PokerStars Poker Room Overview
PokerStars is the undisputed giant of online poker. PokerStars was launched in September 2001. Almost 20 years later, PokerStars is now the most popular and busiest online poker room in the world. Players of all skill levels come together here. There are many elements that make PokerStars an interesting place to play. The software itself is the best in the poker industry. It is stable, aesthetically pleasing, customizable and its ergonomics allow us to multi-set up with great ease. The pool of players at PokerStars is also very large; there is action 24/7. In conclusion, PokerStars has the most complete gaming offer on the market with a very large number of variations. Later in this article we will elaborate on the multitude of poker variants available at PokerStars
Download and install the PokerStars software
On the PokerStars home page, you will find the big green button to download the software. Click on this button to start the download. Please note that PokerStars is available for Windows or MAC, but this is the Windows version we will be installing today
Once the download is complete, in Windows, your file will be located in the "Downloads" folder.Double-click the file to open it.
Then choose the language for the installation. You will then be able to choose the standard installation and click in the small white box to accept the site's terms and conditions. Once this is done, click on "Install" to start the installation of the software
Once this is done, you will have a "shortcut" icon on your desktop, a red spade with a white star inside. Double-click on the icon to launch the software
If this is the first time you run the software, click on the link at the bottom of the home screen to create an account.
Now it's time to create your PokerStars account by entering the requested information.
Once everything is done and you have validated your email address, you can now launch the application and log in.
You are now online at PokerStars
Introducing the PokerStars lobby
The PokerStars cardroom offers so many poker variants and options for setting up the software, that it would be impossible to go through them all in this short article. A 400 or 500 page book would probably be more appropriate. For this reason, we will present the main options of the software in a concise manner. You will then have all the necessary leisure to browse through it and discover it by yourself
In this rectangle, you can see the types of play that are possible. In the Cash option, you will find the classic cash games, the money games if you prefer. From the smallest to the highest limit including all types of tables (2 players, 6 players and 9 players)
Under the Zoom tab, you also have cash games, but in the form that's becoming more and more popular, which is high speed poker. PokerStars calls this option Zoom, but the variant is known by several other names depending on the poker room (Rush Poker, Blast Poker, Fast Forward Poker, etc). In this variant, the second you fold your hand, you are switched tables and get a new hand. One table in this poker variant is equivalent to three regular poker tables in terms of volume. This variant can be played from the smallest to the highest limit
The 6+ Poker (also called Shortdeck Poker) is a recent poker variant that is gaining popularity. Instead of playing with 52 cards as usual, you remove all two, three, four, and five cards from the deck (16 cards in total) and keep only 32. Removing these cards changes the odds of making certain hands, thus changing the strength of some hands. In this variant, unlike in classic Hold'em, for example, three of a kind beats the sequence and the flush beats the full house. For the rest, the hands keep their usual value
Tempest poker is an exclusive Pokerstars option. This variant of poker is based on Texas Hold'em. But new rules are added, including antes that increase during the hand up to the bust, an extra blind and two options for each player: all in or fold. To be discovered, especially for tournament players who want to practice their late tournament strategy
The Sit & Go tab gives us a list of all the sit'n'gos and all the possible buy-ins. I think most of you are familiar with this classic variant of Texas Hold'em
The Spin & Go tab allows us to play a very exciting variant of poker; it's a hyper turbo 3 player (1 seat only) sit & go where the total amount to be won is randomly drawn. You can win between 2 times and 10,000 times your entry prize
Under the KO tab are the "Knockout" tournaments, also known as "headhunting" tournaments. These tournaments are similar to regular tournaments, but a portion of the entry price is placed on each player's head. If we take the example of a tournament that has a $10 entry fee, $5 could go into the main prize pool, while $5 would go to each player's head. Each knockout tournament has its own structure, so be sure to read the tournament information before registering. As soon as you eliminate a player, you win his $5. Your goal is not only to finish as high as possible in the rankings to get to the highest paid places possible, but also to eliminate as many players as possible to collect what are called "bountys", i.e. the cash bonuses placed on each player's head
The Tournaments tab will show us a list of all available upcoming tournaments. There is something for everyone. There are some $1 tournaments and some $10,000 tournaments
The last two tabs, Turbo Series and Events, are tabs where you'll find special tournaments organized by PokerStars. Depending on the time of year and your home country, you will have prestigious events or satellite tournaments for the World Series of Poker for example. Check back from time to time to check out the current tournaments
This is the place to filter out poker games. Due to the huge number of poker tables, you will want to enter your preferences to filter the results. You will be able to filter by variants, limits, players and you will get more filter criteria by clicking on the triangle to the right completely
This is where the tables corresponding to your filters will be displayed. You will be able to get several pieces of information about these tables, such as the number of seats available, the number of players seated at the table, the size of the average pot, and the number of hands per hour played at that table
When you click on a particular table, this is where you will see information about the players at that particular table. You will be able to take a seat at the selected table by clicking on "Play Now" and you can even observe the table action by clicking on "Observe"
In this rectangle, that's what you might call your dashboard.
