If you've ever gambled online, then you must have heard of PokerStars, even if you don't know a full house from a gut shot straight draw. It has been providing online poker since 2001, and even though it suffered a temporary shutdown in 2011 thanks to America's crackdown on online gambling, it's by far and away the biggest poker room on the web. PokerStars has eight times as much traffic as any other poker room.
In November 2014 PokerStars decided to branch beyond bad beats and big blinds by opening the PokerStars Casino. This news was not warmly greeted by all - Team PokerStars pro and TV broadcaster Victoria Coren walked away from her role at the poker room when she heard PokerStars' intentions.
PokerStars may be poker stars, but are they online casino stars? Read on to find out ...
Promos at PokerStars are a little unclear as the three sections of the site - Poker, Casino and Sports - all seem to be available under a single account, so nothing is strictly 'casino only'.
If you deposit $20 or more at the PokerStars casino you can grab yourself $20 worth of free play, plus ONE MILLION DOLLARS ... of play chips. You simply need to use the promo code 'FREE20'.
The first deposit bonus at PokerStars is a nicely chunky one hundred percent matched deposit bonus up to $300/€275/£200. In order to claim this deposit bonus your first deposit must be made with the code 'MATCH'. This bonus is paid as bonus money, which will be released to you in $10/€10/£10 increments. You need to earn 'StarCoins' in order to release your bonus at four per dollar, five per euro or six per pound. Once you have amassed enough StarCoins to release $10/€10/£10 then this amount is released into your account. You have sixty days in which to clear as much of this bonus as you can.
The amount you need to wager to earn one StarCoin depends upon the game you are playing. For example, for roulette (including live roulette) it's $12 per StarCoin. For 'Premium Blackjack' it's as much as $110. A full list of each game's StarCoin value is available on the PokerStars site. As well as exchanging your StarCoin you can spend them at the PokerStars VIP store.
|Type||Amount (%)||Matched Amount|
|First Deposit||100%||£200||Claim Now|
Slots are the most numerous gambling option at the PokerStars Casino, but not in the numbers usually found at online gambling portals - only between seventy and eighty. NetEnt are the most popular supplier, so you'll get to play favourites such as South Park, Jack Hammer (1 & 2) and Space Wars here. Other slots are not quite as magical.
The PokerStars site has instructions for every game, including the expected payout percentage, which is something that's nice to see.
The other games come in four sections:
It's a little surprising that a company so large as PokerStars has not made the effort to obtain more games.
PokerStars does provide a live casino where you can play versions of the first four games listed above with live dealers.
The mobile app provided by PokerStars has blackjack, roulette and live casino games. It is compatible with iOS and Android.
Anyone who has ever visited PokerStars' poker site will be familiar with the layout here - in fact the casino site is simply integrated into the existing PokerStars site.
In all honesty, PokerStars' site could do with a little bit of an upgrade as it is too cluttered and is starting to look a little retro, although you can see PokerStars' point of view for not doing so. PokerStars has been the biggest gambling site on the internet for well over a decade now, so why fix what isn't broken?
A real shocker! PokerStars' casino site is downloadable! In a blast from the recent past, if you prefer, you can download and install the software to your PC or Mac.
Some people will love the fact that the software is available as a download, but a lot of other people will prefer the 'instant play' version.
The '24/7 Support' mentioned on the site is simply the availabilty of an online FAQ section at all hours, and the opportunity to send PokerStars an email. This is not how we define '24/7 Support'.
Available Software: Leander Games, NetEnt.
After years of taking poker payments online you'd think funding your account at PokerStars would be easier than flipping a poker chip, and you'd be right. Payouts can be processed via plastic (and virtual plastic via Entropay), plus there are plenty of eWallet solutions including PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. You can even buy prepaid PokerStarsTopUp vouchers at retail stores in some countries and use them to fund your account.
The minimum deposit is £/$10, and the maximum depends on how much you have deposited so far. The basic rate is $2,000 a month. The minimum withdrawal depends on your withdrawal method, but it's around £/$10. There are no limits.
Withdrawals to eWallet solutions are very swift - virtually instaneous unless you need to provide documents proving who you are. Credit and debit card cashouts take at least three days, and sometimes as many as ten.
Note: the table below contains averages for the given payment services and does not factor in limits on the casino's side. Remember to check the casino's website for specific time/cash limits.
|Payment Method||Name||Depositing||Withdrawing||Withdraw Time|
|Credit Card||£10 - £50000||£10 - £100000||1 - 7 days|
|Debit Card||£10 - £50000||£10 - £100000||1 - 7 days|
|Entropay||£10 - £10000||£10 - £10000||1 - 7 days|
|Neteller||£10 - £50000||£10 - £100000||1 - 7 days|
|PaySafeCard||£0 - £4000||£0 - £4000||1 - 7 days|
|Skrill||£5 - £5000||£250 - £2500||1 - 7 days|
|Trustly||£10 - £50000||£10 - £100000||1 - 7 days|
|Ukash||£0 - £1000||£0 - £1001||1 - 7 days|
|Visa Electron||£10 - £50000||£10 - £100000||1 - 7 days|
PokerStars casino is solid, but not spectacular. The design and functionality are great, but there's a lack of software options for a big brand.
The cashier options are fantastic - you can deposit through Paypal and withdrawals are done in a jiffy - but that's what you'd expect from a brand with a decade's worth of payment processing experience. This casino may be created by PokerStars, but their product is not quite stellar. Still, if you're looking for an all-round gambling package of poker, betting and casino - accessible all through one account - PokerStars is worth a punt.Sounds good, sign me up!
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Australia, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United StatesSupported Languages:
Chinese, Croatian, Danish, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, SpanishSupported Currencies:
Canada Dollar, Czech Republic Koruna, European Euro, New Zealand Dollar, Russia Ruble, UK Pound Sterling, US DollarSupported Software:
Leander Games, NetEntOpening Hours: