In a Nutshell
- Top highlights: A fast and easy site to use with lots of online tournaments
- VIP or loyalty programme: Yes
- Other offerings: Casino, Sports
With one of the fastest and easiest software downloads available, PokerStars instantly gets our approval. The software is also extremely clean and easy to install, making it a breeze to start playing and start earning.
Their reputation as the number one destination for online tournament play precedes them, and for a good reason. This site has massive weekly pots that reach into the millions and great traffic from all over the world.
The program opens into listings of all available games (referred to as the Lobby), and clickable tabs across the top allow you to find the poker variations you prefer. To register and make a deposit is very simple, and once this is done all you then have options for customizing your avatar, choosing themes for your background, and using a huge array of features that range from hand histories to adjustable speeds and automated dealing options.
Even though the rate of speed at which games can be played is much faster than other sites (with 10 to 20 hands possible each hour), you can also elect to “tile” the windows with active games in order to easily manage your activity.
PokerStars sticks to the classics when it comes to their games selection, offering Hold'em, Omaha, Stud, Draw, and HORSE. They may not have as wide of a variety as other sites, but the games they do have are high quality and high traffic. In fact, we encountered more than 100k players logged in during some of the peak hours of game time.
Clearly, with this many active players the site must be able to deal customer concerns even during high traffic hours. PokerStars is dedicated to customer support and service, and we appreciated that they made 24-hour email service available. Unlike many other online casinos, there was no waiting around for a few days to get an answer and each question we submitted was answered in only a few minutes' time.
In addition to its support staff, the PokerStars site also offers players a lot of general information about poker and gaming. They have a great lobby feature from which you can explore the site’s blog and other informational offerings. It is very helpful to peruse the details about promotions and tournaments simply because they have new things up and running on a regular basis.
Where this site really shines is in the tournaments area, and PokerStars certainly earns its reputation as THE destination for online tournament play. From the unbelievable number of satellite tournaments that allow players to win the most expensive seats in the toughest tournaments to their live tournament action, there is a non-stop array of opportunity. They also have weekly events with massive pots valued from $750k to over one million dollars.
These have relatively low buy-ins and a lot of satellite opportunities for access. There are daily tournaments too and we were surprised to see as many as 10k people seated during peak hours each day. This means that a buy in of ten to fifty dollars can pay out measurable thanks to the heavy traffic.
You should note that in many of PokerStars' tournament offerings that even the multi-table sit-and-go tournaments will fill up immediately because everybody wants in. This means that you have to act quickly to get a seat at even the ten-dollar buy-in tournaments.
Payment and Payouts
With its amazingly high amount of traffic, the site has to make a lot of deposit and cash out methods available. Currently they use all of the major credit cards as well as the world’s most popular financial entities that include Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, online bank transfers, bank drafts, and e-checks.
The cash out or payout methods are the same, with the exception that bank transfers or bank drafts, Diners Card and Mastercard cards cannot be used to withdraw winnings and rewards.
Do we recommend this site? Absolutely. though there are some limits in terms of the quantity of game types, the overall quality of the games and software easily override any limitations. This site has fantastic software that is easy to use and incredibly fast. The service is top notch with almost immediate response time. The tournaments are hard to match and allow even novices to get in on the action, and the ring traffic is high and challenging for all levels of players.
Whether you're looking to enhance your skills or whether you are a knowledgeable player ready to get good hands, access to huge tournaments, and to use excellent software, this is certainly one spot to go to.