Launched in 2001, PokerStars is one of the longest-running poker sites. It’s also the most-famous online poker room thanks to its record-setting tournaments, famous sponsored pros and many promotions.
PokerStars carries a strong reputation in the gambling world. It has obtained licensing in many jurisdictions and is owned by Flutter Entertainment. Flutter, which was previously Paddy Power Betfair plc, is a massive online-gambling company that’s listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Stars no doubt has the clout, reputation and resources of a premier poker site. You can find out how it fares in more-specific areas throughout the following review.
|Biggest online poker tournaments in the world||Tough competition|
|Highest cash-game traffic||Email-only support|
|Many bonuses and rewards||Best online poker game variety|
PokerStars offers three different deals for new players. One is a no deposit bonus, while the other two are deposit bonuses.
The PokerStars no deposit bonus amounts to free Spin & Go tournament tickets. You must register for an account and visit the Spin & Go lobby to take advantage of this offer. You’ll also need to use code “10KSPIN” when registering.
Next, you look for the “Win up to £10,000” option and select it. You’ll then fill out a short form, which results in 10 free Spin & Go tickets.
The PokerStars welcome bonus includes two options, with one listed in pounds and the other in US dollars:
The first deposit bonus contains a mixture of cash and Spin & Go entries. It’s delivered slowly over the course of six days. All Spin & Go tickets expire within 24 hours of being issued.
You must deposit at least US$10 to take advantage of the 100% match deposit bonus. After depositing, you need to earn redemption points (RPs).
PokerStars delivers 5 RPs for each US$1 you spend in tournament or cash-game fees. It gives you US$5 in bonus cash for every 75 RPs.
Therefore, you have to pay US$375 in rake to clear each US$5 of the bonus. Stars allots four months from the time of deposit to earn as much of this welcome bonus as possible.
Beyond its lucrative welcome bonus, PokerStars offers multiple promotions at any given time. Here are some of the deals available at the time of this writing:
Most PokerStars bonuses require you to make a deposit to qualify. You’ll also need to enter the relevant bonus code in the appropriate field. Depending upon the offer, you might input the PokerStars bonus code during registration or while depositing. We had no trouble claiming the 100% match welcome bonus. The process, including finding a banking option, is relatively quick.
The PokerStars signup process begins with entering your email, username, password and country of residence. Next, you need only confirm that you’re 21+ years old to complete registration. We find this to be one of the easiest registration processes in online poker.
Of course, you’ll need to provide more information when depositing at this site. Stars requests your name, home address, birth date and more before accepting a deposit.
PokerStars has always been an industry leader in game variety. It continues to hold this crown by offering far more variations than other poker sites. Texas hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven-card stud, Razz, Badugi, HORSE, 8-game mix and 2-7 Triple Draw are available here.
Stars also offers a wide range of cash-game stakes. No-limit hold’em, for example, features tables ranging from $0.01/$0.02 limits up to $25/$50. Everybody from a seasoned professional to a recreational player can find something among these limits.
Zoom Poker is also popular at this site. This speedy cash-game format takes you to a new table as soon as your action is finished in a hand. Therefore, you can get more hands in without waiting on other players to act.
The poker-tournament selection at Stars is immense. It includes a variety of tournament types along with major events.
Regarding the latter, the PokerStars Sunday tournament lineup is absolutely loaded. This site features Sunday Million, Sunday Billion, Sunday Storm, Sunday Warm-up, Sunday Majors and Women Sunday.
Stars also boasts the biggest annual online poker events anywhere. Its SCOOP and WCOOP events both offer numerous tourneys along with millions of dollars in prize money. MicroMillions gives low rollers an opportunity to play for large prize pools too.
As for tournament types, PokerStars offers sit & go’s, multi-table, Spin & Go’s, bounties, Fifty50, knockout and daily turbo tourneys. Spin &Go’s are unique to this poker room. They're three-player tourneys that feature a random prize pool, which can be worth up to $1 million. A Fifty50 ends when half of the entrants are eliminated. The other half of the field will automatically cash.
PokerStars doesn’t have as many freerolls these days. Instead, it may sporadically offer freeroll tournaments as part of temporary promotions.
However, the aforementioned PokerStars no deposit works like a freeroll in some ways. You complete registration, use the proper code, and eventually receive 10 free Spin & Go tickets.
