PokerStars Review? Is it Safe or Scam to Play at PokerStars?
About two hundred years since it was first invented, poker is still going strong and continues to be one of the most widely played gambling card games.
Since the internet revolution in the early 1990s, online poker has dominated internet gambling as one of the most popular casino table games. Today there are more than a dozen poker variations – Texas Hold’em, 7-Card Stud, 5-Card Draw – all of which can be found on any of the hundreds of online casinos. But if you are looking for both variety and quality, as well as a wide selection of other casino games such as baccarat, slots, and blackjack – PokerStars Casino is where you will find it all!
Since you are already here for our PokerStars review, it means the word has somehow reached to you about one of the world’s most popular online poker rooms.
Keep on reading and we are sure you will find at least some helpful information that will make your experience with PokerStars a bit better.
Brief Introduction to PokerStars Casino
PokerStars was founded in 2001 as a poker-specific gambling site.
It was originally owned by The Stars Group until they merged with British gambling corporation Flutter Entertainment, which runs major brands including Paddy Power, Sky Bet, Fox Bet, Full Tilt Poker, Sportsbet.com.au, and more.
There have been online casinos offering poker games since the early 1990s and you can say PokerStars joined the online club somewhat late, but it didn’t take them long to achieve world renown.
This occurred in 2003, when Chris Moneymaker joined the Main Event of the 2003 World Series of Poker via a PokerStars satellite tournament and would go on to win the World Series. Moneymaker became the first world champion who has joined a major tournament via an online poker site – with the site being PokerStars.
PokerStars’ success has since exploded! In 2009, they hosted an online tournament that was attended by nearly 150,000 players, which at the time was the record number for participants in an online poker tournament.
Though that record has since been broken with the appearance of many new casino and poker sites, PokerStars remains a force to be reckoned with and is easily one of the world’s most recognized online, real money poker brands.
Is PokerStars Scam?
It’s a fair question to ask, but the answer is no!
PokerStars is one of the world’s most recognized casino sites and we were unable to find evidence of any major PokerStars scam incident in the company’s nearly 20-year existence.
Sure, PokerStars has had its fair share of issues over the years. This includes a major controversy in 2011 when the United States Department of Justice froze PokerStars URLs over money-laundering issues, the very next year the company reached a settlement and was cleared of any wrongdoing. The dropping of the charges virtually ruled PokerStars secure for providing gambling services to a wide audience.
At PokerStars, all of your sensitive personal data is managed by The Stars Group (TSG) Interactive Gaming Europe Limited, a company based on the Isle of Man which operates in over a dozen different jurisdictions under several different licenses and approvals.
PokerStars is fully licensed by several major regulatory bodies, including the Malta Gaming Authority, Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), and the Swedish Gambling Authority.
Speaking for users in the U.K., they can consider PokerStars safe without a modicum of doubt knowing that it is operating under the auspices of the UKGC. The British gambling commission is one of the most uncompromising regulatory agencies when it comes to gambling ethics. The commission sets and maintains the standards for safe gambling both for online companies and land-based facilities. The UKGC requires all companies that operate in the UK to adopt certain security features pertaining to protecting user data and reducing the risk of cyber intrusions and promote responsible gambling. That is why all licensed U.K. casino sites, PokerStars included, must participate in a “multi-operator self-exclusion scheme.”
Self-exclusion refers to the practice of players willingly requesting they be prevented from gambling when they believe they have a gambling addiction. If you self-exclude the gambling company will remove your account and return any money you have and will scrub all your personal details from anywhere they use it. The UKGC offers numerous other guides to help players practice safe gambling without self-excluding and tips on identifying any suspicious activity.
Still, have concerns about PokerStars scam?
We will bring up one other thing that we believe makes PokerStars secure beyond doubt, and that is its large base of users.
PokerStars has hit the milestone of 100 million users, and that was about five years ago. Today, its crowd of fans and players easily tops that number, with tens of thousands of users who find PokerStars safe to use daily.
If more than 20,000 daily players can consider PokerStars safe, there is no reason that you shouldn’t.
PokerStars Games and Features
PokerStars began as a gambling site with an exclusive focus on poker, and it’s that game has alone helped them achieve their current status.
But a bit of an overhaul and renovation was inevitable, and so around 2014, PokerStars started broadening its casino gallery to include more categories in an effort to further expand its client base knowing that many players are attracted to table and card games other than poker.
Today, PokerStars’ gaming gallery is divided into three sections: poker, casino, and sports.
Concerning the poker section, at PokerStars you can expect to find the following games:
- Texas Hold’em
- Omaha High
- Omaha Hi/Lo
- 5 Card Omaha
- 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo
- 6 Card Omaha
- Courchevel Hi/Lo
- Seven Card Stud
- Stud Hi/Lo
- Five Card Draw
- 2-7 Triple Draw
- 2-7 Single Draw
- 8-Game Mix
- Split Hold’em
- Showtime Hold’em
Meanwhile, the casino section includes familiar choices such as slots, races, live casino, and other card and table games.
There are more than 2,000 games and the slots are, naturally, by far the most numerous. The site’s easy-to-use design and user-friendly interface make it seamless to navigate across games and categories and PokerStars players can easily filter the hundreds of slots by ‘popular’, ‘new’, ‘jackpot’, ‘exclusive’, and ‘Megaways’. Unlike some casino sites, PokerStars casino has a search bar, making navigation that much simpler and easier.
