With over 50 million registered users, PokerStars remains the most popular online poker room in the world.
PokerStars is a private company owned and operated by The Rational Group and headquartered in Isle of Man, which licenses and regulates the site. PokerStars is accessible via both pokerstars.com and pokerstars.net; the primary difference is that pokerstars.net supports free tables that use play money, which allows the company to advertise in the United States. PokerStars does allow USA players at real-money tables, however.
Why Play at PokerStars?
PokerStars is packed with features, refined and highly customizable. For advanced players, it even supports play at up to 24 unique tables at a time. PokerStars also offers a mobile app that supports iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and most Android devices. The mobile experience is streamlined but consistent with the desktop experience, and clients have access to both environments with a single PokerStars account.
The most popular game at PokerStars is of course Texas Hold’em. Other options include Omaha, Stud, Draw, HORSE, Razz, Badugi and various variants, including game mixes. PokerStars also offers Zoom, which is its proprietary and very popular take on rush poker.
PokerStars Bonus Code
PokerStars welcomes all new players into the fold with EITHER a 100-percent match bonus that is worth as much as $600 (enter bonus code STAR600) OR $20 of free play money, available immediately (enter bonus code FREE20). Both offers have their own benefits and you get to pick which one you want.
We recommend the FREE20 promotion for beginner players or recreational players that do not plan on investing a lot of time playing poker.
To claim either bonus, you must be a new PokerStars customer, so first register your account and enter the Marketing Code GPSTSPROMO as shown below:
Once you’ve registered your new account, visit the Cashier and make your first deposit. Here is where you can choose which bonus options to participate in.
We’ll first describe the PokerStars bonus code STARS600 which provides a 100% deposit bonus of up to $600. What is particularly interesting and attractive about this signup bonus is that you don’t have to claim the entire $600 in a single deposit; in fact, you can claim the bonus over three separate qualifying deposits and have up to 60 days to do it. To qualify, deposits must meet the $10 minimum. To claim the bonus, you must use the code STARS600 during the deposit process. Clients claiming the bonus over two or three deposits simply use that bonus code two or three times for a total deposit amount of $600.
Alternatively, you can opt to use the bonus code FREE20 instead, which gives you $20 of free-play money. To qualify for this alternative bonus, the deposit must be at least $20 rather than $10. An advantage to this option is that unlike the standard signup bonus, which PokerStars release to you in $10 increments as VPPs are earned, the free-play bonus is provided to you right away — within 36 hours – so you can play with that extra money immediately!
To select this bonus, make your deposit with the bonus code FREE20.
As an added benefit, whether you opt for the STARS600 or FREE20 promotion, PokerStars provides you with a 31-day ticket for its 100K Privilege Freerolls. These freerolls happen four times a day, every day, and allows you a shot at $1K each time, and the special ticket allows you to play for free as often as they like within that 31-day span.
PokerStars also offers a robust promotional calendar, and that calendar is always changing. In addition to the VIP Club, the promotional structure at PokerStars regularly includes reload bonuses, freeroll tournaments and special tournaments, including satellites that award entry into major worldwide events. Any specifics listed here would be outdated quickly, so be sure to check the Special Offers section of the website regularly.
Play-Thru Requirements for the Welcome Bonus
Most PokerStars bonuses are awarded based on VPP accrual. Generally, a client must earn 200 VPPs to receive $10 in bonus money, and as soon as the necessary VPPs are acquired, the poker room immediately deposits the bonus money into that player’s account. In the case of STARS600, a client would have to earn 12,000 VPPs in total to clear the $600 bonus but has a full four months to do so.
The FREE20 promotion is an exception – you receive your $20 bonus immediately without having to “earn” it first by accumulating VPP’s. Please note that the $20 free play bonus may not be withdrawn, but is only available to play with. Any winnings earned from playing with the bonus is, of course, yours to cash out as you please.
To earn VPP’s, you must play the real money poker games. Multi-tabling several games is a fast way to earn VPP’s and receive your bonus payments.
But here’s a great video from PokerStars that shows you how to navigate the PokerStars lobby and find the games you’re looking for:
Navigating the PokerStars Lobby
PokerStars Rewards Program
All PokerStars clients are automatically enrolled in the VIP Club at the BronzeStar level. There are six additional VIP levels: ChromeStar, SilverStar, GoldStar, PlatinumStar, Supernova and Supernova Elite.
Each time a player purchases a tournament buy-in with real money or contributes to a raked pot in a ring game, he or she earns VIP Player Points (VPPs) and Frequent Player Points (FPPs). VPPs are used to dictate VIP level for the upcoming month and to claim any outstanding bonus money. FPPs, on the other hand, have value, and clients can exchange them for cash or tournament buy-ins, or use them to purchase merchandise in the PokerStars store. The rate at which a player earns FPPs goes up based on their VIP level.
PokerStars provides several benefits for players who prefer high-stakes play. Due to the large player population and high traffic volumes, high stakes players will have an easy time finding full, active high-stakes tables, including those with fish present. In addition, the reload bonuses and VIP Club perks are especially lucrative for players who make big deposits and play through that bankroll regularly.