Known for her air-tight poker site reviews, Bridget constantly raises the bar by putting each and every online poker site to the test before we recommend it.
Poker Stars Review Summary
Pokerstars has been in business since 2001. They are famously known as the site where 2003 World Series of Poker winner, Chris Moneymaker, qualified online for $33, kick starting the poker popularity boom.
In 2004 Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer followed up Moneymaker's success by also winning the WSOP after qualifying online at PokerStars. 2005 champion Joe Hachem, was also a PokerStars player and plays there regularly, along with the other members of Team PokerStars.
PokerStars are also the major sponsors of the European Poker Tour.
Bonuses and Offers 7 /10
PokerStars are always running some kind of unique promotion. In the past they have run big freeroll tournaments, given away Aston Martin cars and offered many different live poker tournament opportunities. Their tournament leaderboard also gives players the opportunity to play against one of the Team PokerStars pros every month.
PokerStars does not need to offer big deposit bonuses, so they do not. First time players are able to earn a 100% bonus up to $50 and they will sometimes offer reload bonuses, but PokerStars' strength is their loyalty program and other promotions. They prefer to look after their players long term rather than tempt new signups with big bonuses, which we think is a better strategy.
To take advantage of the PokerStars first deposit bonus, use bonus code STARS600.
Banking Options 10 /10
PokerStars has many deposit and cashout options, and their cheques are the quickest received and easiest to cash of any online poker room cashout we have ever received. It was even in our local currency!
PokerStars accepts Visa, Mastercard, Delta, Maestro, Switch, Visa Electron, Diners Club, Solo, Paysafecard, Neteller, Epassporte, Instant eChecks, Local bank wire transfers, online bank transfers and cashouts are also available by cheque as mentioned.
They are simply the best when it comes to depositing and cashing out your poker winnings. We can't give them anything but 5/5.
Software and Games 8 /10
The PokerStars software is considered the most stable and scalable online poker software. They have successfully held tournaments with more than 10,000 entrants, which is a significant accomplishment considering the associated server load and connectivity issues.
The PokerStars software is continually improved upon, and boasts many unique features, such as the ability to save your multi-table configuration, the ability to trade tournament credits and you can choose your favorite theme.
It also has every feature that you would expect to see in regard to gameplay, statistics and note taking. It is our favorite online poker software.
PokerStars has more games available than most online poker rooms and many different tournament formats too.
Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Stud, 7 Stud Hi/Lo, Razz, 5 Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, HOSE and HORSE are available.
Tournaments 8 /10
PokerStars has the biggest poker tournaments available online. They also send more players to live poker tournaments than any other site - 20% of the 2006 WSOP main event qualified via PokerStars satellites, which is an amazing stat.
Every Sunday, there is a $1 million guaranteed tournament. They also run numerous other unique events like the Online Poker World Cup, The World Championship of Online Poker and are the major sponsors of the European Poker Tour.
If you like to play online tournaments, or would like to qualify for a live poker event like the WSOP or World Poker Tour, there is no better place to play than PokerStars.
PokerStars accepts players from all over the world and offers their website and support in English, Dansk, Espaсol, Français, Italiano, Nederlands, Norsk, Suomi, Svenska, and Português.
They are the world's largest poker site, with more than 80,000 players regularly online concurrently.
PokerStars has the most generous rewards program of any online poker room. Their VIP program is clearly explained and the rewards are quite easy to obtain. They also take care of their players at live poker tournaments, giving away $1000 extra at this year's WSOP if players agree to wear the PokerStars logo apparel that is provided.
You can progress through the VIP levels all the way up to 'SuperNova' where you will really be treated like a star. Check out the program on the PokerStars website, there's too much to explain here - but it's great.
Management & Integrity
PokerStars is licensed in Kahnawake, Canada and has offices and support centres in many parts of the world. We have met many PokerStars staff and they seem to have a great company culture. As they are not a public company they cannot earn full marks in this category, but we trust them implicitly and they have an excellent reputation for taking care of their players.
To our knowledge, PokerStars is the only online poker room that has localised support centres in numerous countries around the world. That means that your emails sent to [email protected] are answered very quickly, in many languages and the answers given are always excellent.
Phone support and live chat is not offered, but the quality of their email support still earns them a 4.5 rating.
Live Chat Support
1 437 371 5742
Things to Improve
The only things we can really fault PokerStars on is the dated feel of their poker software. There is nothing 'wrong' with it, but it hasn't changed much since 2001 and is starting to feel a little old in some ways. Everything works perfectly and a lot of people love the interface. You're even able to upload your own backgrounds etc... Maybe we are just a tad fussy, but we had to give them something to improve on!
We'd also like to see something made available for Apple Mac users. If you are reading this on an Apple machine right now, we recommend Full Tilt Poker.
One of the greatest things about playing at PokerStars is that it offers you a huge amount of flexibility when it comes to banking. It offers a number of safe and secure options to ensure that your real money is protected. PokerStars also boasts a huge number of players and currently features over 200,000 players with just over 25,000 people playing online at peak times. This means that whether you're a pro or a new starter, you can get the most out of your experience.