PokerStars US Review – Get a 100% Bonus up to $600 or $150 in Bonus Play

17 minutes

Last Updated: December 11, 2023

pokerstars us review

PokerStars is one of the biggest names in online poker and the site has established itself as one of the leaders in the US online poker, too.

The first PokerStars US site went live in New Jersey in 2016, a few years after the state passed the regulation, but it didn’t take them long to catch up with the competition.

In the years to follow, PokerStars US expanded to other regulated markets in Michigan and Pennsylvania, becoming the first site to go live in both states, setting itself up for success. Then, in 2023, it jumped at the opportunity when Michigan joined the MSIGA, pulling together players from NJ and MI platforms.

In this detailed PokerStars US review, we’ll tell you all you need to know about playing here, from what bonuses to expect, over the types of games on offer, to banking options and mobile apps. So, let’s get straight to it!

PokerStars US Key Information
Available inNew Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan
Welcome bonus100% up to $600 or $150 in bonus funds
Games on offerNLHE, PLO, 5 Card PLO, Stud, Razz, 2-7, 5 Card Draw, Badugi, 8-Game
Game typesCash games, MTTs, Sit & Go, Spin & Go
Min stakes$0.01/$0.02
Max stakes$100/$200
Mobile appsAndroid, iOS

PokerStars US Sites: Where Can I Play?

As of 2023, PokerStars US is licensed in three US states:

Like with other US poker sites, you can register for any of these from anywhere in the country, but you’ll have to be physically present within state borders to actually play the games on any of the platforms.

pokerstars us why play

PokerStars New Jersey

PokerStars NJ was the very first PokerStars US site to go live. It launched in 2016 and has been going strong ever since. It offers cash games, tournaments, and Spin & Go games across all stakes, from micros to high stakes.

New players on PokerStars New Jersey can choose from one of two welcome bonuses: a 100% match up to $600 or $150 in bonus funds after playing a single hand at cash game tables.

At the start of 2023, taking advantage of Michigan joining the MSIGA, PokerStars NJ combined its player pool with the Michigan platform, creating a bigger and healthier ecosystem, further establishing its position as one of the leaders in the industry.

PokerStars Pennsylvania

PokerStars PA was the first site to go live in Pennsylvania. This happened in November 2019, shortly after the state law regulating online poker came into force. For a while, PokerStars was the only operator catering to Pennsylvania players, allowing it to cement its position in the market.

The site offers a versatile action across the board but particularly stands out with its tournament offering. Players in the state can enjoy a rich weekly schedule as well as regular major series with big prize pools such as PACOOP and PASCOOP.

For newcomers, there are a couple of bonus options to choose from: a 100% boost up to $600 covering their first three deposits or $150 in poker tickets, casino credits, and bonus spins, available after playing just one cash game hand.

PokerStars Michigan

PokerStars MI was the last PokerStars US site to go live. Like in Pennsylvania, they were the first operator to enter the new market and this happened in January 2021.

In January 2023, PokerStars MI combined its player pool with that in New Jersey, and both platforms saw an immediate surge in traffic, which made the site an even more attractive option for all online poker fans in the state.

Like elsewhere in the US, players in MI can play cash games, tournaments, and sit and goes, including always-popular Spin & Go games with jackpots going as high as 2,000x the buy-in amount. When it comes to tournaments, series like USCOOP and USSCOOP, now combining players from two states, are very popular, offering multi-million guarantees.

PokerStars US Welcome Bonus: Take Your Pick

The number one thing most players look at when deciding whether to join a poker site is the welcome bonus. Of course, different players have different ideas of what’s good, which is why the PokerStars US welcome bonus caters to two types of customers.

On one side, there is a fairly standard 100% match up to $600, which isn’t the biggest out there, but it’s quite solid. On the other hand, for players with smaller bankrolls or looking to risk the minimum, there is a nice, almost free offer that gets you $150 in poker bonus funds.