Some of the more recent slot games include ‘White Rabbit’, ‘Monopoly Megaways’, ‘Divine Fortune’, ‘Extra Chilli’, ‘Volcano Eruption Extreme’, and ‘The Wild 3’, among others.
There are more than 20 card and table games, including:
- Classic Blackjack
- High Roller Blackjack
- Double Deck Blackjack,
- Single Hand Joker Poker,
- European Roulette
- High Roller Roulette
- Double Bonus
- Triple Bonus
- Aces and Eights
Suffice it to say, there are plenty of live dealer options, including Live Poker, Live American Roulette, Live Blackjack, and Live Baccarat.
Every PokerStars casino game comes from a notable software developer and some of the leading game providers partnered with PokerStars include brands such as the site’s own Star Studio, Play’n Go, Skywind, Pragmatic Play, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Blueprint, Playtech, Stakelogic, Thunderkick, Red Tiger Gaming, Leander, High 5, Quickspin, and Instant Win Gaming,
Other Helpful Features
PokerStars’ bonus offers, promotions, and rewards are not the only features that make it appealing to new players.
PokerStars is one of only a few sites that offer detailed guidance for beginners on how to gamble. But the company has gone an extra mile and started its own ‘PokerStars School’. How cool is that?
The program is designed for new players, but even if you are a hardened punter, no one’s stopping you from sharpening your skills. The school offers several different courses, each of them containing between 9 and 11 lessons. There are eight courses lasting anywhere from 45 minutes up to five hours designed to prepare you for the real thing. Once you complete the first ‘Basics’ course, you can proceed to the next one, and the one after, and in the end, you will have learned enough to master the basics of online poker gambling, and you can join a live table to show off your new skills.
The best part about the PokerStars School is that it is free to use and uses promotions and actual money rewards to additionally encourage new players to use the learning platform.
PokerStars Bonuses and Promotions
Bonuses and promotions are what make any player tick, and there are different PokerStars bonus offers, rewards, and promos to be found. As of this PokerStars review, there were two welcome offers for new players.
The first allows players to claim £30 in rewards by depositing a minimum of £20 using the bonus code ‘THIRTY.’
The ‘$30 in Free Play’ promotion comes with Spin & Go Tickets and bonus cash, and all tickets players receive as part of this bonus will expire within 21 days of being issued.
The second welcome bonus offer players can opt for includes a 100% first deposit bonus of up to $600. To access this bonus, use the code ‘STAR600’ when making a deposit.
Players can make up to three qualifying deposits within 60 days to get the full value of the bonus. The bonus is claimed if new users play real money games after making their first deposit.
Once they start gambling, new users will receive 6.5 redemption points for every £1, and every time they collect 180 points they will receive £10 cash in their account. Users have a total of four months after making every qualifying deposit to collect all redemption points required to receive the full bonus. As a note, the sum of the bonus for U.K. players appears to be £400 and U.K. customers will get £10 once they collect 270 redemption points. For Euros, the maximum bonus is €500 with 230 redemption points per €10.
PokerStars also abounds with various small offers such as daily and weekly offers, free spins, rolling bonuses, and more.
There is also the Star Rewards loyalty program where players can collect Reward Points and be eligible to open Chests that have cash rewards from as little as $0.60 to up to $700 or an equivalent sum in GBP.
PokerStars Deposits and Withdrawals
Whether you’re using the site through a browser or via the PokerStars app, the payment methods are the same and include Visa, MasterCard, PaySafeCard, Bank Transfer, ecoPayz, Apple Pay, Much Better, Neteller, Skrill, InstaDebit, and more.
Deposits are fast and reliable and there is also the ‘Fast Deposit’ option that users can find in the ‘Cashier’ section next to the deposit method and enable a ‘Fast Deposit Account’ to make transactions straight from the table.
As far as we could tell, the minimum deposit was £10 (depending on the payment method) while the maximum deposit and minimum and maximum withdrawals were not specified.
The deposits are almost instant while the withdrawal processing can take between 3 and 10 business days.
The PokerStars App
As most successful online casinos, PokerStars has its dedicated app where you can play pretty much any available PokerStars game – slots Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, Live Casino Hold’em, etc. – on the move or while out with friends.
The PokerStars app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices and you may download it directly from the PokerStars website.
Does PokerStars Have Good Customer Support?
PokerStars has a solid customer service that offers around-the-clock support, seven days a week, although as far as we could tell, there was no live chat. If you have any questions, you can either contact the support team via email or visit the Help Center.
How Secure is PokerStars?
As secure as they get! The company is regulated by the UKGC and holds several other licenses in multiple jurisdictions. Tens of thousands of daily players consider PokerStars secure for gambling as the site provides ironclad safety for their personal data as well as for every one of the thousands of financial transactions, deposits, and withdrawals made every day.
How long do PokerStars Deposits and Withdrawals Take?
The deposits are almost instant regardless of the payment methods, while the withdrawals can take between 3 and 10 business days.
Is PokerStars Scam?
PokerStars is not a scam and is 100% legit, licensed by several authorities with tens of thousands of players using their platform for gambling every day.
Is PokerStars Available in the UK?
Yes. PokerStars is licensed by the UKGC and available to U.K. players aged 18 or older.
Is there a PokerStars Bonus?
New players can claim a £30 PokerStars bonus when they deposit £20 or get a 100% match on a deposit up to $600, or the equivalent in Euros and British pounds. Wagering requirements must be met before a full bonus is claimed.