PokerStars Review

Use PokerStars bonus code "psp18997" and start playing real money on PokerStars today!

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Pros & Cons

 
  ++   Biggest poker site
 
  ++   Best poker software  
  ++   Widest variety of games available  
  +   Long period to earn deposit bonus  
  -   Poor rewards for cash players who generate <$30k/yr in rake
 
  -   No US players  
  -   Huge variation in tournament results  
  -   Horrible customer service  
  -   Most freerolls are worthless  

PokerStars Rakeback

The PokerStars VIP program is the best known rewards program, but is only competitive if you achieve Supernova status or better. There are two components to the program: VIP status and VIP Stellar Rewards.

Stakes

VPPs / $1 rake

1¢/2¢

10

2¢/5¢

8.5

5¢/10¢

7

Tournament and short-handed cash players earn 5.5 VIP Player Points (VPPs) for every $1 of rake contributed or tournament fee paid. Full table cash players earn 6 VPPs/$1. Players who earn enough VPPs in a month or year gain VIP status levels (Bronze, Chrome, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Supernova, and Supernova Elite). Players earn a ratio of Frequent Player Points (FPPs) to VPPs based on their VIP status level, from 1 FPP per VPP for Bronze up to 5 FPPs per VPP for Supernova Elite. FPPs can be used to purchase items from the PokerStars store (including tournament tickets), pay for VIP tournaments, or converted directly to cash. Micro stakes NL & PL players earn more VPPs per $1 raked (regardless of table size).

VIP Stellar Rewards are earned upon achieving VPP milestones throughout the year. The first Stellar Rewards are $10 for every 750 VPPs (which requires $136 in rake or fees to achieve).

Although there are 36 PokerStars freerolls available every day, there are much better freeroll poker sites to choose from. With so many entrants the value of each PokerStars freeroll is less than 1¢. Decent freerolls do not become available until a player achieves Gold status or higher. Although the Silver status VIP texas holdem tournament is nice, it costs FPPs to enter, so it is not a freeroll.

Until players achieve Supernova Status (roughly $17,000 in rake or fees), the best use of FPPs is to buy tournament tickets, which is not attractive for cash game players. As a result, cash players receive less value from their FPPs.

There are monthly PokerStars Tournament and Sit & Go leaderboards. However, with so many active players, it is extremely difficult to get a share of these prizes unless you are playing over 300 tournaments a month, and even that won’t get you into the top spots. Players who are interested in competing for achievable leaderboard prizes should download Carbon Poker instead.

pokerstars rakeback

PokerStars Deposit Bonus

Use PokerStars bonus code "psp18997" to receive a 100% online poker deposit bonus to a maximum of $600. Players earn the bonus in $10 increments, which are released for every $36.36 paid in rake or tournament fees (28% cashback) in PokerStars real money cash games and tournaments. Players may make up to 3 separate deposits during the first 60 days, and up to 120 days after the third deposit to earn the bonus, giving you a total of 180 days. This is one of the longest time periods for a bonus offer, which makes it attractive for players who would not normally earn the full bonus in the typical 60 to 90-day bonus period offered by most other online poker sites.

In addition, PokerStars offers 4 daily $100k Depositor's Freerolls for 30 days after making your first deposit. However, the value of each tournament is so low (4¢ - 11¢) that they are not worth the time it takes to play them. These are the lowest value new player freerolls offered by any online poker room we have reviewed.

PokerStars Freeroll Tournament Schedule

Status Freeroll Name Frequency Time (UTC) Value
Bronze Brahe's Badugi Freeroll 3 x Daily Varies <1¢
Bronze Cassini's Stud Freeroll 2.5 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Copernicus' FL Omaha Hi/Lo Freeroll 2 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Eddington's Stud Hi/Lo Freeroll 2 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Galileo's NL Omaha Hi/Lo Freeroll 1.5 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Halley's PL Omaha Hi Freeroll 2 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Hawking's FL Hold'em Freeroll 1.5 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Hubble's NL Hold'em Freeroll 6.5 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Kepler's FL Razz Freeroll 2 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Le Vernier's 8-game Freeroll 3 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Newton's NL 5-card draw Freeroll 2.5 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Ptolemy's NL 2-7 Freeroll 2.5 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Sagan's HORSE Freeroll 3.5 x Daily <1¢
Bronze Tombaugh's Mixed (PLHE, PLO) 1 x Daily <1¢
Chrome $100k Depositor's Freeroll Daily 1:00am 11¢
Chrome $100k Depositor's Freeroll Daily 8:00am 8¢
Chrome $100k Depositor's Freeroll Daily 2:00pm 5¢
Chrome $100k Depositor's Freeroll Daily 7:00pm 4¢
Chrome VIP $5,000 Weekly Saturdays 7:30pm 29¢
Gold VIP $100,000 Monthly Monthly 12:30pm $9.04
Supernova VIP $1,000,000 Quarterly Quarterly 12:30pm $267.02
Peak hours: 6pm - 11pm UTC
Peak Traffic: 120,940 players
Peak Cash Traffic: 21,620 players
Avg. Cash Traffic: 12,500 players
Low Hours: 5am - 9am UTC
Low Traffic: 34,700 players
No US players
Reviewed Sites:

