PokerStars is the biggest - and many might say - best online poker site in the world.
Countless poker players have played their first hand of poker on the online poker giant’s servers and many continue to stream to the site thanks to its unparalleled selection of poker games and tournaments.
PokerStars has spent years perfecting its online poker client and the current software is basically what other poker sites try to emulate. Thanks to its massive player base, PokerStars can also offer more active games than any other poker site in the world.
You want to play high-stakes Sit & Go’s? There’s one starting on PokerStars right now. You prefer tournaments with virtually no buy-in and thousands of players? You’re also in luck.
PokerStars is pretty much the only poker site where you’ll find plenty of action in No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, Razz, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. The site even offers games like Five-Card Omaha and Courchevel, which you won’t find anywhere else.
PokerStars runs the biggest multi-table tournaments with the famous $1m guaranteed Sunday Million still holding down the fort as the biggest weekly tournament in online poker. More recently PokerStars has expanded online poker even further with the introduction of Zoom Poker, $1m Jackpot Spin & Gos and even the mobile play app PokerStars Duel.
If you're short on time, the new Beat the Clock tournaments are the perfect answer. With a 5-minute time limit and prizes paid out according to chip stacks, it's the ultimate 'get some poker in on your phone while you wait for something' game ever.
PokerStars has also recently re-jigged its loyalty program to increase benefits for recreational players and hosts four $1m freerolls per year.
It’s not all great on PokerStars, however, and one of the downsides is that the pros tend to flock to the site thanks to its superior software and variety of games.
Depending on where you live in the world, you may or may not be able to access the full PokerStars player base. If you live in the US, so far New Jersey is the only place you can legally access PokerStars. And the player pool is limited to those players located within state borders.
Due to licensing restrictions the player pool is ring-fenced in France, Italy and Spain, too, although with Portugal also coming online there is a chance all of those markets eventually combine player pools.
- Biggest online poker site with a monster player pool
- More games than any other site
- Quality promotions for recreational players
- Industry-leading software
PokerStars’ software has led the way for the entire poker industry for some time now and it doesn’t seem like that will stop any time soon. Basically every feature you can think of is available on the PokerStars client.
We’re talking about comprehensive table and card customization, excellent multi-table support and lightning fast speed. You can jump into a game relatively quickly on PokerStars or you can navigate the massive lobby that offers tons of tournaments, cash games and Sit & Go’s.
PokerStars also helped push forward games like the fast-fold Zoom Poker and jackpot-centric Spin & Gos. Despite the fact PokerStars is such a big site it still runs quite fast and it’s compatible with even older laptops.
The client also offers complete support for hand histories so you can replay any hand you’ve ever played on the site, which is a powerful educational tool.
PokerStars offers full support for Windows and OSX.
Not everyone loves the software, however. Some players prefer the simpler look of some of the other sites. PokerStars offers so many games that navigating the interface can sometimes be tough for new players.
More recently PokerStars has also started to incorporate its other businesses — such as casino and sports betting — into the client, which is a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view.
In recent years developers have put a lot of effort into the quick-start functionality, which has been improved.
In addition to the full desktop version PokerStars offers a very sophisticated mobile client to iOS and Android users. Once you pop the software onto your iPhone, iPad or Android mobile device you’ll have access to cash games, tournaments, Sit & Go’s and Zoom Poker.
Unfortunately you’ll only be able to play NLHE and PLO but no mobile site has really figured out how to display seven-card stud in an efficient manner.
One of the most impressive feats of the PokerStars mobile software is its ability to display five tables at once. Most mobile clients are relegated to just one table, or at the very most two. On PokerStars Mobile you can actually play five tables and it works.
Of course if you don’t want to deal with switching between tables then Zoom Poker is a very good option. Spin & Go’s are also a good choice for players with a limited amount of time as are the really fun Beat the Clock games mentioned above.
Confusingly PokerStars actually offers a few different mobile products. There’s Jackpot Poker, which is a play-money app, and then PokerStars Duel, which is an entirely new way to play. Most people will want to just stick with the basic PokerStars mobile app.
