PokerStars Review

Sign Up Bonus: 100% up to $600
Approved Approved Poker Room

Pros and Cons

  • Largest online poker room in the world, plenty of action.
  • Most plentiful selection of poker game types online.
  • Biggest tournaments available for most games.
  • Software is among the best options for players.
  • Very reputable with great track record in online poker.
  • Competition is generally better than average.
  • Not quite as player-friendly as they used to be.
  • No live chat option.

Expert View of PokerStars

PokerStars is the gold standard in online poker — they have the most traffic and largest tournaments, feature one of the best VIP programs and are the safest online poker room in the world. For this reason, PokerStars should probably be the first poker room you play if you are a new player.

BetOnline Poker Review
  • Third largest U.S. facing poker room with growing traffic.
  • Excellent and consistent payment processing.
  • Relatively juicy games.
You can read more in our BetOnline Review

PokerStars Summary

PokerStars poker room livePokerStars is the world’s largest online poker room, some 8 times larger than its closest competitor in terms of traffic.  As the world’s largest site, PokerStars offers the largest cash game and tournament selection of any online poker site. You can find action at almost any poker game at many limits. Tens of millions of tournament guarantees are offered each month, with the Sunday Million continuing its tradition as an online poker institution. All of this is before mentioning how PokerStars is also a leader in innovation, bring products like Spin and Go and Home Games to the online poker world.

In addition to having the world’s largest online poker room, they also have the best reputation of any online poker site. Launched in 2001, PokerStars has been at the top of heap in a variety of categories that are the most important to players –  software, games, promotions, VIP program – the list goes on. Simply put, PokerStars is  extremely trusted and well run room that has most of what online poker players want in an online poker room.

New players can that sign-up to PokerStars can take advantage of a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus, while frequent players can continue to enjoy the rewards of one of the best VIP programs in online poker.

A Personal Opinion of PokerStars

What I do not like about PokerStars

PokerStars is a very well rounded online poker room, making it difficult to say anything negative about them. If there is a complaint to make about the poker room it is that the games can be more difficult than average due to a relatively skilled player base.

What PokerStars Players are Saying

There is a reason why PokerStars has grown from a top online poker site to now eight times larger than the next largest site and larger than the other top 15 sites combined. Ask any seasoned online poker player which poker room you should play and the site they likely will mention first will be PokerStars. Players love PokerStars because they are the online poker mecca — all the biggest online poker games and tournaments happen here while having many of the best features, software and promotions as well.

As with any online poker site, you will see complaints about PokerStars but the percentage of satisfied players is likely greater at PokerStars than virtually any other online poker site.

Just because a poker room has a clean record, doesn’t mean there can’t be issues in the future. If you have a problem or know about a problem with PokerStars, please let us know about it.

Depositing and Withdrawing at PokerStars

A+

You can make a deposit on PokerStars with as little as $10 through a huge selection of safe and secure payment options. When depositing at PokerStars, you can do so through the desktop client or the mobile platform.Common payment methods include many of the options you would expect including Neteller, Skrill, Visa, Mastercard and Entropay. Region specific methods are also offered based on your location. Russia depositors, for instance, can make deposits with Webmoney, Moneta.ru and others in addition to those options available everywhere. For a full list of payment options available for your country, see the Real Money deposit options page.

In addition to making a deposit with all these methods, if you have a Full Tilt Poker account, you may transfer funds between either brand.  Fast Deposit options will allow you to make deposits from the poker table with supported methods.

When it comes time to make a withdrawal, you will also be given a large selection of choices. You may be asked to withdraw through the same method you made your deposit before withdrawing.

Notable Payment Processors
  • check
  • mastercard
  • visa
  • neteller
  • skrill
Deposits
  • check
  • visa
  • wiretransfer
  • neteller
  • skrill
Withdrawals
Other Processors: Entropay / Paysafecard / Instadebit / Bank Transfer / Webmoney

If you have any questions about depositing or withdrawing on PokerStars, contact support at support@pokerstars.com or live support request by emailing dad@pokerstars.com.

PokerStars Safety

PokerStars already experienced a worse-case scenario when authorities from the United United States indicted the owners of the company in 2011 for operating in the country. They handled the situation with the highest class and paid players within a couple weeks. They have only grown stronger since those events.

