PokerStars Casino Review
PokerStars is a relatively new name in the gaming scene that opened its doors in 2015. The casino is owned and run by Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited Casinos, which is a popular name in the gambling business. Even with only three years of operating in an industry known for its aggression when it comes to competition for clientele, the gaming site has not stopped in its bid to rise and become one of the most successful online casinos. This success is especially driven by its provision of online poker services in both its regular and live casinos.
The vicious nature in which PokerStars Casino attacked the online gaming business saw its services being offered in six of the seven global continents within one year of operating. Such a wide scale of service provision has yet to be achieved by popular online casinos that have been around for a lot longer than PokerStars has. However, the establishment would proceed to be stripped of one of its most significant markets – The United States. This drawback was caused by the UIGEA law, which came into effect back in 2011, which saw a lot of casinos and game developers pull out of the region. The code stated made it difficult for gaming sites to conduct real money transactions with their clients since most institutions were banned from channelling gambling money.
Even with the law in place, PokerStars did not pull out of the market and continued with operations. At some point, the hand of the law caught up with the firm, and it was pushed to pay a hefty fine, which saw it cut the provision of its services in the region. PokerStars has since maintained its operations in regulated markets only, and even then, it remains a revered name worldwide. Today, PokerStars operates under the umbrella of Amaya Gaming, which is one of the biggest gambling companies in the world and runs operations from Canada. Amaya purchased Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited Casinos, which is PokerStars parent company, for a whopping five billion dollars. The success PokerStars has seen since this purchase has returned this investment several times fold.
Casino Gaming Assortment Overview
PokerStars may be heavily focused on running online poker rooms, but the casino also catered widely to gamblers with different tastes. The entity’s game collection counts in the hundreds, which gives players a lot of room to scout around and find something that meets their expectations.
PokerStars Casino provides its games in both free and real money versions. These options offer the same gaming experience for all sets from the layout to bet limits and payouts granted. However, the free to play versions do not demand the placement of cash stakes like the real money versions, and the same is not generated in wins. Therefore, the winnings collected can only be reused as stakes. These games are often used to test out games to find one that is worthy of real money attention. In this review, PokerStars’ game collection is widely traversed from the slot machine games section to that of live dealer sets.
Slot games define a huge part of the online gambling business, which makes them a standard part of most popular gaming sites, including PokerStars. This collection of games accounts for the most sets in PokerStars Casino since they are the most popular games online. In a bid to fulfil the appetite of as many gamers as possible, PokerStars includes different variations of slots with regards to several elements that define the games and their entertainment value. The casino offers a wide exploration of:
All online game developers incorporate the use of themes to spice up the gameplay of their slot releases. The simple nature of these games’ playing procedure can get dull very quickly since, in nearly all of them, punters are only required to place their stakes and spin the reels with no skill application whatsoever. Therefore, these slot features act as a storyline to give the punter more reason than just payouts to spin the reels. Some of the explored ones in PokerStars include Egypt, Asia, holidays, films, magazines, fairy tales, historical events, and many others.
- Reels and paylines
Reels and play lines are the basic components that make up the playing grids of slots, which is where icon combos are supposed to be formed for payouts to be granted. Most PokerStars slots maintain the standard five by three formation. Some games feature bigger or smaller reel configurations, with some featuring as little as three reels.
The bet lines, on the other hand, start as low as one for the classic variations and go as high as one hundred in the more modern ones. PokerStars also features slots that adopt the use of win ways, which have been known to go as high as 4096.
Sifting through the PokerStars Casino slots portfolio, one can spot some slots that carry the highest ratings from punters including:
- Gonzo’s Quest
- Wild Rails
- Dead or Alive II
- Rise of Merlin
- Book of Dead
- Immortal Romance
- Raging Rex
- Bonanza, etc.
Roulette is easily the highest demanded of all table games in both offline and web gaming clubs. The set is also among those that have endured the test of time in the industry, with its entry in casino floors tracing all the way back to the sixteenth century courtesy of a French scientist. The game was mainly played in Europe up until the eighteenth century when it was adopted globally thanks to the French Revolution. Roulette has since had several adaptations of the original created to add some spice to gameplay, but the original version remains among the most dominant.
