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4
pros
  • Unparalled Selection of Games
  • Rock-solid Security & Reliability
  • Huge Player Pool with 24/7 Action
cons
  • Tough Games
  • No Rake-Back
  • Level of Competition is Pretty High
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PokerStars Review

It’s difficult to even discuss online poker without mentioning PokerStars.

The “World’s Biggest Poker Site” has been one of the defining players in the online poker industry and one of the most popular sites amongst poker players.

Since opening its doors in the early 2000s, PokerStars has been at the forefront of the online poker revolution with superior software, seemingly endless games and industry-leading reliability.

The site is one of the rare cases where the hype is justified as PokerStars offers a poker product that you simply won’t find anywhere else. PokerStars offers more tournaments and game variety than any other site and it’s not even close. It’s not uncommon for several hundred thousand players to log-in and play on any given Sunday.

Over the years PokerStars has continued to push the envelope of what’s possible in online poker with brand-new games like Jackpot Sit & Go’s, Power-Up Poker and Knockout Poker that you won’t find on any other site. That’s in addition to classic games like 2-7 and Razz simply don’t run on other sites.

That’s not to say the venerable poker giant is perfect. As the de facto industry leader, PokerStars has been reluctant to offer huge promos like competitors and the site is also home to some of the best players in the world, which can make competition fierce.

Despite those short-comings it’s easy to recommend PokerStars to new players as it gives a great overview of what to expect from online poker in general.

Games Offered

PokerStars is generally regarded as the world’s biggest online poker site and that size allows the site to offer more games than anywhere else. In addition to a complete list of mix games such as Razz, 2-7 and even HORSE, PokerStars has developed several poker variants of its own that you won’t find anywhere else.

Pot-Limit Omaha lovers will be happy to know there are plenty of PLO games on PokerStars but the site also offers Courchevel, which is essentially PLO but with five cards and an extra peek at the first card of the flop. Those wrinkles add tons of new strategies to the game.

In recent years PokerStars has gotten even more inventive with formats like Jackpot Sit & Go (which features a randomized prize pool), Knockout Poker (a bounty-based format that rewards eliminating other players) and even Unfold Hold’em where you can play a hand after you’ve folded.

Not every game on PokerStars has a huge player pool but it’s easily the best place to play less popular games.

Here’s a complete list of the games on PokerStars:

Games Offered on PokerStars
  • Hold’em
  • No-Limit Hold’em
  • Pot-Limit Omaha
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • 5 Card Omaha
  • 5 Card Omaha Hi-Lo
  • Courchevel
  • Courchevel Hi-Lo
  • Stud
  • Stud Hi-Lo
  • Razz
  • Five Card Draw
  • 2-7 Triple Draw
  • 2-7 Single Draw
  • HORSE
  • 8-Game Mix
  • Hold’em/Omaha
  • Badugi
  • Unfold Hold’em
  • Power Up Poker

Mobile App Support

PokerStars offers one of the best mobile apps in the online poker history with support for iOS and Android.

Unlike some of its competitors PokerStars opted to build a stand-alone app for the iOS and Android ecosystems. Stand-alone apps are considerably more work than in-browser options but the PokerStars app truly shines with rock-solid reliability and lightning-fast performance.

The PokerStars app makes it incredibly easy to get in a few hands of poker while on the go or simply away from a full-fledged computer. Everything has been optimized for touch based controls and the app really shines on bigger smartphones or tablets such as iPad that can easily display cards.

There are very few downsides to PokerStars mobile app. One issue is that it’s not available in all the countries where the online giant operates and the other is that you’re pretty much limited to Hold’em and PLO.

Poker variants like Razz and 2-7 utilize a large number of cards and are very difficult to support in a mobile setting so PokerStars probably made the right decision to forgo those games.

Loyalty Programs & Promotions

PokerStars revamped its rewards program several years ago into a platform slanted heavily recreational players.

The new Stars Rewards controversially nixed some of the rewards for high-volume players but casual players got a major benefit from the easy-to-unlock Stars Chests.

Stars Chests are rewards that players receive for generating reward points from real-money games. It’s a program that wouldn’t be out of place in a video game and is somewhat reminiscent of the loot crates offered in video games like Overwatch.

The rewards in Stars Chests are randomized and it’s possible to win a large amount of money from them if you get lucky. The chests also award StarsCoins, tournament tickets, frequent player points and more. Players also periodically receive boosts so that they can earn chests faster.

The more hands you play the better chests you will start unlocking. There are six different tiers of chests including Red, Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. You can win up to $50 in value from Red Chests while Platinum chest rewards scale all the way up to $1,000.

While it’s true that the rewards on the high-end of PokerStars used to be significantly higher the vast majority of players on the site will potentially benefit from easy-to-unlock chests.

Live tournaments

PokerStars revolutionized the international poker circuit with the European Poker Tour and have consistently offered some of the best live poker experiences around the globe. The company also pioneered the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and the $25,000 buy-in Player's No-Limit Hold'em Championship.

The only way to qualify for the aforemtioned tournaments is on PokerStars and the site regularly schedules freerolls where players can qualify for a major international live tournament without paying a dime. If you like qualifying for prestigious live tournaments you're going to have a hard time finding a better site than PokerStars.

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