PokerStars is now owned by Amaya Gaming and seems as though they will continue to be running the company at the highest level.  Not only is PokerStars the largest site by nearly 10x  but their aggressive expansion into new markets means it’s very safe to say that PokerStars is not going anywhere and players can play on this site with full confidence.

There is a reason why PokerStars has grown from a top online poker site to now eight times larger than the next largest site and larger than the other top 15 sites combined. Ask any seasoned online poker player which poker room you should play and the site they likely will mention first will be PokerStars. Players love PokerStars because they are the online poker mecca — all the biggest online poker games and tournaments happen here while having many of the best features, software and promotions as well.

As with any online poker site, you will see complaints about PokerStars but the percentage of satisfied players is likely greater at PokerStars than virtually any other online poker site.

Is Poker Stars Legit?

Is the sky blue? Yes, PokerStars is legit, perhaps the most reliable and safe online poker room in the world.

PokerStars Bonuses

Welcome Bonus

Bonus Breakdown

100% up to $600

  • $20 Free Play
  • Clear: 200 VPP per $10

PokerStars welcome bonusPokerStars offers new players a 100% up to $600 bonus on a first deposit using the bonus code: STARS600.  In addition to the bonus being cleared in dollars, the bonus also be can be earned in other currencies (tied closely to the USD currency conversion).  If you don’t have enough to deposit for the maximum bonus on your first try, you may deposit up to three times to claim the entire bonus within 60 days.

The bonus clears at a rate of 200 VPPs for every $10 of pending bonus.  Players earn 5.5 VPPs for every $1 in rake paid, according to the weighted contributed method, which means that rake is attributed to the players based on the percentage that is contributed to the pot.

Sit and gos and multi table tournaments credit 5.5 VPPs for every $1 in house fees.  A $10+$1 tournament, for example, would award a player 5.5 VPPs.  This is equivalent to 27.5% rakeback.  New depositing players will also receive 31 tickets to daily $1,000 freerolls during the first month of real money play.

Free Play Bonus

PokerStars free playAs an alternative to the 100% up to $600 first deposit bonus, if you deposit using bonus code THIRTY you will be awarded $30 in free play within 36 hours which you can use at the real money cash games and tournaments. If you are taking advantage of this offer, you must use it with the intention of playing real money games. This means you cannot simply withdraw the bonus once it has been credited.

PokerStars VIP Program

The PokerStars VIP program is the most prestigious in the world for its extensive perks and lucrative cash rewards, which award up to 75% at the highest levels.

The VIP program consists of seven levels, with most levels achieved by monthly FPPs earned.  All players start out their VIP journey at BronzeStar with the largest generating players reaching SuperNova Elite. Players that obtain this tier are among the highest regarded in the world of online poker.  In addition to large rewards, Supernova Elites also receive a VIP host known as a concierge.

Every VIP tier has its own rewards, but generally speaking the more you play, the larger the rewards will be. Perks range from FPP multipliers to bonuses, milestone rewards, and free entries into major events.  There is no other online poker VIP program like the one PokerStars offers.

PokerStars VIP Bonus Tip

Players may convert FPPs into cash, tournament tickets or merchandise. Lower level VIP players receive VIP Stellar Rebates and VIP Reward Bonuses from the VIP Store. Higher generating players (those that reach the SuperNova and SuperNova Elite statuses) earn VIP Stellar Rewards and Milestone Bonuses.

A full list of the PokerStars VIP perks can be found below.

