Known to many in the world as the “home of poker,” PokerStars has established a great name in both the live and online poker world. It’s certainly one of the most recognizable brands around and the fact that Neymar Junior is their brand Ambassador does them great favors.
PokerStars is a multi-channel platform licensed in Malta, the UK, and certain US regions, offering the PokerStars Casino and Sports platforms over and above their iconic poker brand. This review will, however, take a deep dive into the poker platform exclusively, unveiling what players around the world can expect to receive from the exciting web package.
Getting Started at PokerStars – The PokerStars Download
Like all leading poker brands including GGPoker and Unibet, PokerStars is available when you download the software to your desktop or mobile device. This ensures that you can enjoy an enhanced card gaming experience with optimum server performance. But before you download the software, you should register a player account.
Create a Player Account in a Few Steps
- Head to the PokerStars homepage using our special link at the top or at the bottom of this review page.
- Click on the “Join” tab.
- Fill out your personal information to create your account.
- Once the registration process is complete, download the desktop, Android, or iOS software.
- Once the PokerStars download is installed, open the application and log in using your new account details.
Before you can play any games, you’ll need to top up your player account with funds. Simply head to the cashier’s page to complete the process.
As a first-class poker site, you shouldn’t be surprised that PokerStars tries to be as hospitable to new players as possible. As such, you’ll be able to enjoy various newcomers’ bonuses. These may vary from region to region.
1. Exclusive PokerStars UK £40 Free Play and Canada $30 Free Play
If you deposit £10/$20 or more, you’ll be given £40/$30 in free play credits to give you the kickstart you need. The promotion will be awarded over 6 days in the following way (Please note: The rewards are worked out in US dollars):
|Day||UK Bonus||Canada Bonus|
|Day 1||5x $1 Spin and Go Tickets||5x $1 Spin and Go Tickets|
|Day 2||5x $1 Spin and Go Tickets||5x $1 Spin and Go Tickets|
|Day 3||6x $2 Spin and Go Tickets||5x $1 Spin and Go Tickets|
|Day 4||$10 Cash Bonus||$5 Cash Bonus|
|Day 5||6x $2 Spin and Go Tickets||5x $1 Spin and Go Tickets|
|Day 6||$9 Cash Bonus||$5 Cash Bonus|
As with all casinos and poker bonuses, there are terms and conditions attached to the promotion. Here is a summary of the most important requirements you will need to know:
- The minimum deposit to qualify is £10/$20.
- Use the bonus code “FORTY” in the UK and “THIRTY” in Canada to claim the PokerStars promo.
- Tickets are only valid on Spin & Go Tourneys.
- All tickets issued are valid for only 24 hours.
- Players may not withdraw the bonus amount during the first 6 days of the promotion.
- You may withdraw any deposit funds and winnings made therefrom at any time.
- You must be the minimum age of 18 years or older to play.
Please note that your entry into Spin & Go tournaments allows you to compete for up to 10,000 times your buy-in amount. Be sure to go over the full terms and conditions of the deal before claiming the offer.
2. PokerStars Canada, US, Euro, and UK Deposit Match Bonus
Players from all over the world can partake in a special deposit match welcome bonus of 100% up to $600/£400/€500/C$600. This way, you can play any of the poker games on the platform. Simply make a $/£/€/C$10 deposit and earn redemption points as you play.
- Earn 5 points for every $1
- Earn 6.5 points per £1
- Receive 5.5 points per €1
- Earn 4 points per C$1
Once you have met certain redemption point milestones, the bonus money will be paid out to you in stages. See the table below for the bonus clearance rate in your currency:
|USD ($)||$5 for every 75 points|
|GBP (£)||£5 for every 90 points|
|EUR (€)||€5 for every 100 points|
|CAD (C$)||C$5 for every 75 points|
PokerStars continually updates its players with new leaderboards and promotions to partake in. Because they change so frequently, it’s best to visit the site’s promotion page to see what fresh deals are available now using our affiliate link above.
Star Rewards and PokerStars Rakeback
PokerStars has a rather unorthodox Rakeback system. You can earn up to 25% in rewards and earn 100 rewards points for every $1 paid in rake or game fees across all tournaments and cash games. You can also unlock monthly challenges and earn up to 40% in rewards. This means that the best players can win up to 65% back in collective rewards points. The points can then be redeemed for incentives, bonuses, and game credits.
PokerStars offers a stellar cast of both no-limit and pot-limit games where the rake ranges from 3.5% to 5%, depending on the stake/blinds on the table. Games vary from Texas Holdem to Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud, 5 Card Draw, and various bespoke variations of each. In fact, there are up to 18 sub-variants of each game type offered on the platform.
Tournaments and Leaderboards
There are 22 different tournament types available at PokerStars. PokerStars site explains them in detail. Look to the table below for the comprehensive list of tourney types on offer throughout the year:
|All-in Shootouts||Fifty50||6-Max and 4 Max|
|Heads-Up Tourneys||Hyper-Turbo||Phased Tourneys|
|Progressive Knockouts/Bounties||Rebuy Tourneys||Sit and Go|
|Spin and Go||Spin and Go Max||Win the Button|
|Zoom Tourneys||Guaranteed Tourneys|
While there are up to 15 or more tournaments on the go from month to month, there are 4 prominent annual competitions that you should know about. These draw massive crowds and provide the chance to play for hefty pots. They include:
- MicroMillions: MicroMillion is the largest low-stakes poker tournament at PokerStars. It offers one $4.5 million guaranteed tourney and two $1.5 million guaranteed tourneys. Events play out for buy-ins ranging from $1.10 to $22. In addition, there are MicroMillion Spin & Gos running during the ten days where the top prizes are $6,000 each.
- WCOOP: WCOOP stands for the “World Championship of Online Poker”. This includes a $100 million guaranteed pool with a $10 million guaranteed main event. There will also be $1 million in WCOOP giveaways and other special offers up for grabs.
- SCOOP: The Spring Championship of Online Poker is a major tourney with $75 million in guaranteed prize money up for grabs. There are over 300 events for buy-ins to suit every pocket. These range from $2.20 to $10,300.
- Turbo Series: This fast action-packed series poker tournament provides a $25 million guaranteed prize pool. The main events will include player battles for $2 million and $1 million in cash prizes.
Special Features – “PokerStars Learn”
For those who want to learn to play poker at their own pace or find out more about how to engage in various tournament types, ‘PokerStars Learn’ is the ideal tutor for you. Simply head to the page to find a course or tutorial to suit where you are at as a player. Newbies can learn more about poker rules and poker hands in the “New to Poker?” tab.
Placing deposits and withdrawing funds from PokerStars is a piece of cake. Simply head to the cashier’s page to check what options are available to you in your region. Below is a table of the most popular methods supported by the site. Please be aware that not all methods are accepted in every region. Players can engage using several currencies, including USD, CAD, GBP, and EUR.
|Local Bank Transfer||Yes||No|
|Direct Bank Transfer||No||Yes|
|PokerStars Top Up||Yes||No|
Withdrawal processing times are impressive at PokerStars. Many Visa and e-wallet withdrawals will be processed immediately, while bank transfers may take up to 24 hours to complete. You should allow between 3 and 10 days for the cash to reflect in your account. The time frames differ based on the payment solution you choose to use.
PokerStars has a great name in the industry. In fact, it is arguably the number one poker site in the world. It offers loads of tournaments and cash games with buy-ins and limits to suit every pocket. Its unconventional Rakeback system is one that might take some getting used to. While some don’t mind it, others prefer traditional Rakeback incentives instead of the rewards point earnings that PokerStars provides.