“PokerStars was the first site I ever tried, and I keep coming back. Promos are always good, so are satellites (I even won a seat into the EPT once!), and the Sunday tournaments can’t be beat. There are a lot of reasons PokerStars is number one in the world!” Josh Granger, NJ
- Deposit $20 or more get $30 in free play
- Top-ranked poker site in the world
- Adheres to all licensing requirements
- No fees charged for deposits
- Banking options vary by country
- Processes withdrawals quickly
PokerStars.com Download, Software & Games Review
PokerStars is the largest online poker site in the world, accomplished through many corporate changes and full attention to the direction of the poker market online. The sheer number of players on the site around the clock equals a wide range of games, buy-ins, variations, and tournament options. People know that Team Pro Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event after qualifying for a low buy-in online satellite at PokerStars, and that event has spurred many more, as players consistently win seats into online and live tournaments that produce life-changing prize pools and wins.
Pros & Cons:
The pros of playing at PokerStars are many, starting with the tens of thousands of players on the site at any given time. It provides the best selection of real-money games and tournaments around the clock, as well as solid promotions and bonuses. There is something for players of all bankroll and skill levels, and satellites allow low-limit players to win seats into larger online and live tournaments. PokerStars is also compliant with regulations in countries around the world and submits to all proper regulatory audits.
Some professional players have not been happy with the recent PokerStars change of focus toward recreational players, as pro players lost many of their high-volume rewards. The site has struggled with various regulatory decisions in the past, but since 2011, the company has rectified those problems and is now in good standing with most governments around the world.
Is PokerStars Legal?
PokerStars operates under the Stars Group and is fully licensed as Rational Intellectual Holdings on the Isle of Man. It is headquartered on the Isle of Man as well. The company is registered in various countries that require specific licensing, such as the UK with the UK Gambling Commission. PokerStars in New Jersey is licensed with the Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Bonuses and Promotions:
The welcome bonus for new players on PokerStars consists of $30 in free poker play for any deposit of at least $20. Tickets for the free play are awarded daily for the first six days of action. There are many other ways to obtain bonuses as well, as multiple social media accounts offer specials on account reloads and other social media contests.
Promotions run regularly on PokerStars. One of the current promos is Collectibles, which consists of challenges to complete in order to collect avatars and win up to $3,000. Suit Race is another that offers prizes for collecting all of the cards in a particular suit, with cash and game tickets on the line.
Stars Rewards is the new loyalty program for PokerStars players that spans across its other platforms as well. Players earn points for every real-money game played, and they are accumulated to open prize chests, take advantage of special offers, and win random cash and tournament tickets.
Deposits and Withdrawals:
Deposit options change depending upon where in the world the customer is located. In Canada, for example, there are numerous options for free deposits to fund an online poker account on PokerStars. Visa and Mastercard are welcome, as are Instant e-Checks and Entropay, all listed as the fastest options. Instadebit, Paysafecard, Neosurf, and EcoPayz are also options that typically deposit on the same day but may not be instant. All methods are free of charge, however.
For withdrawals, these depend upon the country of origin, too. For Canadians, Visa, Instant e-Checks, Entropay, direct bank transfers, and wire transfers are all available. While there may be fees on the bank or credit card end of those transactions, PokerStars does not charge fees for withdrawals. Most are not instant, though, as several business days can be required to verify the amounts and the transfers.
PokerStars offers nearly every type of cash poker game available, from the standards of hold’em, Omaha, and draw games, to new variations like Badugi and numerous mixed games. Players can compete for as little as $.01/$.02 to high stakes games with hundred-dollar blinds. The Deal is a game brought over from Full Tilt that offers a progressive jackpot, with players accumulating StarsCoins through points to spin the wheel for cash of at least $25,000.
Tournaments on PokerStars are famous for their frequency, range of buy-ins, and big guarantees. Daily and Sunday tournaments regularly offer millions of dollars in guarantees, with events like the Sunday Storm, Warm-Up and Sunday Million regularly breaking records for staggering prize pools.
Zoom Poker offers fast-fold poker, and Spin & Go – along with Spin & Go Max – offer fast-paced, three-handed, hyper-turbo SNGs with the chance of winning up to 10,000 times the buy-in. During special offerings of the Spin & Gos, many million-dollar prizes have been awarded.
PokerStars first launched in September 2001 for play-money online poker, and real-money poker online became available by December 2001. The Scheinberg family of Israel started the company, called Rational Enterprises, in Costa Rica but soon moved it to Isle of Man. PokerStars immediately obtained a license from the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, followed by others in the European Union and Malta. Within a few years, the site was a serious competitor of PartyPoker for top-ranked site in the world.
When PartyPoker departed the United States market in 2006, PokerStars took over the number-one spot, but it eventually was forced out of the same US market in April 2011 on a day dubbed Black Friday. The US Department of Justice seized the PokerStars domain and all player funds and indicted the Scheinbergs. Eventually, the company recovered, paid all players, settled financially with the US government, and even bought the defunct Full Tilt Poker to repay its players. In 2016, it bought the defunct PKR poker site and repaid its players as well.
Amaya bought Rational Group in 2014, and the company then changed the brand to the Stars Group, launching an online casino site and sports betting platform to expand its reach.
- Is there a mobile version of PokerStars?
Yes. PokerStars is available for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Players can download from any store or by finding the PokerStars site via a web browser and choosing the correct mobile download from there. There is also a tournament manager app called PokerStars Clock, an app for PokerStars Live events, and one for PokerStars TV.
- When will PokerStars return to the United States?
PokerStars entered the state of New Jersey with a license to offer online poker. The company is ready to apply for more licenses depending upon each state’s laws and as licensing becomes available.
- Are there tutorials from Daniel Negreanu on the site?
Yes. There are tutorials from many of the members of Team PokerStars Pro, as well as others like actor/comedian Kevin Hart. PokerStars School provides a comprehensive site of lessons for everyone from beginners to advanced players with strategies and theories, videos, and charts.
- Does my PokerStars account with for casino games, too?
Yes. One PokerStars account gets a player access to the poker site and online casino games.
- What is the best way to contact PokerStars customer support?
PokerStars players have multiple ways to contact a customer service representative. There is an online FAQ and help section, as well as an online form. Emails can also be sent to support@PokerStars.com, and team members are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to answer questions. Responses are generally very quick.
- How do I download PokerStars?
Downloading PokerStars is the best way to play and can be done through its website or by clicking the link at the top of this page to ensure the correct bonus is selected and automatically applied.