PokerStars Review

pokerstars review
Why should you join:
  • Exclusive deposit bonus
  • Our private freeroll league
  • Up to 65% rakeback
  • Biggest tournaments around
  • Vast selection of cash games
  • Different poker variations available 24/7
* get exclusive bonus just for our players

PokerStars Review – Can You Still Make Money In This Legit Room?

PokerStars is one of the longest-standing online poker sites with a reputation that precedes it. It is by far the best-known poker room on the global scale that operated almost without real competition for a number of years.

Featuring a top-quality platform, great mobile apps, and still the best MTT schedule you'll find anywhere, it continues to dominate the global market, even with some serious competitors like GGPoker entering the scene.

In this PokerStars review, I'll try to answer all the questions you may have about this operator, including the most important ones, like: is PokerStars legit, and can you still make money playing on the site. Without any further ado, let's get straight into it.

PokerStars Pros:

  • Two welcome bonuses: 100% up to $600 or $30 in free play
  • Loyalty program offering up to 65% rakeback
  • Great selection of poker variations
  • Rich MTT schedule with big guarantees
  • Cash games ranging from $0.01/0.02 to $200/400

Exclusive PokerStars Welcome Bonus & Player Rewards

PokerStars offers a couple of interesting options for new players in terms of the welcome bonus offer. You can take your pick, but you can’t get both, so this is worth some time and consideration when signing up.

100% up to $600 on First Deposit

The first bonus is your standard 100% up to $600 offer, which you’ll unlock as you play cash games and participate in real money tournaments and pay the rake. Like most poker bonuses, this one is released in increments.

Every time you collect 75 redemption points, $5 of the bonus is released into your real money account. Points are collected at the rate of five points for every $1 paid in rake, which means you get 30% effective rakeback while the bonus is active.

To take advantage of this PokerStars welcome bonus, use the bonus code ‘STARS600’ when depositing.

$30 Welcome Bundle

The other option is geared more towards recreational players and those looking to build their bankroll up from a small deposit.

When you deposit $20 or more and use the bonus code ‘THIRTY,' you will receive a welcome bundle worth a total of $30. The bundle is distributed across the first six days of play, as follows:

  • Days 1, 2, and 3 – five $1 Spin & Go tickets each day (15 in total)
  • Day 4 – Cash bonus of $5
  • Day 5 – five more $1 Spin & Go tickets
  • Day 6 – the final $5 cash bonus

There are no special restrictions or hidden terms that you need to worry about when taking this bonus. Anything you win from Spin & Go's is transferred directly to your real money account without any wagering requirements.

The cash portion of the bonus can be used with no restrictions on cash game tables or to enter any and all MTTs on the schedule.

How to Claim Your PokerStars Welcome Bonus

To get started with PokerStars, you'll first need to download the software from the site and install it on your computer. That process is pretty simple and straightforward.

To begin, visit the PokerStars site and click the green download button to download the client to your computer:

PokerStars review download

Once the software is installed, a window will pop up, where you'll be able to log in with an existing account, or open a new one if you don't have one already:

PokerStars Sign Up

Click on the green ‘Sing Up' text to begin the process of opening a new PokerStars account. On the next two screens, you'll need to enter some basic information, like your desired alias, password, and email:

PokerStars Open Account - Step 1

When you enter all the correct information and tick all the boxes that you agree with terms and services, click on the green ‘Create Account' button:

PokerStars Open Account - Step 2

Once your account is created, you'll be able to log in from the initial screen, using the combination of the user name and password you selected. You're now ready to deposit and claim the bonus.

Navigate to the cashier section of the software:

When the new window opens up, select the deposit method you'd like to use to transfer funds to your new PokerStars account:

PokerStars review Deposit Step 2

Select the method and enter the amount you wish to deposit:

Depending on the selected method, enter the required information (log-in for your e-wallet or credit card information, confirm the transaction, and the money will be transferted to PokerStars.

That's it! A new window will pop up, letting you know the money is now ready in your cashier and you can join the action at the tables!

New and Improved VIP System: Get up to 65% Rakeback on PokerStars in 2021

Back in the day, PokerStars was known as one of the most rewarding poker rooms around. It was extremely reg-friendly, giving grinders ample opportunities to make a lot of money in rakeback if they put in enough volume.

Over the past few years, the operator came under some fire for the changes that saw them shift more towards recreational players, significantly lowering the value of their loyalty program.

Luckily, we are happy to report in this PokerStars review for 2021 that the operator has made a U-turn and revamped their loyalty scheme to once again cater to regular players.