PokerStars VIP Program (Bronze – Gold)
Bronze Star Chrome Star Silver  Star Gold Star
Point Requirement None 100 VPPs 500 VPPs 2,500 VPPs
Return 9%-15% 9%-15% 9%-25% 19%-26%
FPPs per VPP 1 1 1.5 2
VIP Stellar Rebates Up to $10 Up to $100 Up to $300 Up to $900
Milestone Rebates None None None None
VIP Reward Bonuses $10 / 1,000 FPPs $10 / 1,000 FPPs $25 / 2,250 FPPs $75 / 6,250 FPPs
Store Merchandise x x x x
Tournament Tickets x x
Live Event Packages
Prioritized Support
Live Event Benefits
FPP Tourneys x x x x
$100k Privilege FR x x x
Weekly $5k VIP Tourney x x x
Weekly $30k VIP Tourney x x x
Monthly VIP Bash Satellites x x x
Monthly $100k VIP Tourney Satellites x
Weekly Sunday Million Sats.
Quarterly Million VIP Tourney Satellites
PokerStars VIP Program (Platinum, Supernova, Supernova Elite)
Platinium Star Supernova Supernova Elite
Point Requirement 7,500 VPPs 100,000 VPPs/year 1,000,000 VPPs/year
Return 23%-31% 28%-52% 54%-75%
FPPs per VPP 2.5 3.5 5
VIP Stellar Rebates Up to $1,000 $1,200 $1,200
Milestone Rebates None Up to $23,200 At least $43×200
VIP Reward Bonuses $200 / 15,400 FPPs $1,600 / 100,000 FPPs $1,600 / 100,000 FPPs
Store Merchandise x x x
Tournament Tickets x x x
Live Event Packages x x x
Prioritized Support x x
Live Event Benefits x x
FPP Tourneys x x x
$100k Privilege FR x x x
Weekly $5k VIP Tourney x x x
Weekly $30k VIP Tourney x x x
Monthly VIP Bash Satellites x x x
Monthly $100k VIP Tourney x x x
Weekly Sunday Million Sats. x x x
Quarterly Million VIP Tourney Satellites x x

PokerStars Promotions and Special Offers

PokerStars has a very large promotion budget, offering many unique promotions not seen on any other online poker sites. We’ve already told you about the lucrative bonus and VIP programs as well as the largest tournaments in online poker. They also offer a selection of region-specific promotions. If you are a PokerStars player, you will definitely want to keep an eye on their promotions page at PokerStars.com.

$100k Privilege Freerolls

Make a deposit on PokerStars each month and get entry to four $1,000 freerolls every day for 31 days, a total of $100,000 in freerolls. In addition to these freerolls, once you reach the ChromeStar level, you can earn purchase tickets from the VIP store. Freerolls run each day at 4 AM, 10 AM, 3 PM and 9 PM ET.

Home Games

More than 1.3 million players have joined PokerStars Home Games, a way for you to create clubs and home games for you and your friends. Features include club management tools, leaderboards, stats, schedules, results and much more — all completely free when joining PokerStars.

Play Money Promos

PokerStars play moneyIf you aren’t ready for the real money games yet, PokerStars features one of the best play money poker rooms as well. All players start out with 1,000 chips and you can purchase up to 75 million chips for $99.99 or replenish your chips 1,000 at a time, up to 3 times per hour.

There is even a Billionaire Club VIP Club for those that earn a billion play money chips.

PokerStars Game Selection

As the largest poker room in the world, PokerStars offers almost any game imaginable.  In addition to the standard Texas Hold’em action, players will find numerous games at virtually any limit at Omaha, Omaha High/Low, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low, Razz, Triple Stud, Five Card Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, 2-7 Single Draw, Five Card Omaha, Courchevel and Badugi.  There are also many versions of mixed games at PokerStars.  Most games are offered in 2, 6 and 9 seat versions while Stud games cap at 8 seats.

No Limit Texas Hold’em

No Limit Texas Hold’em games are spread in short stack, standard stack and deep stack varieties.  There are also games with antes.  Short stacks feature buy-ins between 25-50 big blinds , standard stack games have a 40-100 buy-in range and deep stack games require players to buy-in for 100-250 big blinds.

Zoom Tables

PokerStars ZoomPokerStars Zoom Tables are also quite popular with games available at the No Limit Hold’em, Omaha and Draw tables up to $50/$100.  Zoom, like other fast-fold games, allow you to be immediately moved to a new table once your hand ends.

The games can be found within the cash games or through the “Zoom” tab.

Sit and Gos

Sit and gos are also a big business for PokerStars.  There are countless varieties for players to choose across all games – many of them active — offered by the world’s most popular poker site.  In addition to standard sit and gos with a structured payout, there are Fifty50 sit and gos where half of the prize pool is based on chip counts and the other half is split equally among remaining players. Other sit and go varieties at PokerStars include knockouts, steps, turbos, hyper turbos and a large selection of satellites. Some tournaments also feature antes.

