PokerStars is an undeniable leader among poker rooms, and all other poker rooms have been trying to equal it for long years. A number of unpopular innovations during recent years have slightly spoiled the reputation of the room among poker players but did not depose it from the first place.
The company Stars Group (formerly Amaya, was renamed in 2017) owns the room. It bought out PokerStars from founders (Rational Group) along with Full Tilt in 2014. The company operates under the license of the Isle of Man.
The poker room has the most active field of online poker players and very high-quality software. It repeatedly received awards as the best poker operator.
The game for real money is carried out on pokerstars.com and a free game for virtual chips is played on pokerstars.net. It is easy to switch from real money to play money in a mobile and desktop client of Red Spade.
A full review of PokerStars from Cardmates will help you to learn more about the most popular poker room on the web.
PokerStars: soft review
PokerStars has one of the most high-quality software among poker rooms. The interface of the room is designed in black, gray and red tones. The lobby has separate tabs for cash games, fast ZOOM-poker, tournaments, Sit&Go, Spin&Go, Power Up, Knockout poker and, also, for current events and online series. You can use the client in different languages including Russian, which is also available on PokerStars.
However, if you use off-site supporting software, the language of the poker room must be set in English.
You can configure the exterior view of the game table and card deck as it suits you and also you can upload an avatar to impart some individuality to your account.
For convenience, you can also configure the lobby of the poker room and choose the colors for some tournaments or other.
The room allows you to use the most popular statistics collection programs, such as Hold'em Manager and PokerTracker, as well as a separate software for automation the gaming process and comfort (for example, StarsCaption).
The PokerStars client for computers (Windows and Mac) and mobile devices with iOS and Android can be downloaded on the official website of the poker room. The flash version of PokerStars for browser will help to play in the room without downloading the client.
Mobile version of PokerStars
The absence of a PC is not a reason to abandon from playing on PokerStars. You can always use a smartphone or tablet to open a poker room. In order to do this, you need to download a special mobile application on the site or to open a mobile browser.
PokerStars mobile poker is available on Android, iPhone and iPad.
Externally, the client significantly differs from the desktop version - it is simplified and adapted for mobile devices. Not all of the room games are available in it but most tournaments and inexpensive cash can be played here.
In the mobile client of PokerStars Mobile, you can try out fast poker and popular Spin&Go.
The game availability and the poker room traffic
PokerStars has the most active traffic among online poker rooms. Tens of thousands of people gather here every day in order to play cash games or to take part in tournaments.
About 10 500 people on average gather in the cash for real money and during the peak hours the number of players exceeds 16 000.
The hours of peak activity are mostly in a time interval of 11:30-13:00 Pacific Time (22:30-00:00 MSK).
Traffic is determined with the help of pokerscout for February 2018.
Few poker rooms can boast such a variety of games, as PokerStars can.
Cash-games are conducted actively on micro-limits as well as at the high-stakes tables, where you can meet well-known professionals.
At the separate tabs you will find fast poker, which is called ZOOM at PokerStars, tournaments with the jackpot Spin&Go, an innovative Power Up game, Knockout Poker bounty-games, Sit&Go and MTT.
Tournaments and satellites
Tens of tournaments daily take place on PokerStars - from freerolls and satellites to special events for high rollers. Sit&Go are gathered in a matter of minutes and the schedule and variety of MTT will not make the competition amateurs bored.
Popular everyday tournaments of PokerStars: Big, Hot, Bounty Builder, Omania.
Popular Sunday tournaments: Sunday Million, Sunday Storm, Sunday Warm-Up.
Other popular regular tournaments: Super Tuesday, Monday 6-Max, Thursday Thrill.
On PokerStars, you can win the participant packages for EPT, PCA and other popular live tournament series. Also Platinum Pass, the participant packages of PokerStars Players Championship 2019 in the Bahamas, are being played out during the entire 2018 year in the room.
Series of tournaments
PokerStars is famous for hosting online series of tournaments with multi-million guarantees. The most popular of them are:
- WCOOP (World Championship of Online poker)
- SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online poker)
- Turbo Series (formerly TCOOP – Turbo Championship of Online poker)
- Winter Series
- Micro Millions
It is always easy to notice an active series of tournaments in the lobby since the room allocates a separate tab to the tournaments.