The Deal is a casino game where you can win a progressive jackpot (and smaller side prizes). The game is based on a variant of Texas Hold'em. You will be able to participate using your StarCoins, which you get when you pay commission to PokerStars. You will also be able to use these StarCoins (or tokens) to get several promotional items, tournament entries and game play, such as The Deal
Under the My Stars tab you will see your StarCoin account.
Challenge is a place to find custom challenges. There you will find missions to complete as well as prizes attached to those missions. For example, play 10 sit & go and win x numbers of StarCoin or play 100 hands of Zoom and win free entry to a particular tournament. These are just examples of possible missions. The challenges are updated daily, so be sure to check them out
Leader Boards allows you to see the leaders in several categories (tournaments, sit & go, etc).
In the next 2 tabs, Settings and Tools, you will find an incredible number of settings for your PokerStars software. You will be able to choose the appearance of the software, change the game options, adjust your preflop raise options, adjust the automatic flop bets, set up your play limits (maximum deposits per month for example), etc. The list of parameters in these two sections could be the subject of an article
Finally, under the Help tab, you will find the help you need to answer all your questions about the PokerStars cardroom
This is where you can check your cash balance at any time. If for some reason you want to hide this information, you will be able to do so by simply clicking on the amount (as in our example). You will also be able to access the cashier by clicking on the big "Cashier" button. This is where you will find your personal information, where you can make deposits, withdrawals and transfers between players. You will also always have the local time and the number of players currently online on the gaming platform
Reasons to choose PokerStars
Sometimes the preference of one product or another is a matter of taste. But very few people will disagree with the following statement: PokerStars has the best poker software on the online poker market. It's a pleasure to play there. It is aesthetically pleasing to look at, fluid, reliable, stable, customizable, intuitive, etc. It is the best of the best poker software. For a regular player who plays thousands of hands a month, it's a great reason to want to settle down and play there regularly. It's also very easy to multi-settle on this software without fear that the software will crash and make us lose money every time it crashes; it is extremely stable
Since the software has been running since September 2001 and is extremely well known, it attracts a lot of players. PokerStars has very high traffic all the time. The popularity of the software allows you to play at any time. At any time of the day you will find a game that will interest you. In the evenings, you will also find daily big tournaments with good cash prizes. At some smaller poker rooms, sometimes at certain times of the day/night, the traffic is very low and it is therefore very difficult to find action at the tables, which is not the case at PokerStars
The gambling offer
Some smaller poker rooms will only offer Texas Hold'em poker, the most popular variant. But there are many other forms of poker that are also a lot of fun. Fortunately, at PokerStars, you'll find almost all of them. For example, Omaha Hi-Lo (or Omaha 8) is a variant that's slowly gaining popularity, and it's not everywhere you can play it. Omaha Hi-Lo is one of the many options available at PokerStars. The cardroom also offers many variations that you won't find anywhere else (Tempest Poker and Hold'em shortdeck for example). They also pioneered several forms of poker. In particular, they were the first to introduce Spins tournaments, which were later taken up by several other poker rooms. PokerStars is constantly innovating in order to improve its range and diversity of games
Reliability and Security
It's important that your money is safe when you make a deposit at a poker room. If you make a deposit at PokerStars, you can rest easy. Deposits are free and secure, withdrawals are very fast and a lot of effort is put into countering collusion, cheating, bots and the use of prohibited software. You are safe when you play at PokerStars
The Deposit Offer
If you do not yet have an account at PokerStars, several promotions and first deposit offers are available. You will be able to browse the promotions tab on their website to learn more
Works with most online tools
Many software and tools are available to enhance your poker experience. Some are illegal, but many are legal and compatible with PokerStars. You know that a tracker like PokerTracker 4 or Xeester will work great on PokerStars. Programmers of software and tools for online poker players have an optimization for PokerStars in mind when developing their product, as it is the most popular cardroom. Some tools are only compatible with PokerStars. Some sites do not support HUDs. At PokerStars, you will be able to use a HUD legally. You can find a complete list of all the tools that are not allowed on their website. We invite you to consult it