PokerStars is undoubtedly one of the big boys when it comes to online poker, and they pose as a significant contender for the best online poker site. Since its birth in 2001, it has grown year on year and is now believed to have up to a third of all online poker traffic.
Unlike with most online poker companies, they don’t provide you with an instantaneous PokerStars bonus but your deposit will be matched 100% up to $600! To be honest, this isn’t exactly correct as you do have the option to get $20 free (released in batches of course) with the PokerStars no deposit bonus code. However, if you do claim the latter, they won’t match any deposit that you might make, but you’ll still have the chance to use a reload bonus code courtesy of PokerStars later on in your career. You’re able to make your deposit using a large range of payment types, which also included prepaid debit cards.
On the upside, like with all of the best online poker sites, PokerStars runs a VIP members scheme. We explore this later on in the review, but let’s just say that it blows the rest out of the water. Very often there are PokerStars bonus codes for existing players, once you sign up you’ll regularly receive emails about these.
Games and Features
When it comes to game selection, again PokerStars has one of the largest collections out there. Of course, the ever popular Texas Holdem Poker and Omaha games are available, with various limits, but there is a whole new world out there for experienced and beginner players alike.
Alongside the classics they have other regular card games such as 5 Card Omaha, Stud and some Draw variations. But the biggest and best surprise is that they also do 8-Game and HORSE. Not heard of these before? Don’t worry, not many people have, if you’d like to learn more just visit their website or figure out yourself on their Play Money tables. If you wish to play at an online casino for some free slots, then they also cater for this.
To cater for more experienced players, the most important feature they have are their Zoom games where, as the name suggests, you can play more hands per minute. You’re also able to set up your own Hotkey shortcuts to make multi-tabling an easier and more enjoyable experience.
Since they are such a great all-around performer as you’ll find out from reading our full PokerStars Review, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that they have an average of 14000+ players online at any one time. This means that no matter which poker table you sit down at, you’ll always find some new and exciting players to challenge.
Software and Applications
While the PokerStars software isn’t the most refined regarding design, it’s packed full of functionality. Apart from being able to select any one of the game types mentioned above, you have a whole range of options that have to be experienced to be believed.
Like with any decent poker service, they have their own iOS and Android apps which allow you play poker on the move. Whether you’re on your iPhone or Android tablet these Lite versions should provide you with most of your gaming needs. You’re also able to download the PokerStars TV app (available from iTunes and Google Play) so that you’re able to watch the latest shows from anywhere, anytime.
As previously mentioned, PokerStars allows you to cascade multiple tables for even more gaming. The overall customization options are excellent and thereby PokerStars is not only able to offer something entirely new on top of everyone else but also ensure that all their players have a pleasant experience, no matter which poker table they choose.
Additional Poker Applications
Being the biggest online poker site around, it’s refreshing to see that PokerStars not only allows you to use external software to improve your poker strategy, but has these extremely well laid out! In short, they allow any software which enhances your understanding of the mathematical elements of poker. You’re also allow software that further help improve gameplay, such as Hotkey programmes, as long as it doesn’t verge into automation. For a full list of the 66 different enhancers allowed, head over to their website.
Promotions and VIP Scheme
Like all poker sites, Poker Stars has a VIP Scheme to entice players to stay with them. The levels start at the basic Bronze Star and extend all the way to SuperNova Elite.
Each increase in level grants you access to better tournaments, better rewards and even full-on VIP treatment packages. Should you reach Supernova level, not only could you purchase a Porsche Cayman S but you could also get a paid trip to Las Vegas for an unforgettable night.
To level up through the system you will need to collect VPPs (VIP Player Points), as per the table below. For tournaments, you receive 5VPPs for each $1 paid in event fees, whereas for cash games it is dependent on the table rake. As far as we’re aware, they are the only poker site that will also award you with VIP points for live events played. The PokerStars FPP bonus also increases as you progress in the VIP level system.
|FPPs per VPP||1.0||1.0||1.5||2.0||2.5||3.5||5.0|
|VIP Store Access||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|VIP Stellar Rewards*||up to $10||up to $100||up to $300||up to $900||up to $1,000||$1,200||$1,200|
|Milestone Cash Credits*||up to $23,200||at least $43,200|
Customer Service and Support
As expected, the primary support for PokerStars is an FAQ base. This is extremely well presented and detailed, and we’d be surprised if you could think of any questions that aren’t answered. They do have a ticket support system as well, but you will have to sign up with them in order to use it. Also, the quickest way to access it, is through the software, which we felt is a bit of a let-down.
Overall, they have a relaxed and knowledgeable support service, which we can’t do much to fault.
While playing online poker can be a great way to make money online, as the saying goes, in the end the house always wins. While, yes it is gambling you can always improve your chances and luckily not online does PokerStars have great strategy guides, they also run PokerSchoolOnline. They cover everything from basic poker games and poker rules to advanced strategy guides for playing your poker chips just the right way.
The company itself launched in late 2001, at the start of the online poker revolution. The previously family owned business was acquired by the Amaya Gaming Group back in 2014, and if you’re interested, you can invest in them on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The main company is registered in the Isle of Man and therefore licensed and regulated by the UK gambling commission.
During its lifetime, the company has gone to set a number of records, especially in the Tournaments fields, and as mentioned has the biggest player base right now. They also sponsor numerous events worldwide ranging from regional games all the way to the World Series of Poker.
The company is also in partnership with Full Tilt Poker, if you’re interested you can also read our in-depth Full Tilt Poker review.
Famous PokerSite Ambassadors
Team PokerStars, has the biggest collection of famous poker faces from around the world – 53 of them to be precise. The list includes the infamous Daniel Negreanu (a.k.a. The Real Kid Poker), Chris Moneymaker, and Bertrand Grospellier to name just a few. These names further enhance the reputation of the company.
PokerStars Review Conclusion
- The largest poker network today!
- Huge prizes and tournaments
- Best ambassadors on the market
- Play at 24 tables at once
We didn’t like:
- Not much
If you’ve read this far, then you’ll know by now that joining PokerStars is the best move you could make today. We’ve literally enjoyed every second of our online poker review of this great service and bar the slight disappointment with regards to support we we’re 100% pleased with it. Once you start playing texas poker (or whatever your choice may be) we’d appreciate feedback of your experiences by leaving us a comment.