PokerStars US $150 Free Bonus

Casual players or those who’d like to challenge themselves and perhaps build a poker bankroll with the minimum investment can take advantage of a generous welcome offer that gives them $150 worth of bonus funds, combining some tournament tickets, bonus spins, and casino credits.

To claim it, all you have to do is sign up with PokerStars US, opt-in for the offer via the Challenges sections, and play just one hand of real-money poker. You can sit down and play a hand of any game at any stake – as low as $0.01/$0.02.

As soon as you play the qualifying hand, you’ll activate the $150 PokerStars US bonus, which will be issued over the course of six days, starting with the day you qualify:

  • Day 1: 50x $1 Spin & Go tickets and 2x $5 Spin & Go tickets
  • Day 2: 50 bonus spins to be used on select slots
  • Day 3: 1x $10 MTT ticket and 2x $5 Spin & Go tickets
  • Day 4: An instant casino bonus worth $10
  • Day 5: 2x $10 MTT tickets
  • Day 6: An instant casino bonus worth $30

While this bonus is a combination of poker and casino funds, there are plenty of tournament tickets in there. Plus, after meeting some simple requirements, you’ll also be able to take the money won playing casino games to poker tables.

If you’re just starting with online poker, this bonus is perfect for you. You can make the minimum deposit, play one hand, and then get a lot of play without risking any of your funds. At the very least, you’ll get some much needed experience.

$600 Match Bonus at PokerStars US

pokerstars us welcome bonus

PokerStars US also offers a more traditional welcome bonus for new players where the operator will match your first three deposits in full up to the maximum of $600. While the maximum amount you can get is smaller than at other US sites, the positive is that you don’t have to put all $600 in at once.

To claim the bonus, you’ll need to use the bonus code ‘STARS600’ when making the first deposit. You’ll receive a 100% match on the deposited amount, which will be stored in your bonus balance.

To release the bonus and turn it into real cash, you’ll need to play real-money games and generate Redemption Points. Here’s a quick rundown of how to release the welcome bonus at PokerStars US:

  1. Play real money games and pay rake and tournament fees
  2. For every $1 paid in rake, you’ll receive 5 Redemption Points
  3. Every time you collect 140 Redemption Points, $10 will be transferred from bonus to your cash balance
  4. You have four months to release the full bonus amount
  5. Any bonus remaining after the four months period will expire

What all these numbers mean is that you’ll be receiving at least 35% in rakeback while your deposit bonus is active, on top of any additional promotions and rewards.

PokerStars US Rewards Program

pokerstars us rewards

PokerStars US offers an interesting rewards program that’s somewhat tailored to your general preferences. PokerStars Rewards are all about Chests, which contain various prizes, the quality and value of which gets better as you move up the loyalty levels.

The program features six different levels or tiers, each of which contains several Chests for you to unlock before moving to the next tier. To unlock Chests and move up, you’ll need to collect Rewards points, which will happen naturally as you play. For every $1 in rake paid, you’ll receive 100 Rewards Points.

Below, you’ll find the table with the number of Chests in each tier, points required to unlock a Chest, and the value of a prize contained in each Chest at a certain level.

TierNumber of ChestsChest ValuePoints Required

Chests contain different prizes, such as MTT, Spin & Go tickets, cash rewards, and StarsCoin, and are somewhat based on your overall game preferences. You can use the accumulated StarsCoin at the operator’s store to purchase merchandise, bonuses, and more.

PokerStars US Tournaments

pokerstars us tournaments

On the global scale, PokerStars has made its claim to fame as the number one site for online tournaments. The operator took this experience to the United States and quickly became the go-to place for all fans of MTT action.

As mentioned in the introduction to this PokerStars US review, the operator merged its New Jersey and Michigan player pools in 2023, which allowed it to further spread its wings and create singular events and MTT series with even bigger, more attractive prize pools.