With the entry of live gaming on the online platform more than a decade ago, roulette was among the first sets to run on the platform. The popularity of the game comes from the fact that it provides the experience of real-life gambling without the compromise of having to leave the comfort of one’s location. Sessions are streamed live to punters complete with human dealers and actual roulette wheels. PokerStars, being a leader in gaming service provision, includes the live roulette games in eight versions, which are:
- UFC Roulette
- Stars Trivia Roulette
- Lightning Roulette
- Age of the Gods Roulette
- Football Roulette
- American Roulette
- Standard Roulette
Even with a small live roulette collection, PokerStars turns to different game developers as sources for the games to improve entertainment quality for its clientele. For instance, Lightning Roulette is powered by Evolution Gaming while Age of the Gods Roulette is a product of Playtech.
Blackjack, like roulette, is among the most highly demanded of all table games with its availability being in nearly every web and brick and mortar gaming club, including PokerStars. Like most other classic sets that have maintained massive popularity for centuries, the origin of the table set is not clear. This vague nature is due to the fact that blackjack was not invented in a single moment like it is with games like slots and roulette. Rather, the game has evolved to become the blackjack game offered in PokerStars Casino and other establishments.
Blackjack boasts a simple gameplay procedure in comparison to other games, which is why PokerStars is eager with its provision. The basic rule of the set demands that gamblers try to achieve a card value close or equal to 21 before the croupier. If a higher value is landed, the party with the cards loses, which is referred to as busting. The odds of busting when drawing for some card values are as follows:
|Lower than 11 and 11||0%|
All blackjack variations offered in PokerStars adhere to these odds, and some of them include:
- Premium Blackjack
- Standard Blackjack
- VIP Blackjack
- Classic Blackjack
- UFC Blackjack
- Free Bet Blackjack
- Infinite Blackjack, etc.
The last three variations fall in the live dealer category, which serves gamers that crave a real-life casino experience with sessions being streamed live to their devices.
Poker is described as the king of cunning gameplay among all casino games thanks to the demand of wits to end up the winner. The interesting nature of its gameplay serves as an attraction for gamblers who not only like to use the skill in gameplay but also gamble with lady luck. PokerStars does not leave out the category in its portfolio, and it provides some of the most popular versions in both the regular and live casino lobbies including:
- 2 Hand Casino Hold’em
- Side Bet City
- Casino Hold’em
- Texas Hold’em Bonus
- Heads Up Hold’em
- 3 Card Brag
- Caribbean Stud Poker
PokerStars Casino also features a video poker collection, which should not be confused with that of traditional poker. These games stand as a mix of slot machine and table sets gameplay to create an entirely new niche of casino games. Some of the video poker options include:
- Jacks or Better
- Heads Up Hold’em
- Joker Poker
- Bonus Deuces Wild
- Tens or Better
- All American
- Triple Bonus
- Aces and Eights
- Aces and Faces, etc.
PokerStars live casino is among the most attractive features found on this site. With the massive steps taken in terms of technology in the past years, the online gaming platform has been able to straddle its services and those of the brick and mortar sector. This provision has allowed punters who indulge in the thrill of an actual casino to engage a variety of games on their devices. The placement of PokerStars Casino at the top of the industry pyramid means it features one of the best live gaming options. Players can indulge in several variations of blackjack, poker, roulette, and multiplayer games.
The most appealing factor about PokerStars live casino is that it sources its games from more than one game provider. These options are powered by two revered developers: Playtech and Evolution Gaming. Therefore, gamers are assured of nothing short of the best live gaming experiences.
Baccarat is included in the PokerStars games catalogue as well. This set is considered the oldest of all casino games considering it has been around since the eleventh century. The game is featured in only one variation, which is the standard version. During gameplay, punters are expected to stake on either the banker or player, depending on who they think will end up with a higher card value.
PokerStars Casino can be accessed on both PC and mobile gadgets with much ease. On smartphone and tablet devices, the site’s services can be accessed in instant play mode. A downloadable app version is also made available in various OS stores, but it only provides access to poker room services. This version is made available on popular operating systems such as iOS, Windows, Blackberry, and Android.
Sports Betting shares the same popularity as casino gambling, which makes PokerStars a recipe for modern-day versatility with the provision of both. This section of the casino is accessed as BetStars rather that PokerStars, but even with a different name, it is still part of the gaming site. The eSports section allows gamblers to place stakes on the fixed odds of game results including those of horse racing, tennis, and football. The stakes can be placed before or during the games, both of which are common in the UK where the site is made available.
Software and Game Providers
PokerStars is well-known for its game collection, and this popularity is highly attributed to the games in its portfolio which are sourced from top-rated online game developers including:
- Blueprint Gaming
- Leander Games
- Push Gaming
- 2 By 2 Gaming
- Games Warehouse, etc.
