PokerStars Review

Rating 82/100

editor's verdict

The Good

  • Excellent community of poker players
  • Offers most poker games
  • Top tournament options

what could be better

  • Faster payout options
  • Better new player bonuses
  • Not any casino game offerings

Poker Stars is one of the biggest online poker establishments in the world. It’s the destination for players looking for high quality cash games or to take part in some of the biggest tournaments from around the world.

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review summary

PokerStars is one of the most well-respected and recognizable names among all online poker sites. They have been in business as one of these online poker rooms since way back in 2000. This has given them the chance to see just about everything that could possibly happen in the world of online poker over the years.

Just like many of the other poker sites that originally catered to US players, they ended up leaving the American market. As of the end of 2014, rumor has it that they might be interested in returning as the laws in the 2018United States return to some sort of normalcy regarding making financial transactions between online poker rooms and the US financial system.

Even still, this is one of the top online poker websites offering real money cash and tournament games. You will find an amazing variety of types of games, probably much better than anywhere else, which is a definite advantage for poker pros who have more under their belt than just Texas Holdem. Bonuses could be a bit better and so could the level of competition, but this poker room is still among the best and is a nice place to play for players of all skill levels.

quick facts

Players from US accepted Us players accepted
  • Name: Poker Stars
  • Established: 2001
  • Licensed In: Isle of Man
  • Owned By: Amaya Inc.
  • Payout Speed: 3-5 days on average
  • Languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian
  • Currencies: CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD
  • Software type: N/A
  • Contact: support@pokerstars.com
  • Website: Poker Stars

rating breakdown

When searching for the best place to play poker online Poker Stars is a good option to try out. It boasts one of the largest online poker communities in the world. With more rooms, more variants and better tournaments than most of their competitors you’d do well to play at Poker Stars.

SOFTWARE

8

SECURITY

8

BANKING

8

trafic and competition

7

tournaments

7

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

9

RELIABILITY / TRUSTWORTHINESS

9

BONUSES / PROMOTIONS

8

detailed review

9 /10 Poker Games

The number of games offered at PokerStars is amazingly diverse. Just a quick look at this online poker site shows that in addition to the typical Texas Holdem, players may choose from at least nine other options. Heck, even a number of poker pros might not know how to play all of these options:

  • Texas Holdem
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi Lo
  • Stud
  • Stud Hi Lo
  • Razz
  • Five Card Draw
  • 2-7 Lowball
  • Badugi
  • Eight-Game

That is certainly quite a variety. Not only are the games offered amazingly diverse, but the stakes range from the very low all the up to the highest amounts imaginable. In short, if you are looking for a game, even a very particular game, this is the first choice among all online poker rooms offering real cash gaming action. Plus, given the level of traffic, you are likely to find a game at all hours, even among the lesser known varieties. Take this one warning, however, when playing one of those lesser known games at this online poker site, remember that you are very likely to be facing other skilled players, rather than someone who just decided to take a look at this curious game and give it a try.

Just as an aside, PokerStars offers an interesting feature with their downloaded software, called Home Game. This is essentially a place where can build a private game, in one of your own online poker rooms. Then, send invitations to your friends or whoever you like and play your own poker games at your own scheduled times. It could be just like having a home game, only no one needs to go out since everything is done right from the internet.

You are also able to play directly on your mobile phone or device. Simply download one of the apps and then start playing right on your tablet or Android, Windows, or Apple smart phone. It will work on your iPhone, iPad, or just about any other mobile device. You can even play using your Mac and its operating system by connecting the two together via another app. Almost all of the PokerStars mobile reviews state just how easy it is to play with your mobile device at this online poker site.

COMPATIBLE DEVICES

7 /10 cash games
tournament traffic

At one time PokerStars was the most popular online poker sites in the world. Of course, after things changed and they pulled out of the American market, that left a huge gaping hole in the traffic normally going to their online poker rooms. The company has been engaged in a rebranding campaign for the past few years and is doing a good job at regaining a good chunk of their lost traffic.

Even still, among poker sites, they have decent player traffic. Peak traffic times will probably see an average of about 1,500 or so real cash players to their websites. As far as tournament traffic, you are probably looking at about 6,500 or so players during top traffic conditions. You will not likely have any trouble finding a game.

