PokerStars - Review

PokerStars is the largest online poker site around.

Summary

Affiliate Reviews of PokerStars

Pros

  • World’s largest online poker site
  • Largest player pools
  • Available in many jurisdictions

Cons

  • Very high rake fees
  • They are so large and influential, they seem to care less about players and marketing partners

History

PokerStars is one of the oldest online poker sites around. The site was founded by Israeli-Canadian Mark Scheinberg and his father Isai Scheinberg. Isai was a computer programmer and PokerStars wet online in 2001. PokerStars rose to prominence with the boom of online poker and also thanks to the story of Chris Moneymaker who won the World Series of Poker in 2003. Chris won a seat to the main event of the WSOP which was worth $10,000 and was had for an $86 satellite tournament via PokerStars. Chris Moneymaker won the tournament and prize of $2.5 million which gave him instant fame but it also drew a large number of new players into the world of online poker. On August 1st, 2014, the parent company of PokerStars sold to Amaya Gaming (or Amaya Inc) for $4.9 billion in cash. The current company is known as The Stars Group.

Poker Games

PokerStars has a large selection of poker games that changes over time based on trends in the poker community. In the past few years, PokerStars has made more of an effort to add casino games which some professional poker players were not happy with. Casino games pull more EV out of players where more money goes to the house rather than at the table where professionals can extract more income. The PokerStars Casino games are not available to all countries and the parent company has made more of an effort to get softwares like Microgaming and Net Entertainment on board for their selection of table games, video poker and online slots.

A list of poker games and variations that is available currently on the site.

  • Texas Hold'em
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 5 Card Omaha
  • 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo
  • Courchevel
  • Courchevel Hi/Lo
  • Stud
  • Stud Hi/Lo
  • Razz
  • Five Card Draw
  • 2-7 Triple Draw
  • 2-7 Single Draw
  • HORSE
  • 8-Game Mix
  • Hold'em/Omaha
  • Badugi
  • Unfold Hold'em

Not all the online casino games are available in every jurisdiction. Players must see if their country is listed in the registration.

Welcome Bonus for new players

For the longest time ever, PokerStars has almost always had a 100% bonus up to $600 for new players registering on the site. The site does have various promotions at any given moment but the 100% bonus is their standard bonus that most players get to know.

A list of some of the bonuses the poker room offers

  • 100% signup bonus up to $600 with bonus code STARS600
  • $30 extra free play, deposit $20 to claim with bonus code THIRTY

The casino does have a separate signup bonus and these bonuses are not interchangeable and must be played at the poker room for the poker signup bonus, and the casino for the casino signup bonus.

Where to play

PokerStars can be played wherever you want, seriously! PokerStars can be played on Windows or Apple (Mac) computers via their download. When it comes to playing on mobile, the poker room can be played on their iOS app or Android app.

Licensing

PokerStars is currently licensed in the Isle of Man. They don’t have other licenses from the MGA or UKGC. PokerStars used to be operating out of Costa Rica when it first launched but has since changed to Isle of Man which is far more reputable.

From the PokerStars website about the company ownership and gaming license:

Copyright © 2001-2018, Rational Intellectual Holdings Limited. All rights reserved. Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, IM3 1DZ, Isle of Man. License renewed March 10, 2014. Online gambling is regulated in the Isle of Man

Ownership

The ownership listed on the site is Rational Intellectual Holdings Limited and Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited. The parent company that owns the site is known as The Stars Group which is based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The company employes 1800 people worldwide and also owns Full Tilt Poker, Sky Betting & Gaming and more PokerStars related brands like BetStars and PokerStars Casino.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Does PokerStars take US players?

PokerStars used to take US players. After the UIGEA, PokerStars remained in the US marketplace while publicly traded sites like Party Poker were legally compelled to leave. PokerStars didn’t stop taking US players until Black Friday happened in 2011 where PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker were all seized by the Department of Justice. PokerStars paid a large fine and settled with the government and has ceased operating in the United States ever since.

Question: Does PokerStars take Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency for payments?

PokerStars does not accept Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency payments.

Question: Can players multi-table at PokerStars?

Yes, in the download version of the website, players can play numerous tables at once.

Question: Does PokerStars offer online poker or bingo?

PokerStars has launched their PokerStars Casino and BetStars as casino and sportsbetting products but has no bingo games.

Question: Is there a VIP & loyalty rewards program for frequent players?

Yes, PokerStars has their Stars Rewards program where you earn points for every time you play for real money.

Question: What are the wagering requirements of the signup bonus?

You earn 5 redemption points for every $1 USD you pay in rake fees or tournament fees. For every 180 redemption points you get, you’ll get $10 bonus credited to your account and the $600 is added in increments of $10 each.

Question: What resources does PokerStars offer to help problem gamblers and for self-exclusion?

PokerStars links to GamCare and has a dedicated responsible gambling page to help users with a gambling problem. The site does offer the ability for players to self-exclude themselves.

Question: Does PokerStars have a refer a friend program?

PokerStars used to have a refer-a-friend program but it seems to be discontinued.

Question: How long does it take to receive a withdrawal from PokerStars?

Cashouts can take a day to a few business days depending in you withdrew using an ewallet or by bank wire.

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