When it comes to the weekly schedule, PokerStars US offers something for everyone, with events starting as low as $1 and going up to around $500. The biggest events take place on Sundays, with the likes of $100 Sunday Special and $500 Sunday High Roller attracting big crowds. However, other days of the week provide plenty of action as well, with tournaments like:

  • $100 Super Tuesday
  • $100 Wednesday Storm
  • $100 Thursday Thrill
  • $100 Friday Night Fight

While the weekly tournament action at PokerStars US is really good, it is during big series that the operator sees players coming out in biggest numbers, looking to compete for hundreds of thousands in guaranteed prizes. Every year, PokerStars host several such events in both PA and NJ/MI, and the most popular ones are:

  • USCOOP / PACOOP – usually taking place in September – October
  • USSCOOP / PASCOOP – usually in March – April

The latest edition of the US Championship of Online Poker in 2023 saw $3,000,000 in guaranteed prizes, with another two up for grabs on PokerStars PA, so it’s not hard to see why players flock to the site during these events.

While majority of tournaments at PokerStars US are NLHE and PLO, it is worth noting that this is the only poker site in the United States featuring other game variations, including 8-game, Razz, and even Badugi.

Cash Game Action at PokerStars US

Those seeking ring game action will find more than enough to keep them busy on the site. PokerStars US caters to players of all shapes and sizes, offering a wide range of limits.

The lowest available tables feature blinds of $0.01/$0.02 for No Limit and Pot Limit games, and $0.02/$0.04 for Limit games. On the other side of the spectrum, PLO and No Limit Texas Hold’em tables go as high as $25/$50, while limit games run as high as $100/$200.

Like with tournaments, PokerStars US offers a variety of other game variations in the cash game format, and this is the only site in the world (not just the United States), where you can sharpen up your Badugi or 2-7 Triple Draw skills playing for pennies.

The full list of game variations offered at PokerStars US includes:

  • No Limit and Limit Hold’em
  • Omaha (Pot Limit and Limit)
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 5 Card Omaha
  • Stud
  • Razz
  • Badugi
  • 5 Card Draw
  • 2-7 Triple Draw
  • 2-7 Single Draw
  • 8-Game

At this moment in time, there are no Zoom games offered on the US platforms. While the operator tested the idea for a while, the player pool is still not big enough to support these games, although we expect that to change in the near future.

Spin & Go Games at PokerStars US

pokerstars us spin and go

It didn’t take long for Spin & Go games to become one of the most popular formats on PokerStars when they were first introduced, and the games’ popularity is just as big in the United States.

These three-handed, fast-paced sit and goes offer a random jackpot expressed as the multiplier of the original buy-in. While the lowest multiplier is 2x, the highest one is 2,000x, so it’s not hard to see how casual players are attracted to these games. And, as ever in poker, the presence of casual players attracts the ‘sharks.’

PokerStars US offers several buy-in levels of Spin & Go games, making them affordable to all players and all bankrolls, which further helps boost the games’ popularity on the platform.

Buy-inMax MultiplierMax Prize

PokerStars US Software Review

Another thing that’s helped PokerStars become the giant it is today is its top-tier software. Players in the US have access to the same quality software solution available to those in the global pool, and it is easily one of the best online poker sites out there.

From the visual perspective, the software features modern looks that grabs the attention and is simply nice to look at. While this may not be of the greatest importance for serious grinders, it’s certainly an aspect that helps attract new players to the site.

More importantly, PokerStars US is jam-packed with all sorts of useful functionalities. You can easily navigate the lobby using various filters and game groups to find exactly what you’re looking for. Filters allow you to choose things like:

  • Game variation
  • Stakes (predefined options or a custom range)
  • Table size (max number of players at the table)
  • Speed (for MTTs)
  • Type (for MTTs, i.e. regular, freerolls, satellites, etc.)