PokerStars sit and gos are offered with buy-ins starting at pennies up into the tens of thousands of dollars. You can even enter certain designated sit n gos with frequent player points. Sit and gos are available with 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 18, 27, 45, 90, 180 and 360 seats – with some of the larger entry sit n gos feeling more like a multi-table tournament.

Tournaments

PokerStars tournamentsPokerStars offers dozens of multi table tournaments every hour with tournaments available at almost every game from favorites like No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha to more niche games like Pot Limit Badugi to HORSE.  Not only is there tons of variety of the games, but the buy-ins and prize pools are all over the map.

Buy-ins at PokerStars tournaments start as low as $0.11 and run up to $1050.  The weekends are when things get really exciting for tournament players with extra tournaments and larger prize pools. Sundays offer twelve massive guaranteed prize pools.  The feature is the Sunday Million with a $215 buy-in but there are also eight other tournaments guaranteeing over $100,000. It goes without saying but life changing money may be won at PokerStars on any given day.

PokerStars offers the World Championship of Online Poker series.  It is the largest tournament series in online poker and grows each year.  The guaranteed prize pool for the 2015 events is $45 million with a $10,000,000 guaranteed Main Event. There is a good chance even more will be paid out once the tournament series has been completed.

Games Offered
  • No Limit Hold’em
  • Fixed Limit Hold’em
  • Pot Limit Omaha
  • Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
  • Stud
  • 0.01 / 0.02
    0.02 / 0.05
    0.05 / 0.10
    0.08 / 0.16
    0.10 / 0.25
    0.25 / 0.50
    0.50 / 1.00
    1 / 2
    2 / 4
    3 / 6
    5 / 10
    10 / 20
    25 / 50
    50 / 100
    100 / 200
    200 / 400
  • 0.02 / 0.04
    0.05 / 0.10
    0.10 / 0.20
    0.25 / 0.50
    0.50 / 1.00
    1 / 2
    2 / 4
    3 / 6
    5 / 10
    10 / 20
    15 / 30
    30 / 60
    50 / 10
    100 / 200
  • 0.01 / 0.02
    0.02 / 0.05
    0.05 / 0.10
    0.10 / 0.25
    0.25 / 0.50
    0.50 / 1.00
    1 / 2
    2 / 4
    3 / 6
    5 / 10
    10 / 20
    25 / 50
    50 / 100
    100 / 200
    200 / 400
  • 0.01 / 0.02
    0.02 / 0.05
    0.05 / 0.10
    0.10 / 0.25
    0.25 / 0.50
    0.50 / 1.00
    1 / 2
    2 / 4
    3 / 6
    5 / 10
    10 / 20
  • 0.04 / 0.08
    0.10 / 0.20
    0.25 / 0.50
    0.50 / 1
    1 / 2
    2 / 4
    3 / 6
    5 / 10
    10 / 20
    30 / 60
    100 / 200
Items in red bold represent limits that have games running. Limits are in $USD.
BetOnline Poker Review
  • Third largest U.S. facing poker room with growing traffic.
  • Excellent and consistent payment processing.
  • Relatively juicy games.
You can read more in our BetOnline Review

PokerStars FAQ

Has there ever been a scandal at PokerStars?

PokerStars was indicted by the US Department of Justice on April 15, 2011; however, it can hardly be called a scandal.  The poker room paid all US players as soon as it was allowed.  PokerStars began processing US player cashouts 10 days after the indictments were unsealed.  A year later, they paid a $731 million settlement to the US Government that included a bailout of Full Tilt Poker players.  There has not been an online poker room in history that covered a failed poker room to the extent that PokerStars did.  PokerStars was well respected before Black Friday, but how they handled themselves after the events of 2011 by saving poker players millions of dollars only strengthened their position as a poker room with the highest class.

What poker network is PokerStars a part of?

PokerStars is an independent, standalone platform. PokerStars is by far the largest poker site in the world. According to Pokerscout.com, PokerStars averages about 15,000 players at any given time.  It peaks at around 25,000 players daily, depending on the season. Parent company Amaya Gaming also owns Full Tilt Poker, but they do not share a player pool.