PokerStars’s round-the-clock cash-game and tournament traffic is second to none. If you want access to 100,000+ players on a regular basis then you’re probably going to have to start up an account on PokerStars.
The micro-stakes are enormous on PokerStars and you should be able to find a game in anything you’re looking for including NLHE, PLO, Seven-Card Stud and even more obscure variants.
The games are perpetually populated from the micro-stakes all the way up to medium-high stakes. PokerStars is also one of the only poker sites that offers a legitimate high-stakes scene if you have the urge to win/lose houses or cars.
One of the benefits of PokerStars’ enormous player base is that you should be able to find a game at any hour. There are some other sites that definitely turn into ghost towns during certain off-peak times.
PokerStars is the industry leader when it comes to tournaments. There are tons of small-stakes tournaments to choose from but PokerStars is also home to the biggest tournaments in online poker with iconic events like the weekly $1m-GTD Sunday Million, Sunday Warm-Up and Sunday Storm.
PokerStars hosts two massive online poker series over the course of the year - the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) in the Fall and the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) (you can guess when that happens).
PokerStars is one of the only sites that can brag about offering life-changing money from tournaments. Of course if you want to slum it in the lower stakes that’s fine too and PokerStars runs more MTTs and Sit & Go’s than any other site.
Low buy-in satellites to win packages for the PokerStars Live tours - the high-end Championships and lower buy-in Festivals - are also a big perk at PokerStars. With satellites starting at just pennies they really open the door to experiencing an amazing live poker experience and turn it into some life-changing money.
Stories abound of players who won their ticket into a big live event via a small-stakes satellite and went on to six-figure payouts.
Bad players aren’t exactly a strong suit of PokerStars as some of the best players in the world play on the site. You’ll be able to find some good spots in the small-stakes games but as soon as you start moving up you’ll run into some of the sharkiest sharks on the Internet.
Playing against good players isn’t a bad thing if you’re an exceptional player but if you’re looking for a large number of awful players then PokerStars probably isn’t the best site. The high-stakes games on PokerStars are of course probably the toughest to play in the entire online poker world.
But hey, that’s how you get good, right?
Promos and Freerolls
PokerStars has plenty of great promotions and freerolls for recreational players these days. The first and foremost is a special $1 million freeroll that runs four times a year.
That’s right, you can take part in a tournament with a $1m prize pool for absolutely nothing.
PokerStars also offers a variety of bonus sign-up packages to choose from including a deposit % match and, at times, instant cash.
The site sometimes offers Daily Rewards where you’ll get a free gift, like a $1 Spin & Go ticket for instance, each and every day for a week straight.
PokerStars gives away tens of thousands in free cash every month so be sure to follow the promos section carefully.
Player Rewards Program
The PokerStars VIP Club offers some significant rewards for loyal players. Anytime you’re playing real-money hands, in cash games or tournaments, you’ll be earning both VPPs and StarsCoins.
Basically the more real-money hands you play, the more perks you’ll get.
VPPs are awarded so that you can achieve status and receive StarsCoins every time you complete a step. StarsCoins can be spent in the VIP store on a variety of rewards including tournament tickets and PokerStars merchandise.
There are five different levels of monthly status you can achieve on PokerStars including BronzeStar, ChromeStar, SilverStar, GoldStar and PlatinumStar.
The different status levels make it easier to earn StarsCoins and a variety of exclusive freerolls and perks. In addition there’s the ultra high-volume SuperNova status that is awarded for the year rather than the month.
It’s a very solid rewards program and focuses more on the lower level players rather than hard-core grinders, which is a very good thing for new players
- Isle of Man
- No Download Version
- Player Volume Peak
- Cash Game Volume Peak
- Tournament Volume Peak
- Poker Rooms Online Bonus
- Poker Rooms Online Match
- Ring Game Traffic
- Tournament Traffic
- Sign-up Bonus
- Loyalty Bonus
- Withdraw Options