Ever since being taken over by The Stars Group (previously called Amaya Gaming), the PokerStars Network has been going steadily downhill. They have increased the rake multiple times, scrapped the popular (and highly profitable) Supernova program, and made many other unpopular changes. Although our network rating for this network is quite high, for PokerStars that number is actually very misleading. Our network ratings are based on rake across a variety of games and fees for tournaments and sit-and-go's. PokerStars rake and fees are actually pretty decent - the issue is their "effective rake". Since the Stars Rewards program offers as little as 2% rakeback, the network ends up having one of the highest effective rakes online!
Regardless of your preferred type of game (cash, tournaments, SNGs, etc.) and the stakes you play, there is almost always a better online poker site for you than PokerStars!
This isn't to say that playing on PokerStars doesn't have advantages. They are still the largest online poker site in the world (although that gap is quickly closing). With so many active players, there are plenty of cash games and tournaments offered 24 hours a day. Software quality on both sites is extremely high, with clean graphics and logical navigation. Advance action buttons and smooth animations make for a fast game, and multi-table play is well supported. Both sites offer poker software for mac, as well as Android and iOS, allowing you to play on a smartphone or tablet.
However, if high levels of player activity is your main reason for picking a poker site, you are far better off joining PartyPoker or playing online poker with Bwin. Both of these sites are on the bwin.party network, which also has plenty of traffic and high quality software, but additionally offers better rewards!
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To find out which poker site offers you the lowest effective rake (rake/fees - all rewards), click here.