One thing you must be careful of when playing at PokerStars, and really any other of the more popular online poker sites is that there will come a time when the poker websites start attracting just as many skilled players as they do new or inexperienced players. Obviously, having a lot of traffic is great, but you also want most of that traffic to consist of fish, or inexperienced players. If not, you may find yourself having some difficulty finding an exploitable game, instead running into a number of other skilled players rather than fish.

8 /10 bonuses / promotions

Another important area of consideration when choosing your online poker sites is the bonus and promotional offerings. In the case of PokerStars, to be honest, their bonus is only average. You will find that a 100% initial deposit bonus of up to $600 is decent, but there are better bonuses available elsewhere. It is cleared in increments of $10, which is pretty good and you do have up to 90 days to complete this process, which is more than fair and more time than many other online poker rooms give you. It is also one of the more fair bonus clearing processes when you consider the fact of receiving approximately 32% back on your rake.

Another nice feature offered at the PokerStars site is the fact that they do offer reload bonuses at different times throughout the year. While other poker sites do this as well, it is certainly a nice gesture and shows they do want to take care of loyal real cash players at their poker websites.

PokerStars also has a loyalty rewards program that is pretty decent among online poker sites. The system involves a number of tiers that you will earn by playing more (or at higher and higher stakes) and accumulating loyalty points. Which rewards you qualify for will depend on the tier level achieved. This could mean you have the chance playing in weekly, monthly, and quarterly freerolls valued at $30,000, $100,000, and $1 million, respectively. That could be a nice piece of change to take home some day.

8 /10 banking

There is a wide range of deposit methods offered to players at the PokerStars online poker sites. This includes being able to use most major credit and debit cards, a number of e-wallet systems (like NeTeller, uKash, Skrill, and others), direct bank transfers, wire services, and Western Union. Your specific country of residence might influence the total number of deposit and withdrawal methods open to you.

Obtaining a payout is also handled properly at these online poker rooms. In fact, PokerStars has one of the best fraud departments of all top poker websites. This also means payouts generally take between 48 and 72 hours. During your first attempt at making a withdrawal from this poker site, you might be asked to complete a special identity verification process. This normally will involve sending in (faxing or by email attachment) some documents to further prove your identity, like a passport or national identity card and possibly a recent utility bill in your name.

9 /10 Reputation

Yes, PokerStars does have a very strong reputation among the global online poker sites' community. They have excellent security and fraud checking and tracking systems and have in fact, found some groups engaged in cheating other players on their poker rooms (this was years ago) and they immediately dealt with the situation, making sure victims were compensated and the perpetrators were handed over to the authorities.

PokerStars is also considered among the top online poker websites in many other areas. They offer certainly the best range of poker games and are a great place to play for those looking to really test and improve their online poker skills. Bonuses are average, but they have some some strong promotions and tournaments which might make up for this in a lot of cases.

9 /10 customer service

You will find the customer support offered by PokerStars to be very responsive. It might be a bit surprising today when many other online poker sites have tons of different support options that this site only uses email. Even still it works. Looking at their help page shows PokerStars has about four or five different email addresses, depending on what your issue relates to. They do guarantee you a prompt response, typically within just a few hours.

This online poker room does not offer traditional 24/7 phone support. However, you can send in your email a request for phone support and they will give you a return call to discuss your issue. Incidentally, this support call may be handled in either English or Spanish. Everything about this website is also highly secure to ensure the guaranteed safety of your personal information and financial transactions.

WHY POKER STARS IS WORTH TRYING

Poker Stars is worth trying out because it’s one of the largest online poker communities and offers the most variety to poker players. Whether you are new or seasoned there is a lot to love about this online poker room. The casino has been in business for more than a decade and offers a clean interface that’s simple to use and highly reliable to play. With more tables to choose from and more game types to try out you’ll have plenty to do each time that you log in. The site is built on top quality software and the user community is large enough for you to enjoy a range of poker types and games at all hours of the day and night.

  • Reason 1: Massive player base
  • Reason 2: Widest range of poker variations
  • Reason 3: High profile tournaments
  • Reason 4: Plenty of easy players to go against