7 Questions To Discover If PokerStars Is Your New Ace In The Hole

This review is going to be a big one. Because there’s few names in the world of online betting that can even touch the reputation, the reach or the popularity of the world famous PokerStars.

 

Bet now

Click here to check out Pokerstars

Chances are, even if you’ve never heard of PokerStars until this moment, you’ve probably got some idea of what they are all about. Well, they are a poker site with a casino. This makes them a bit of an odd site actually in terms of comparing them to others.

PokerStars banner

In the interests of fairness, we always try to compare a site with their closest competitors in terms of product. So, we’re more likely to compare Jupiter Club with Mansion casino and other casino exclusives rather than all in one sites like Bet365.

So, in this sense, it would be fairest to compare them to Full Tilt Poker, which has a similar product (poker and casino, with no sportsbook). However, further complicating matters is the addition of BetStars. This is the legendary site’s push into the world of sports betting.

As they are used as two separate sites, we’ve decided the fairest way to conduct this review is by treating them as such. Although they are so interchangeable on the main site that you can happily use both sites as a single all in one for all intents and purposes.

Nonetheless, they treat them as distinct and so will we. If you want to read more about BetStars, then you can check out our review on the site under betting operators.

So, due to the site not having too much direct competition, we’ll be comparing them to sites across the board wherever it feels more relevant, with the exception of sportsbook exclusives like CrownBet.

PokerStars casino ad

We also advise that, whenever you’re looking into choosing a new betting site, that you check out the site yourself. You should do this along with some of its competition to make sure you know what is best for you.

While we try and stay as objective as is possible, for certain site elements, it all comes down to personal taste. In order to address these issues fairly, we always look at both the good and bad points of each section we’re looking at, including possible and likely interpretations of features like site design.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at one of the biggest names in all of online gaming and the biggest in online poker. It’s the juggernaut of the table games, the ace in the hole: PokerStars.

  1. So what exactly does PokerStars offer?

PokerStars poker game

As we mentioned, the PokerStars site offers, you guessed it, poker games of pretty much every kind you could possibly imagine. There’s tons of games at every level and tons of tournaments. Essentially, if you can think of something you would like a poker site to have, they have it right here. It’s the largest poker site in the world, meaning you’ll never be at a loss to find a game.

It also has a casino that’s more than fitting of its namesake. It might not have the charm that you’ll find at Royal Panda Casino or Rich Casino, but it’s a fantastic selection of slots, card and table games, multiplayer and video poker games. They also have a pretty sizeable live casino option. It’s not quite the biggest in the world but it’s certainly better than many casino exclusives.

Really PokerStars does additional content exactly as you’d want them to. They never forget that poker is the star here but that doesn’t mean that the rest of their content needs to suffer in comparison. We’ve seen similar strategies like this from PunchBets for example. Here they have a focus on one sport but cater well to the rest. But we don’t think anywhere else has pulled it off quite to the level that PokerStars has here.

PokerStars slot games

A sister betting site

Whether or not you wish to include the sportsbook site BetStars in this for your personal use is up to you. But if you do, you’ve got yourself an all in one capable of matching up with some of the best in the business, from Ladbrokes to William Hill.

Although the separation between the two does make it less fluid as you’d imagine. There’s just a few odd touches, like being able to get to BetStars from PokerStars but not vice versa. If we had one message to PokerStars it would be to just decide to what extent you want these two sites to exist side by side or as a seamless product.

However, we’re not judging them on their sportsbook here, so we’ll stick to the poker and casino options, which we would essentially say are excellent.

On the other hand

Being the biggest dog in the yard does come with some disadvantages. Because it is the biggest and has the best prizes, it should be no surprise then that PokerStars attracts some of the best players in the world. And unfortunately, for less skilled players, this increase of skill level is across the board.

Don’t get us wrong, if you’re playing for more money, you will almost certainly find yourself across the table from some more serious competition. However, there will very likely be some tough competitors at the lower stake tables looking to cash in on less talented amateurs.

PokerStars live tournament

This sadly means that, for those looking for a casual dabble at the game, they may find themselves outclassed here, even at low levels. If you want to win, there really is a base level of ability here that can often be beyond many people’s reach.

However, this is only the case if you’re looking to make some money. If your someone at a low level just looking to have a little fun and hone your skills, PokerStars is an excellent place to be. They have so many different options that you’re bound to find something to suit you.

That leaves the site in kind of a weird place. On one hand, if you’re someone with a reasonable level of ability or even a high level, then you’ll be right at home here. If you’re someone starting out just looking to have a little fun at small tables, then once again ,they have plenty to cater to you. If however, you’re in-between these levels, you’ve got a little bit of ability but not enough to really take on tough competitors, then you’ll likely find yourself outclassed and out of pocket even at fairly low levels a lot of the time.

 

Bet now

Click here to check out Pokerstars
  1. Is the site well designed?

PokerStars site design

It should come as no surprise that, from a technical point of view, there’s absolutely nothing we could find wrong with PokerStars. They are exceptional in both their casino and poker rooms. Honestly, considering the level they are at, it would be amazing if they had anything but a top notch product. In terms of its looks, the site is sleek, classic, well laid out and has a sense of cool that few others can pull off.

Las Vegas USA for example might attempt to give you a sense of walking into a top level card game, but this perfects it. If the idea of someone playing poker is a man wearing a tuxedo, immaculately groomed, then this is the website equivalent of that.