The new loyalty scheme consists of two core elements:

  • VIP Tiers and Chests (accounting for 15% – 25% in rakeback)
  • Monthly challenges adding another 40%

So, according to this math, the maximum rakeback you can expect to get on PokerStars is 65%, which is very competitive and represents one of the best offers you’ll find anywhere.

The loyalty program is divided into six tiers, and it is still based on Chests. These Chests now contain fixed monetary amounts, which represent a percentage of your rake that increases with each new level:

Chest

Value

Rakeback %

Monthly Challenges %

Total rakeback

Blue

$0.50

15%

N/A

15%

Bronze

$1.50

16%

N/A

16%

Silver

$5

17.5%

40%

57.5%

Gold

$20

18.5%

40%

58.5%

Diamond

$75

20%

40%

60%

Black

$250

25%

40%

65%

Monthly poker challenges are available to all players with no discrimination. As soon as you reach the Silver level (after opening five Chests at each of the previous two levels), you'll qualify for the challenges, which will give you a chance to earn an additional 40% in rakeback.

PokerStars rewards - chests

With the new program, PokerStars had edged ahead of their biggest competitors, GGPoker and partypoker, bringing back the good old days when grinders were in focus.

PokerStars Review 2021: Quality New Software

For the purposes of this PokerStars review, I  took a deep dive into the operator’s software solution, and I must say I’m impressed.

PokerStars has always been at the forefront of the online poker industry in terms of the gaming platform, as it was way ahead of what anyone else was doing. But, implementing their new Aurora graphics engine, the room has outdone itself.

The only small caveat I'll mention before moving on to the good stuff is that these changes do come with a price. You need a pretty solid PC if you want to run this program with all graphics options enabled.

That being said, the experience is definitely worth it.

The new PokerStars 2021 design really highlights what modern online poker is all about. The sleek black lobby provides quick and easy access to all the different options available on the platform, and there are many to talk about.

Personalization Options

Clicking on your avatar in the top-right corner, you’ll get access to the page containing different personalization options to help you set up your online poker experience. The number of features is really big, so this PokerStars review should help you find your way around.

First of all, under the Global tab, you can change some important aspects of the client, including the language. PokerStars is available in English, German, Spanish, French, Polish, Croatian, and more – so even if you don’t know English, you can fully enjoy your experience on the room.

PokerStars personalization options

The ‘Table Appearance’ tab is the most interesting one. Here, you can choose from many different table and card themes, turn on the four-color deck, and fine-tune any animations you'd like to see while playing.

This includes turning on and off the “Throwables,” one of the latest addition to the PokerStars software, giving you access to various objects that you can throw at other players at the tables.

It doesn’t matter how serious you are about poker, these are fun to have!

PokerStars throwables

Under this tab, you can configure some other important options, such as:

  • Auto rebuy
  • Run-it twice (which is now available across PokerStars cash games)
  • All-in cashout – a cool feature that allows you to cash out your equity when all in, which means you don’t have to worry about two outers hitting on the river.
  • Hotkeys
  • Various multi-tabling options

All in all, the new software really gives you a chance to personalize your experience and set things just the way you like them. This is by far the highest level of customization offered by any poker room out there.

Lobby Options & Filters

The main lobby makes it easy to access all sorts of different games and formats almost effortlessly. The room has done a great job of categorizing everything into the most popular categories, but there are additional filters available for fine-tuning your results as well.

As you open the client, you’ll see several tabs offering access to all the main sections, such as:

  • Cash games
  • Tournaments
  • Zoom
  • Sit & Go
  • Spin & Go
  • 6+ Hold’em
  • Tempest

In each individual lobby, you'll have access to further dropdown menus and additional filters to narrow down your search by the game type, stakes' range, number of seats at the table, the particular format you might be interested in (cap, ante games), and more.

PokerStars review cash game lobby

Granted, these filters can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get used to them, they’re really useful. Plus, since most people have their favorite games, once you set them up, you’ll have only the games you’re interested in appearing in the lobby.

PokerStars Game Variety: The Absolute Market Leader

If there is one thing that really deserves to be highlighted in this PokerStars review, that’s the operator's willingness to innovate and try new things. This online poker room offers by far the greatest variety of poker types and game options.

Cash Game Action

Whatever your taste may be, PokerStars offers a wide array of cash game tables across the board, with stakes starting as low as $0.01/$0.02 and going up to $200/$400 for the most popular formats like No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha.

However, if you’re looking for a more niche variation, this is where you’ll find it. PokerStars also spreads games like 5 and 6 Card Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Razz, Badugi, 2-7 Triple and Single Draw, and 5 Card Draw. There are also different mixed games tables.

If you’re looking to play Short Deck Hold’em, you’ll find these games in their own lobby in the client. Stakes start at $0.02/$0.02 (button blind and ante) and go up to $200/$200.

