In every line of business, there’s a brand name that’s so legendary that it has become almost synonymous with that niche. When it comes to online poker, there’s no denying that the crown rests firmly on the head of Pokerstars.

Founded in 2001, they’ve had a long and sometimes perilous path to the top. Despite issues with US gambling legislation and being run to the ground by a shady owner, Pokerstars’ quality has rarely failed to impress. 

This poker site is also credited with the popularization of satellite tournaments – online competitions that can help you qualify for the World Series of Poker (WSOP). And when Chris Moneymaker won the whole thing after qualifying through Pokerstars, the whole game of poker was blown open.

Suddenly, people understood that you don’t need to be a seasoned pro with a seven-figure bankroll. But is that still possible today? What about regular gameplay. Well, that’s what we want to find out today. Our Pokerstars poker room review intends to tackle all the key pros, cons, and features of this site. We’ll also cover peripherals, such as banking options, UI quality, and much more. 

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Pokerstars Poker – Experience Means Everything 

The iGaming industry is famous for being full of brands and companies with a short lifespan. When you put things in perspective like that, Pokerstars being 20 years old really comes as a surprise. So, what is their secret? Well, we would say the biggest factor in their success is constant awareness. A lot has changed in the last two decades, and it takes some pretty smart decision-making to be at the top for all these years. Recently, Pokerstars hired Neymar Jr. himself to be their Cultural Ambassador, which is yet another testament to their relevance. But what about tangible reasons? 

UI-wise, Pokerstars is unmatched. Everyone already knows the black-red-white color combo, but the overall usability of the platform goes much further than just mere aesthetics. What impressed us the most was the lack of gimmicks. A large majority of online poker sites resort to all kinds of wacky decisions to try and gain attention. There’s nothing of the sort at Pokerstars. From the moment you visit the homepage, everything is accessible. Not only will you have absolutely no trouble finding your way around, but there are also plenty of guides, info sheets, and other useful content. If you’re looking to get into the world of online poker, there’s no place that’s more welcoming to newbies than Pokerstars. 

While there’s no denying that they had an owner who committed malicious deeds, that was more than a decade ago. Nowadays, the entire Stars Group collection is owned and run by Flutter Entertainment, who also purchased Paddy Power, Fan Duel, and several other brands. As such, Pokerstars is absolutely legal and legitimate. Their main license is Maltese, which gives them a worldwide reach, except for countries with stricter rules. What’s impressive is that Pokerstars didn’t want to stop there. Instead of being content with approval from the MGA, they went out and got licensed in Estonia, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Italy, and several other regions. Recently, they got a green light from regulators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This makes them one of the most heavily-licensed sites currently on the market. With a Gaming Labs certificate as the proverbial cherry on top, one would be foolish to doubt the legitimacy of Pokerstars. 

This same legitimacy affects other aspects of the site, too. The Deposits & Withdrawals section is a perfect example. Since so many government agencies and regulators have verified Pokerstars, payment providers don’t hesitate when it comes to potential collaborations. PayPal, GPay, and Apple Pay are rarely seen at poker rooms, but this site has them. There are also other goodies to enjoy. For instance, you can send money to another player or even deposit funds during a hand, without ever leaving the table. On top of all that, you can also customize your experience by setting up deposit limits. 

One other thing we liked was the seamless integration between different Stars brands (Pokerstars Casino, Pokerstars Poker, and BetStars). You can do everything on a single account. The ecosystem really works and we would recommend it to both vets and beginners. 

Pokerstars Poker Lobby

Sure, it’s great to see everything is taken care of, but what about when you actually start playing? Well, fortunately for you, the high degree of quality persists even when you’re sitting down at a table. The lobby is quite intricate but still simple and lets you have a nice overview of what’s going on in the world. And when it comes to Pokerstars, there is always something going on. Even during the middle of the night, they have more active players than their competition has during peak hours. So, waiting around never happens in the Pokerstars lobby. 

Under the header, you’ll see a list of all the available tables. If you’re looking for something specific, you can filter by game. Compared to other online poker sites, Pokerstars offers significantly more variants. From Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo, to games that are more “out there,” such as HORSE, Badugi, and Razz, the activity is off the charts. You can also choose to exclude full tables, search by stake limits, and even sort by average pot or hands per hour. For hardcore poker enthusiasts, this is a dream come true. 

If you’re looking to make it big, there are hundreds of tournaments taking place at any given time. Whether it’s a clash between casuals or a pot of $1 million+, you will most likely meet a group of adversaries that are an even match. This is something most reviewers and players gloss over on a regular basis. Beating up on amateurs all the time gets boring quickly, but being on the receiving end of a beatdown is equally off-putting. That’s why HowToCasinos believes in scaling when it comes to poker rooms. The community is big enough and there is enough content for this to be sustainable. At least we hope so! 

Pokerstars Poker Summary

Even after all these years and all the trials and tribulations, Pokerstars has shown no signs of slowing down whatsoever. When you’re looking at how the platform evolved in the last two decades, it’s hard not to be impressed. Without a doubt, this is a poker site that knows what the players want. And that’s exactly why there are always tens of thousands of players online at any time. 

The tables come in all shapes, sizes, variants, and stake ranges, making Pokerstars the biggest poker community out there. With all the added goodies, such as timely bonuses, top-ups, and the plethora of banking options, you’ll be equipped with a formidable arsenal. And that’s probably the main reason why we would recommend Pokerstars – they always put you in a position to succeed. If you’re new to the world of poker, there are plenty of guides to go around. All in all, this site is an environment that’s challenging, relaxing, and fun, all at the same time. 


Does Pokerstars have a license?

Of course. Pokerstars is recognized and licensed by several government-affiliated regulators. While their main license is in Malta, they also have approval from the likes of Italy, France, Estonia, Denmark, and the US states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The fairness of the poker games is ensured by Gaming Labs, an industry-leading game testing studio. 

What payment options can I use at Pokerstars?

Pokerstars offers different payment methods depending on your region. You can go to the Deposit section and simply select which country you’re in. This will generate a list of all the available options, along with deposit limits and other details. 

Can I play for free at Pokerstars?

Yes. Once you download the Pokerstars app, select Free Money as the option. This will give you a certain amount of fictional money to use at tables. When you run out, top-ups occur instantly. 

What poker variants are available at Pokerstars?

The majority of Pokerstars tables are dedicated to Texas Hold’em, but Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo are also plentiful. In recent years, the site also added some pretty niche variants, such as Razz or HOSE. 

Does Pokerstars offer a bonus to new players?

Pokerstars has a welcome bonus at all times. It’s not always the same promo, but it’s usually a classic deposit-triggered deal. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before claiming anything.