It joins a whole host of other sites that keep things conservative. But they have still managed to pull in plenty of fans thanks to, among other things, their sense of minimalistic style. We’ve seen this from Virgin Casino and Sportsbook alongside Mr Green, to name but a few.

There’s no surprise either that this kind of design, one that is reserved rather than wacky, does tend to have the largest customer base. Of course, a huge part of that is the fact that the sites mentioned are all excellent. But we do think it’s also because people simply prefer their sites this way.

PokerStars download software

What more is there to say? PokerStars looks great, works great and is easy to use and understand.

On the other hand

Of course, we must always pay attention to the fact that what works for a lot of people doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. We’re sure there are people out there who find this style rather cold and dreary. Check it out yourself to get a feel for the place. It’s also worth checking out some of their competitors to see if there’s anything else out there that better suits your taste.

One area which we will criticise PokerStars for is the casino section. This falls into the trap of not being distinctive enough from the main part of the site, in this case poker. We see this often in all in one sites, where the sportsbook is the star of the show.

PokerStars casino

We understand that there is a need for some design elements to be across the board to avoid the site feeling incoherent. Although, we do think there’s room here for an extra dash of personality to distinguish itself. We’re not asking for Manhattan Slots or Rizk Casino here. But something to make the casino stand out would not go amiss.

All in all though, we imagine that most people will be happy with the design of PokerStars/ The numbers certainly suggest that’s the case.

  1. Do they have any promotions?

PokerStars promotions

While promotions are something that does tend to get pushed to the wayside for the poker part of many all in one sites, that is certainly not the case here. There are currently 11 promotions (or special offers as they are called on the site) available at the time of writing, while there are 7 for casino players.

In order to give you an idea of the level of quality of these offers, we’re going to take a look at three from each section. The rest will all be available on the site.

Casino promotions:

200% Welcome Bonus:
PokerStars new casino player bonusThis is a deposit bonus of 200%, which can net you a maximum of $400 or equivalent. The minimum is $10. You must earn 3 Starscoins per dollar of bonus received. So, if you get $100 bonus, you will need to earn 300 Starscoins.

Lucky Draw:
PokerStars lucky drawReceive a cash prize by completing challenges. These include, for example, staking a certain amount on various games to be entered into the prize draw. At the time of writing, there’s $140,000 worth of cash prizes.

Match Deposit Bonus: 
PokerStars match deposit bonusGet a 50% bonus plus a spin to win up to $1000 in cash. To get this bonus, you’ll need to deposit $50, which would take your reward to $25.

Poker promotions:

£400 First Deposit Bonus:
PokerStars First Deposit BonusReceive a 100% bonus up to £400 by making three deposits across 60 days. Your bonus will then be released in increments of £10 for each 300 VPP points you earn.

£20 First Deposit Free Play:
PokerStars £20 free playMake a deposit of £10 or more and receive £20 extra free play.

The Big Stacks: 
PokerStars the big stacksThese tournaments start every hour, with potential prizes ranging from £5k to £100k.

On the other hand

After our initial high hopes, we were left disappointed here. First of all, their terms and conditions are headache inducing in how complicated and convoluted they are.

Swapping wagering requirements for VPP points and Starpoints just serves to frustrate. In all seriousness, working out the exact value of each of these promotions would require this review to be several times longer than we think any of you would care to read.

However, to use the Starpoints as an example, you earn points by wagering on different games. But the difference in how much you need to wager to earn a Starpoint really makes this offer hard to calculate in terms of worth. They vary between $12 to $145 depending on what you play.

Promotions are supposed to be a fun addition to a site. Trying to work out whether an offer is worth your time based on what games you’re playing does not fill us with excitement.

 

Bet now

Click here to check out Pokerstars
  1. Do they have good customer service?

PokerStars customer support
The good news is that PokerStars’ customer service is available 24/7. Support options include an extensive FAQ section.

On the other hand

The bad news is that they are not available on live chat. The only way to contact their customer support is by filling in their contact form and having them respond to you via email.

Admittedly in our experience they were very quick to respond. So it didn’t put us out too much. But for a site as renowned as this, it is something we’ve come to expect.

  1. Are they trustworthy?

In a word, yes. They’re PokerStars: one of the biggest betting sites in the world with millions of players.

On the other hand

There’s nothing much to add here. They’re as legit as they come.

  1. Do they have a good reputation?

PokerStars mobile

Once again, you don’t get to be at PokerStars’ level without having something that keeps players coming back for more. In this case, it’s simply being one of, if not the best poker site in the world, with a  decent casino to boot.

On the other hand

We’re dealing with poker players here, so there’s certainly a few rather heated complaints out there on the net. But honestly, that’s to be expected. Most customers keep coming back for more and that’s saying something.

One complaint we will mention is that some customers do believe that PokerStars are not quite as customer friendly as they used to be. We didn’t find anything to complain about in our experiences though.

  1. So what do we think of PokerStars?

PokerStars logo

It should come to the surprise of nobody that PokerStars is a world class operation. They didn’t get to where they are by accident. Put simply, their product is terrific.

It’s not perfect: we have been disappointed by site elements, such as their promotions and their lack of live chat. But ultimately, they remain ahead of the pack.

 

Bet now

Click here to check out Pokerstars