How do players deposit at PokerStars?

PokerStars offers a huge selection of deposit option for players in virtually any county.  Top deposit methods include Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Entropay, Neteller, Skrill, Paypal, electronic check, PokerStars prepaid card, Ukash, PaySafeCard, paper check and wire transfer.  PokerStars knows its customer base well and provides many localized methods as a convenience to players.  These include more regional methods such as national debit cards and Webmoney.

How do I withdraw from PokerStars?

PokerStars pays out by Neteller, Skrill, Paypal, Entropay, Ukash, electronic check, check by mail, and bank wire.  Players in select countries may also withdraw by debit and credit cards. Players can also transfer funds from their Full Tilt Poker account.

What is PokerStars’s first deposit bonus?

Players can take advantage of a 100% up to $600 first deposit bonus at PokerStars. The PokerStars bonus clears at a rate of 20 VPPs for every $1 in bonus and releases in $10 increments.  This makes it equivalent to 27.5% rakeback. Players have 60 days to clear the bonus.

What is the difference between VPPs and FPPs?

VPPs are the base points that determine a player’s VIP tier and are also used to clear bonuses but have no actual value. Players earn 5.5 VPPs for every $1 in contributed rake or tournament fees paid. FPPs, on the other hand, are points that can be spent and used in the VIP Store and in tournaments.  As you move up in levels in the PokerStars VIP program, you will earn more FPPs according to a FPP multiplier – up to 5x the rate at which FPPs are earned.

Does PokerStars offer reload bonuses?

PokerStars offers occasional reload bonuses, which are posted on their promotional page and through promotional mailers. Some of the recent PokerStars reload bonuses have been variable, with some players receiving reloads up to $10,000.

What games are available at PokerStars?

PokerStars offers the widest game selection of any poker site.  Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha High/Low, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low, Razz, Five Card Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, 2-7 Single Draw, Five Card Omaha, Courchevel and Badugi.  There are also a variety of mixed games including 8-game and HORSE.

Where can I get PokerStars rakeback?

Rakeback at PokerStars is not allowed. However, the VIP program offered at PokerStars is the next best thing with very large rewards for the most frequent players. Players can exchange their FPPs for cash, tournament tickets and bonuses.

Where is PokerStars licensed?

The main license of PokerStars is held by the Isle of Man.  The company also holds licenses in a number of other countries, which includes the ring fenced markets of Spain, Italy, and France.

Can I modify PokerStars tables?

As the world’s largest sites, there is tons of interest from players to mod the tables at PokerStars. You can find these mods available at many sites including this one.

Does poker tracking software work on PokerStars?

PokerStars allows most tracking software as long as it does not suggest proper plays.  Allowable third party software includes PokerTracker, Holdem Manager, Omaha Manager and a number of HUDs.

Is data mining allowed on PokerStars?

Data mining software is strictly prohibited on PokerStars.

Can I play on PokerStars from a Mac Client?

A full dedicated client can be downloaded on your Mac computer.

Is there a mobile PokerStars platform?

Yes, the PokerStars mobile app is available to players in certain countries on iOS and Android.  Players may even deposit right in the mobile app.

How can I reach PokerStars customer support?

You can reach PokerStars via email at support@pokerstars.com. If you have a general question, your question may be answered in the Help and Support section at PokerStars.

Does PokerStars offer live support?

PokerStars does not offer live support, except for deposit assistance, which may be requested by contacting dad@pokerstars.com.

How many tables can PokerStars players open?

Players can play up to 24 tables at one time on PokerStars. You may be able to request your table numbers increased by contacting PokerStars at support@pokerstars.com.

Does PokerStars operate in New Jersey?

PokerStars received approval for its interactive gaming license in New Jersey on September 30, 2015.  The New Jersey PokerStars website launched in 2016. New Jersey players will be ring fenced from the PokerStars international player pool.

Does PokerStars accept U.S. players?

PokerStars has not accepted U.S. players since April 15, 2011. With the recent approval by New Jersey, PokerStars can now operate and accept players from within the state.

Which other countries are banned at PokerStars?

In addition to the United States, PokerStars bans players from Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia and some smaller countries.