Stars sponsors a number of live-tournament organizations, including the following series:
In addition to offering the biggest online poker tournaments in the world, PokerStars also features the highest cash-game traffic. A couple of other poker rooms are competitive with Stars in this regard, but they don’t consistently draw more players
PokerStars attracts around 6,000 players per hour. This figure rises to 10,000 or more during peak evening and weekend hours.
Depending upon the variation, you’ll find full tables across most/all stakes. Texas hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo especially offer full tables at both low and high limits. Recreational players, pros, and everything in between will easily be able to find a game here.
PokerStars requires a US$10 minimum deposit. The available deposit and withdrawal options depend upon which state/country you’re from.
In the UK, for example, you can use the following methods to deposit and cash out:
The amount of time needed to withdraw money depends upon the method. Some may be instant, while wire transfer, for example, may take several days to deliver money.
The PokerStars poker room is available through desktop, mobile browsers, and Android and iOS apps. We found the homepage to be busy on the desktop version due to various graphics. However, the links at the top allowed us to easily go from one section to the next. As a result, the large graphics didn’t impede our navigation.
The mobile poker app is less cluttered thanks to a drop-down menu that displays all of the main sections. It also provides the same easy navigation as the desktop version.
Due to their huge tournaments and many cash-game variations, Stars draws tougher competition than the average poker room. However, it has also taken steps in recent years to accommodate recreational players.
PokerStars revamped its VIP program to spread the wealth. It also reduced the number of tables that players can multi-table from 24 to four. Pros and semi-pros widely criticized both of these moves. On the same token, though, recreational players now find it easier to compete and earn more-lucrative rewards. The multi-tabling reduction prevents skilled players from branching out onto as many tables simultaneously.
All in all, PokerStars doesn’t have the softest ring games and tournaments. Its recent commitment to recreational players, though, does create a more-even playing field.
The PokerStars poker VIP program used to be heavy on rakeback for the top grinders. But as mentioned above, Stars revamped its loyalty plan to distribute more rewards across all VIP levels.
The rakeback is still there and labeled as “Poker Rewards.” However, Stars added more depth to the program in the form of Chests and Monthly Poker Challenges. Chests contain personalized rewards once opened. You’ll earn more Poker Rewards/rakeback by participating in the monthly challenges. You move up in the program by collecting rewards points. Points earned over a 28-day rolling period determine your status.
Here’s what’s available at each status:
At Silver, Gold, Diamond and Black levels, you can earn up to 40% in extra Poker Rewards through Monthly Challenges.
PokerStars urges you to look through the most-frequently asked support questions when you select “Help.” If you don’t find an answer here, then you can choose “Contact Us.” This option brings up an email form. Unfortunately, Stars doesn’t offer the popular live chat. However, we did receive a speedy response to our email inquiry.
This online poker site is one of the best when it comes to responsible gambling features. PokerStars offers self-exclusion tools, risk identification and player verification. It also features an entire page dedicated to helping players realize when they have a problem.
You can set limits on your play using on-site tools. Provided the limits aren’t enough, you can self-exclude yourself from Stars for a certain time period or permanently. PokerStars ensures that these “cooling off” periods are non-reversible. Therefore, you won’t be able to reinstate yourself until the cooling off period has ended.
PokerStars remains the world’s largest and most-popular online poker site for a reason—multiple reasons in fact. It features a strong brand reputation, numerous rewards and high tournament and cash-game traffic.
You need to use a bonus code for any PokerStars bonus that you’re interested in. We outlined codes for the PokerStars welcome bonuses earlier. Assuming you go for another bonus, you should visit the Stars promotions section to find the relevant code.
PokerStars offers the industry’s best selection of cash games and tournaments. It supports more cash-game variations than any other online poker room. It also features more tournament types and major events.
You can download the PokerStars app on any Android or iOS device. That said, you’ll be able to play at Stars through an Android device, iPhone or iPad. You’ll find the PokerStars Android and iOS apps to offer simple navigation.
Yes, PokerStars is fully licensed in many states and countries. It must undergo a rigorous process to obtain licensing in each new jurisdiction. This poker room also carries a high reputation in the online gambling world.
The average PokerStars withdrawal time varies based on the method you’re using. E-wallets like Neteller, PayPal and Skrill can deliver your funds in 24–48 hours. Wire transfer is generally the slowest option when cashing out from Stars.
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