including mail-in offers and Facebook contests.

You also have the option to purchase a gold coins package. By purchasing special “gold coins” at casinos like Chumba Casino, you are awarded “sweeps cash.” The amount of sweeps cash you receive is proportionate to the number of gold coins you have.

You then use Sweeps Cash every time you play a slot, spin the roulette wheel or double down on a hand of blackjack. If you win, you earn Sweeps Cash in your account.

You can redeem Sweeps Cash for US dollars and transfer it back to your bank account. You may need to provide some form of ID first, and it may involve a wagering requirement.

Play some of the best casino games online

New York state is slowly opening up its online gaming and casino laws.

It’s not yet completely legal to play casino games for real money, but if New Jersey continues to be successful with its new legislation, New York could follow suit.

Currently, New York casino gamblers can cross the border and log on to regulated NJ casinos. But with the rise in social casinos, there is more choice for slots and table game players than ever.

Find the best NY casinos online and see if you can hit it lucky.