Furthermore, there are many customization options to make your gaming experience more enjoyable. You can tinker with action buttons on the tables to adjust them to your preferences, set your preferred seat, choose from several different options for positioning tables when multi-tabling, and much more.

There are very few legitimate complaints one could make about the PokerStars US software. If there is one thing, that’s the fact that it’s somewhat resource intensive, so it may be somewhat slower or less stable on older computers.

PokerStars US Mobile Apps

pokerstars us mobile app

Like all modern poker sites, PokerStars US caters to players who like to play using their mobile phones. Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, you’ll have full access to your account and all the games on the platform on the go.

PokerStars US Android App

Android users can download the PokerStars US app directly from Google Play and install it on their devices without any problems. The process takes only a couple of minutes and once the app is installed, you can log in with your existing account or create one, if you aren’t already registered.

With the mobile app, you’ll have full access to your cashier, PokerStars Rewards, and, most importantly, all cash games and tournaments on the platform. You can play up to four tables at the same time, and the app has a pretty good system to facilitate multi-tabling.

As far as real money poker apps go, PokerStars is one of the best out there, and you’ll have no problems running it on a variety of Android-powered devices.

PokerStars US App for iPhone

If you’re an iPhone user, that’s no problem whatsoever. The PokerStars US mobile app is also available through App Store, and you can download and install it just as easily.

There are no major differences between the two versions. The iOS app has all the same features and allows you to join cash games and tournaments as well as fund your account, withdraw your winnings, and participate in promotions.

PokerStars US Banking: Deposits and Withdrawals

banking options at pokerstars us

Being a fully licensed poker site, PokerStars US offers a variety of safe and trustworthy payment methods players can use for deposits and withdrawals. You should have no problems getting money to and from the platform whatsoever.

One thing to keep in mind is that, like with all regulated sites, you’ll be required to prove your identity when you request your first cashout. At this point, you’ll need to provide PokerStars with your ID, proof of address, and other relevant documents. You only need to do this once, though, and after that, you’ll enjoy quick and seamless withdrawals.

Here’s the table containing all banking options featured at PokerStars US:

Instant bank transfersYesNo
Instant e-checksYesYes
VanillaDirect (PA only)YesNo

When it comes to withdrawal speeds, PokerStars US does a good job in this department. If you’re using an e-wallet like PayPal, you can expect the funds to appear in your account within one hour.

Withdrawals requested to other methods are usually processed by the operator within 24 hours, but how long it takes for the money to reach you will depend on the method. It usually takes 3 – 5 days for money to arrive to your bank account, while withdrawals to Visa and MasterCard take between 3 and 10 days.

PokerStars US Licensing and Safety

Safety is one of the top priorities for casual and serious online poker players alike, which is why we only recommend legal and trustworthy sites operating in the United States. PokerStars certainly falls into that bracket.

The site currently has a presence in three states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey, and it has relevant licenses in all three of these states issued by the government regulators.

To obtain a US license, an operator must be fully in line with regulatory standards, and their operations are closely monitored by regulatory bodies.

All this means that you can rest assured PokerStars US is as safe as they get. The room’s RNG algorithm has been independently tested and verified by third parties, showing that results of all hands are truly random and not rigged in any way.

Players funds are kept in a segregated account, which means you never have to worry about your money. Even if there are problems with the company at some point down the road, your personal funds will not be in jeopardy.

Finally, in a case of a dispute that you are not able to resolve with the operator, you can always reach out to state agencies and file a complaint with them. This adds another layer of safety and ensures that players are protected at all times.

PokerStars US Customer Support

PokerStars US offers dedicated customer support and you’ll have no problems getting assistance if and when you need it.

First of all, there is an extensive knowledge database available on the sites, featuring several relevant sections and offering answers to many common problems, questions, and issues you may come across. This is an excellent first point of reference.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always reach out to the support department via email or get in touch with one of the staff via official Twitter channels. Traditionally, the room has been quick to address players’ questions and provide assistance.

PokerStars US FAQ

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