PokerStars is one of the biggest poker sites in the world, with a huge player base and a bar-setting standard of trust and quality. Since it hit the web in 2000, PokerStars has developed a huge following. They are, by far, the most heavily populated poker site online at this time.
With well over 150,000 poker players in their player base, they also have a good roster of big name poker pros on the payroll as well, which has helped them build their brand.
Poker Stars has excellent security in place for their players, and after a highly publicized cheating scandal several years ago, they clamped down even further to ensure players were playing poker fairly and securely.
New Player Bonuses
Update Oct 29 ’14 – PokerStars have recently changed the terms for their welcome bonus which has reduced the potential of it for new players. Details on these changes can be read here. This change is the latest since the company was purchased by the Amaya group. There have been several other changes recently that have not been positive for players. It is rumored that there will also be upcoming changes to their VIP program. If you’re thinking about playing at PokerStars, it would be good to wait 6 months to see how these changes unfold.
New players making their first deposit can use the bonus code ‘STARS600’, and PokerStars will give you a 100% bonus up to $600. To make this offer more enticing, PokerStars allows you to make three qualifying deposits in 60 days.
They also offer a deposit bonus for $20 of free play, you just have to use the code ‘FREE20’ and your account will also be credited with a ticket to play the 100K Privilege Freerolls.
PokerStars has one of the most functional and easy to navigate sites in the industry. They were also ground breakers in the online poker community, offering the first resizable tables which drew in a huge crowd of semi-pro players that wanted a better way to play at multiple tables. They offer the usual bells and whistles in terms of customization – tables, avatars and cards can all be personalized.
PokerStars has a massive selection of different game variants as well, including No-Limit Hold’em games, Pot-Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven-Card and Five-Card Stud, as well as less common ones such as Razz, H.O.R.S.E., Five Card Draw and Deuce to Seven Triple Draw.
For your in-game experience, PokerStars has some great features. Players can access hand data while they are playing and their custom software gives you stats from the last 200 hands, in addition to handy notes on other players and percentages of action in different hands. There are cool features like an auto-rebuy for ring games and keyboard shortcuts.
Tournaments and Promotions
PokerStars features some of the most popular and huge tournaments in online poker. The PokerStars Sunday Million is one of the most renowned tourneys in the poker community, with a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool and first prize regularly in excess of $150,000. They also run a ton of satellite tournaments to most of the big live and online events, including the WSOP.
PokerStars also runs plenty of promotions, with new ones every month. They also have tournaments and an ongoing package just for women players, with exclusive games and tournaments with some of their female poker pros.
As far as loyalty programs go, PokerStars is on par with all the other major rooms, with two different types of points you can earn; VIP player points (VPPs) and Frequent Player Points (FPPs). FPPs will build and earn you status in their seven-tiered VIP rewards program. All players start as Bronze Star level, and can play their way up to the highest level which is a concierge style level known as Supernova Elite.
Customer Support at PokerStars is fairly standard for the industry. They have particularly fast email response times which makes up for the fact that they don’t have 24/7 phone service.