Do Not Download PokerStars

9 Reasons not to Download PokerStars

Last Updated: 19 November 2019

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TL;DR: Don't Download PokerStars

In the section below we will provide detailed reasons for why we do not recommend downloading PokerStars. Below is a summary of our reasons for (for anyone who does not feel like reading through the detailed explanations).

  1. Market Dominance is bad for online poker
  2. PokerStars have been steadily increasing rake and decreasing rewards ever since taking over (see point #1)
  3. PokerStars are not innovators, instead "borrowing" good ideas from competitors
  4. Although they represent themselves as the morale standard, in 2012 PokerStars were charged with using fraudulent methods to process payments and evade U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling
  5. The Stars Group used to be called Amaya Gaming, but re-branded themselves following the resignation of CEO David Baazov after he was charged with multiple instances of securities fraud
  6. Before purchasing PokerStars, Amaya Gaming bought the Ongame Poker network...and proceeded to run it into the ground. It eventually closed in 2016
  7. PokerStars are more interested in promoting Sportsbetting and the Stars Casino than poker
  8. PokerStars sold their Indian players
  9. High traffic poker sites are a haven for professional cash game grinders, and the variance in tournament results is horrendous

At the bottom of this article, we also provide a list 5 reasons why many players choose to download PokerStars despite the many reasons not to. If the above reasons not to download PokerStars do not concern you, and you wish to download the PokerStars software anyway, you may wish to follow our PokerStars download and installation instructions.

If your biggest reason for joining PokerStars is the number of active tables, then you should instead consider joining PartyPoker. Not only do they have lots of active tournaments and cash games, but they also give better rewards and offer much better customer service!

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If maximizing your rewards while minimizing rake & fees is your goal, then the absolute best site is Americas Cardroom (and they have plenty of active tables as well). In fact, you can earn significantly more rewards with almost any other online poker site. Answer 4 simple questions to find the best poker site for you!

Overall Rating
gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey star
    7.8

Determine your player category:

  • Casual Players
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold starempty starempty star
     7.5 7.5
    +

         VIP Rewards
    gold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           22
      Sign-Uup Bonus
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey star
           88
      Freeroll Value
    gold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           11
      Rake
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
           1010
      Tournament. Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star
           99
      Sit & Go Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           77
  • Enthusiast Players
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold starempty starempty star
     7.8 7.8
    +

         VIP Rewards
    gold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           22
      Sign-Uup Bonus
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star
           99
      Freeroll Value
    gold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           11
      Rake
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
           1010
      Tournament. Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey star
           88
      Sit & Go Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           77
  • Amateur Players
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold starempty starempty star
     7.7 7.7
    +

         VIP Rewards
    gold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           22
      Sign-Uup Bonus
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
        1010
      Freeroll Value
    gold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           11
      Rake
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
           1010
      Tournament. Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           44
      Sit & Go Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey star
           88
  • Semi-Pro Players
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold starempty starempty star
     8.0 8.0
    +

         VIP Rewards
    gold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           33
      Sign-Uup Bonus
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
           1010
      Freeroll Value
    gold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           11
      Rake
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star
        99
      Tournament. Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           55
      Sit & Go Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
        1010
  • Professional Players
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold starempty starempty starempty star
     6.7 6.7
    +

         VIP Rewards
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
        44
      Sign-Uup Bonus
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           77
      Freeroll Value
    gold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
        11
      Rake
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star
           99
      Tournament. Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           66
      Sit & Go Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
        1010
  • Hardcore Pros
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold starempty starempty star
     7.4 7.4
    +

         VIP Rewards
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           55
      Sign-Uup Bonus
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           77
      Freeroll Value
    gold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey stargrey star
        11
      Rake
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
        1010
      Tournament. Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey star
           77
      Sit & Go Fees
    gold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold stargold star
        1010
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NOTE: To estimate your monthly tournament fees, multiply the average fee (e.g. $1 on a $10+$1 tournament) by the number of tournaments you play each month.

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THE BEST POKER SITE FOR YOU IS:

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BWIN

Still not convinced? Click here to read our full Bwin review and discover why we think they are the best online poker site for you given your player profile.

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WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL BUY-IN?

less than 2 usd
2 to 10 usd
11 to 50 usd
51 to 200 usd
201 to 1000 usd
more than 1000 usd

 

Online poker sites frequently charge different fees for tournaments, which of course has an impact on your total cost. Click the image that represents the buy-in range you most typically play.

NOTE: If you play a range of buy-ins that cover mulitple groupings (e.g. $1 to $5), select the larger buy-in range. 

Oops, I made a mistake, take me back!

WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL BUY-IN?

less than 2 usd
2 to 10 usd
11 to 50 usd
51 to 200 usd
201 to 1000 usd
more than 1000 usd

 

Online poker sites frequently charge different fees for tournaments, which of course has an impact on your total cost. Click the image that represents the buy-in range you most typically play.

NOTE: If you play a range of buy-ins that cover mulitple groupings (e.g. $1 to $5), select the larger buy-in range. 

Oops, I made a mistake, take me back!

5 Reasons Why Players Still Download PokerStars

Even though there are plenty of reasons not to download PokerStars, they remain one of the most popular online poker sites. Below are 5 reasons why many players continue to play poker online with PokerStars:

  1. PokerStars are the most heavily advertised poker site in the world.
  2. As a part of the world's largest poker site, PokerStars offer many games and stakes that smaller sites cannot.
  3. With so many active tables, few sites provide online poker pros with the ability to grind 20+ tables at the same stakes.
  4. PokerStars offer incredibly clean graphics and an industry-leading interface. As the world's largest poker site, PokerStars can afford to heavily invest in security to prevent collusion, data mining, bots, etc.
  5. Poker players do not like change. Players get comfortable with a site's layout and interface and often feel uncomfortable at other sites. As a result, many players continue to play on PokerStars even though they repeatedly increase the cost to play there.

In our opinion, the reasons to not download PokerStars outweigh the reasons to do so. However, if you wish to play poker online with PokerStars anyway, you should follow our PokerStars download and installation instructions.

One of the biggest things to consider when choosing an online poker site is the "net cost" of playing there (i.e. rake & fees minus rewards). The best online poker site we have reviewed for consistently offereing the lowest net cost to play is Americas Cardroom (and they have lots of active tables as well):

acr poker download

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If volume of players is your biggest reason for joining PokerStars, then you should instead consider downloading PartyPoker. They also have plenty of active tournaments and cash games and provide far better rewards and customer service!

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