Maximizing Your PokerStars Rakeback

Based on the price paid for tournament tickets, PokerStars equates 63.6 FPPs to $1. Using this as a guideline, you will quickly realize that buying items from the PokerStars store is huge rip-off. For example, Daniel Negraneau’s book More Hold’em Wisdom For All Players sells for $10.91 on Amazon.com, but would set you back $31.45 worth of FPPs if you were foolish enough to use them in this manner.

The best use of FPPs is PokerStars tournaments, which have a fixed guarantee regardless of entries. As a result, the value varies each tournament, but we’ve listed the ones that offer the best value below (the less FPPs per dollar, the better):

  • 10 FPP NL Hold’em [Turbo, $500 Prize Pool]: good value if <3,250 players register
    • 10:40am UTC: good value every day (avg. = 58.7 FPPs/$1)
    • 4:40pm UTC: poor value every day (avg. = 91.3 FPPs/$1)
    • 11:40pm UTC: good value on weekdays only (avg. = 56.1 FPPs/$1
  • 20 FPP NL Hold’em [Turbo, $1,000 Prize Pool]: good value if <3,250 players register
    • 4:35pm UTC: poor value every day (avg. = 82.3 FPPs/$1)
    • 8:05pm UTC: poor value every day (avg. = 89.9 FPPs/$1)
  • 50 FPP Weekly FLHE, Saturday, 8pm UTC: good value (avg. = 50.5 FPPs/$1)
  • 50 FPP Weekly PLO, Saturday, 8pm UTC: good value (avg. = 55.5 FPPs/$1)
  • The Sunday Two Grand, Sunday, 10pm UTC: good value (avg. = 46.5 FPPs/$1)
  • VIP $30,000 Weekly (Silver+), Saturday, 12:30pm UTC: great value (avg. = 25.7 FPPs/$1)
  • VIP $100,000 Monthly Satellite (Silver): horrible value (avg. = 143.8 FPPs/$1)
  • VIP $1,000,000 Quarterly Satellite (Gold): great value (avg. = 28.1 FPPs/$1)
  • VIP $1,000,000 Quarterly Satellite (Platinum): great value (avg. = 23.4 FPPs/$1)

Status

Exchange

Rate

Bronze

1,000 FPPs = $10

100 FPPs / $1

Silver

2,250 FPPs = $25

90 FPPs / $1

Gold

6,250 FPPs = $75

83.3 FPPs / $1

Platinum

15,400 FPPs = $200

77 FPPs / $1

Supernova+

40,000 FPPs = $600

66.7 FPPs / $1

100,000 FPPs = $1,600

62.5 FPPs / $1

If you earn more FPPs than you can spend on the above PokerStars tournaments, the next best option is to purchase tournament tickets, which typically cost 63.6 FPPs for every $1 value of the ticket.

If you prefer cash game poker and do not wish to spend your FPPs on PokerStars tournaments, the only other viable option is to convert them to cash. If possible, try to play more than usual in a given month and move up to the next poker VIP level before converting your FPPs, as the value of your FPPs increases with status. Supernova and Supernova Elite players have access to two exchange rates - obviously, waiting until you have accumulated 100,000 FPPs before converting them to cash offers a slightly better exchange rate.

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Platforms

Windows

YES

Mac

YES

iOS

YES

Android

YES

Linux

NO
PokerStars Deposit Options

AstroPay, Bank Transfer, Boku, Boleto Bancario, EntroPay, Full Tilt Transfer, Instadebit, Maestro, Mastercard, NETELLER, O2, Orange, PayPal, Paysafecard, PokerStarsPay, PokerStarsTopUp, Skrill, toditoCash, Ukash, VISA, Vodafone, WebMoney

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Withdrawal Options

Bank Draft, Bank Transfer, Electronic Transfer, EntroPay, Full Tilt Transfer, Instadebit, NETELLER, PayPal, Skrill, Ukash, VISA, WebMoney

Country Restrictions

USA

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