PokerStars is officially the world’s largest online poker room thanks to a massive player base and a widespread popularity which it has enjoyed since 2001. By far the top online poker site for traffic, PokerStars attracts a huge numbers of players both recreational and experienced, many of whom are attracted by PokerStars’ competitive £20 bonus for new players. Not belonging to any network, PokerStars stands alone and has its own original software.
Bonuses: PokerStars offers new players a competitive 100% bonus with their first deposit (up to the equivalent of £400) and most players find that the bonus clears at a pretty good rate. New players can deposit £10 and receive £20 in return, essentially being gifted £10 for signing up – but unlike an instant bonus, it is released in smaller increments.
Games & Tournaments: In addition to the standard choice of Texas Hold’em (Limit and No Limit), Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo, PokerStars offers its players a host of other cash games from 7 Card Stud, Razz, Triple Stud to 5 Card Draw, 5 Card Omaha, to alternative options of Courchevel and Badugi. Sit ’n’ Gos are offered with buy-ins starting at pennies. Lots of multi table tournaments are offered hourly. The weekly Sunday Million tournament has a guaranteed $1m prize, with a $215 buy-in. The Sunday Warm-Up has a prize pool of $400,000.
Traffic: Daily traffic tends to average at around 15,000 to 22,000 players, but in reality rises much higher. PokerStars is so massively popular that players can find any game with any skill level of player they prefer. Competition is usually pretty soft for the small stakes games but the higher stakes games come with much more advanced competition, with players observing that they’re much tougher than they used to be. While many of the players on this site are beginners or recreational, it also has a significant concentration of difficult to beat players, often professionals.
Software: PokerStars software is incredibly well-designed and exceptionally easy to use. The lobby is functional and informative with detailed information about each ring table and or tournament. The software is loaded with impressive and helpful features, like the player note-taking support, instant hand history and current session statistics.
Banking & Customer Service: PokerStars arguably offers more deposit options than any other site and facilitates fast cash-outs and withdrawals. Customer service is available on PokerStars via email and response tends to be fairly swift. The site also has a online contact support feature available in the client for answering queries.
Overall: PokerStars has a global active player base and sees a regular influx of new players, meaning games can be softer here than at other poker sites, so you won’t have to wait long to find a satisfying cash game or decent competitive tournament. The bonus is slightly more generous than similar sites, although the cash bonus isn’t instant, it is still a free £10, and the match bonus is renowned for being fairly quick to clear.
Best Poker Bonus Score: 8.5/10