Short Deck on PokerStars

For those who prefer faster-paced action, there is Zoom. These are fast-fold tables where you are dealt into a new hand as soon as you fold. Zoom games are offered for Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha, with stakes topping at $10/$20.

Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs)

When trying to answer is PokerStars legit, it’s enough to look at their MTT schedule, player numbers, and guarantees. The platform remains the best option by far for tournament players across all stakes, with no exceptions.

From freerolls and micro-stakes tournaments with buy-ins of $1.10 and under to high-roller events with buy-ins of $1,050, you'll find a variety of MTTs every single day.

Then, there are various tournament series like Micro Millions, WCOOP, SCOOP, and more, with boosted guarantees and even bigger fields.

PokerStars KO MTTs

A particularly popular MTT format on PokerStars these days is the so-called knockout or KO. These are tournaments where eliminating players wins you cash bounties, and Stars offers a variety of these events.

There are traditional KOs as well as progressive ones, where your own bounty increases with every elimination. This adds interesting dynamics to these tournaments and makes them very attractive to regulars and recs alike.

Spin & Go Phenomenon

Probably one of the most popular, if not the most popular, game format offered on PokerStars is Spin & Go. These three-handed sit-and-go tournaments give players a chance to win up to 10,000 times their buy-in every time they sit down to play.

Prizes in Spin & Go events are determined randomly. Every tournament can have a prize pool between 2x and 10,000x, with several prize levels in between.

PokerStars review spin and go

The lottery element in Spin & Goes makes them very attractive to recreational players. While events with the biggest prize pool trigger very infrequently, the possibility is always there, keeping the dream alive.

PokerStars Review 2021: Deposits & Withdrawals

This PokerStars review would be incomplete without some banking information, as these are vital to your gaming experience. How easy it is to deposit and/or withdraw money can be a crucial factor in deciding whether to play somewhere or not.

The room features a long list of supported options, but which ones you’ll be able to use will depend on several factors, the biggest one being what country you play from.

Some of the most popular banking options available on the site include:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • NETELLER
  • Skrill
  • WebMoney

When it comes to withdrawals, the room enjoys a great reputation of being quick to process players’ requests. You won’t have to wait long to receive your money as most withdrawals are completed within 24 hours, at least on PokerStars’ side.

Why Choose PokerStars?

Having read this extensive PokerStars review, you probably have some idea as to what are the advantages this operator offers. Still, it doesn’t hurt to sum them up once again.

The welcome bonus at PokerStars is tailored in a way where it fits different types of players. Their $30 free-play offer is great if you’re just starting and don’t want to risk too much money. On the other hand, for a more serious player, the 100% boost up to $600 is a great way to build your bankroll quickly.

PokerStars offers a wide range of stakes and game types, whether you’re looking to just learn basic Texas Hold’em rules playing for cents or you’re an experienced player ready for some high-stakes action.

Micro zoom on PokerStars

When it comes to tournaments, no one can parry PokerStars. The room features an excellent daily MTT schedule that only gets further boosted on weekends. Plus, there are various series like WCOOP, SCOOP, Micro Millions, and more.

Finally, the new loyalty program now gives everyone a chance to get up to 65% rakeback, which is the best offer on the market at the moment.

So, to sum it up, PokerStars is an excellent choice for players of all shapes and sizes, from those just starting their poker journey to those with years of experience under their belts and significant poker bankrolls.

Final Tips for Playing on PokerStars

To wrap up our PokerStars review, here are a few final tips to help you get started and make your experience on the site as seamless and as profitable as possible.

Setting up the Software

When you download the PokerStars client, you just need to find the file and click on it to start the installation. For the most part, the installation process is automatic, although you’ll be able to select a few options along the way (including the client language).

Once the software is up and running, you can set up your account if you don't have one already. Click the “Sign up” button and fill in all the fields. There is nothing particularly hard about this step, but do make sure to enter all the information correctly and make sure there are no typos.

Finally, once the software is up and running, spend some time tweaking the options to set things up the way you like them. As mentioned earlier, there are quite a few options to choose from, giving you a lot of flexibility, so take your time.

Take Advantage of Our Exclusive Bonus

I will add this part when we have the actual info.

Use Legal Poker Software to Win More

PokerStars supports a long list of useful poker tools and software that you can use to improve your results. The full list of supported programs is available on the site, but all major tracking programs like Hold’em Manager and Poker Tracker can be used.

If you want to use more obscure software, you should first consult the site, though, to make sure it’s not on the excluded list. Using one of these programs could create unwanted problems, so you should take a couple of minutes to check first.

FAQ – Pokerstars Site

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