Rake on PokerStars is charged from each hand where the flop opens. Its amount never exceeds 5$ per hand and on individual limits this maximum is reduced up to 0,30$. The amount and percentage of the rake depends on the type of game, selected limits and on the number of people in the hand.
In no-limit Hold'em, pot-limit Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo, the percentage of rake is set as follows:
On high limits (from 5$/10$ and higher) - 4.5%, max 5$.
- 1 ¢/2 ¢ - 3.3%;
- 2 ¢/5 ¢ - 3.9%;
- 5 ¢/10 ¢ and 10 ¢/25 ¢ - 4.25%
In other types of no-limit games:
- 1¢/2¢ – 3,5%;
- 2¢/5¢ – 4,15%;
- 5¢/10¢ – 10¢/25¢ – 4,5%;
- 25¢/50¢ – 3$/6$ – 5,0%.
In games with fixed limits:
- from 2¢/4¢ to 0,5$/1$ – 4,5%;
- from 1$/2$ to 15$/30$ – 2,0%;
- from 20$/40$ and higher – 1,0%.
In PokerStars tournaments, rake is charged for participation and it is included into the buy-in amount.
A part of the rake is returned back to the players of the poker room with the help of the VIP program of Stars Rewards.
Deposits and limits
The minimum deposit amount on PokerStars is 5$. The maximum one depends on the payment system that you have chosen. For most popular methods (Skrill, WebMoney, Neteller, Visa cards) the limit is fixed at a rate of 1 000$ for 24 hours.
You will find available methods of replenishing the account in the cashier of the poker room, among them are: Mastercard cards (withdrawal is not available) and Visa, also e-wallets NETELLER, Skrill, QIWI (VISA and Wallet), WebMoney, EntroPay and Yandex.Money.
The function of fast deposit is supported at the desktop client in most of the available methods. In mobile client, the number of available deposit/cash-out methods is less and also there is no fast deposit function.
Withdrawal of money from PokerStars runs pretty fast and is possible in most available payment methods in the poker room. The minimum and maximum withdrawal amount depends on the payment system that you have chosen.
Also, you have to know some cash-out features on PokerStars:
- only those wallets, where the deposit was made from no later than a year before the cash-out, are available for the withdrawal;
- in most methods you will not be able to request the withdrawal of funds during 48 hours after the deposit. Such a delay is required in order to avoid the fraud;
- you can only withdraw the amount that is indicated in the column "Available amount for withdrawal ". Your deposits, received bonuses and transfers must be used for the game and cannot be withdrawn;
- if your actions seem to be suspicious to the PokerStars security service - your account can be frozen until you go through the procedure of confirming the identity;
- automatic withdrawal of funds to the previously used deposit method is sent for processing immediately after the request and the processing of non-automatic withdrawal of funds takes up to 72 hours in the poker room.
Time of money crediting to the account after the approval by the poker room depends on the chosen payment system and takes approximately:
For e-wallets - a few minutes;
For direct and e-bank transfer and also for PokerStarsPay - up to 5 working days;
For VISA and Entropay - up to 10 working days.
The official website of PokerStars
The official site of PokerStars - https://www.pokerstars.com/. It is available in several languages, including Russian. The site contains all the information about the poker room, answers to the most common questions, actions description, support, buttons for downloading the client on the computer and mobile devices and much more.
Actual promotions and promo codes of PokerStars (the list is being updated):
- 30$ for free for the first deposit. Make the first deposit of at least 20$ with the THIRTY promo-code and get 30$ per game for 6 days (20 spin-and-go tickets of 1$ and 10$ as cash bonus).
- 100% bonus for the first deposit. Refilling the account for the first time, specify the promo code STARS600 and you will receive a bonus in the same amount as the deposit amount (up to 600$). The promotion is valid for the first three deposits within 60 days.
- Suits race - a mini-game in the cash of NL and PL Hold'em and Omaha (including Zoom). Just choose a suit and win money if it is dealt more often than other ones at your table.
- Spinball – do the tasks in Spin & Go, collect special puzzles and get cash prizes.
You can find more information about each promotion and current promo codes on the official page of the poker room on the Internet.
In addition to this, there is Stars Rewards loyalty program in the poker room since 2017, which is often called "PokerStars chests ". This is a special system of encouraging players where you get individual awards, bonuses and prizes for an active game.