Security and Online Gambling License
PokerStars is undeniably one of the biggest provides of poker services across the globe, which has helped it in its campaign to garner licenses for global operations. This element has helped the establishment maintain its place at the top of the niche pyramid since most gamblers carry the permits used by a site to operate with high regard. Out of those collected by PokerStars thus far, the most significant of them include:
- The UK Gambling Commission
The UK Gambling Commission is not a new name to most gamblers, and it is a highly coveted license by gaming sites. Therefore, the fact that PokerStars is graced with a permit from the institution goes to show the select nature of their services. The UKGC is famous for applying stringent laws that ensure security and fairness are focused on by casinos offering services in the United Kingdom. It is also very selective with the gaming sites it grants gambling licenses, and its licensees have to adhere to tough laws such as being open to regular audits to ensure that the permits are maintained.
- Malta Gaming Authority
The Malta Gaming Authority has in the past decade risen from one of the least known licensing bodies to become a force to reckon with when it comes to the assurance of fair play. The MGA is especially praised for its premier client care services that have helped resolve thousands of cases over the years and granted it a spot as one of the top license providers alongside the UKGC.
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
The Isle of Man houses one of the most thriving gambling industries in the world, which makes the presence of a licensing body necessary. Since it is the home country of PokerStars, the casino’s acquisition of the license is obligatory to run operations within this crown dependent jurisdiction.
As a licensee of this revered institution, expectations are high for PokerStars Casino to meet certain standards in the provision of fair play and security to gamblers. In the case of security, this gambling den adheres to the stipulated laws by including a one hundred- and twenty-eight-bit SSL digital encryption system. This system is similar to the ones used in banking institutions, and it mainly functions to keep important data in an unreadable form as well as secure channels used by players and the casino to communicate sensitive information.
The customer support of a gaming club plays a huge role in gaining the trust of their client base because it is the front that converses with gamers. Therefore, PokerStars has done its best to provide the best customer care possible, and PokerStars’ ratings show these efforts have not gone unnoticed. The establishment has a detailed FAQ section, where gamblers can find the most answers to their questions. If the situation is not described there, there is a contact form, which players should fill in order to get a prompt response. The customer care team is available 24/7, and they can speak 20 languages.
Payment Methods: Terms of Deposits and Withdrawals
The cashier channels tabled provided in a gambling destination is among the factors gamblers pay the most attention to during the selection process. Being among the highest-ranking gaming dens and widely accessible worldwide, it is no surprise that PokerStars Casino provides a wide array of deposit and withdrawal methods for its clients. Some of the channels provided for these functions include:
- Bank Wire Transfer
- AstroPay Card
- Direct Bank Transfer
- QIWI, etc.
Some channels the likes of Skrill, Neteller, and Visa are available for both deposits and withdrawals. The availability of each depends on the region one is located in and accessing PokerStars Casino.
The time for transactions’ processing is dependent on the channel used. Nearly all options process deposits immediately or almost immediately. EWallets like Neteller and Skrill are considered the best options when it comes to withdrawal speed since their processing time takes not more than twenty-four hours for funds to come to the player’s bank account. This time frame is excluding the pending time applied by PokerStars, which is between twenty-four and forty-eight hours. Bank wire transfers take longer – lasting three to seven days while credit and debit cards take three to five days. Cheques take the longest period, which is seven to fifteen days.
When making transfers, gamers should study the charges incurred by each payment option; this will help them find one that falls within their spending limits. Before proceeding with any transaction, one should ensure that the method chosen is not only available in their region of residence, but also the bank they use.
Unlike other gaming sites, PokerStars Casino does not apply definite limits on the amount gamers can cash in or out. One is given the power to put in place limits that they are comfortable with but within a specified cap. In the case of withdrawals, the only ceiling that is stated is for withdrawals made using Visa, which stands between one hundred and six thousand, five hundred dollars.
On top of having quite the assortment of cashier channels, PokerStars Casino accepts four currencies to make transactions easier for gamblers in different parts of the globe where its services are accessible. These currencies are US dollars, British pounds sterling, euros, and Canadian dollars.
Usability and Ease of Navigation on Website
PokerStars website design matches the popular name it has garnered online with a jet black colour covering the entire screen. Most of the homepage is adorned by the bonuses and promotions it tables, and it’s not until one scrolls down do they get to explore the wide array of games that are offered in its catalogue. The sets are placed in a variety of classes, which makes it easy to trace titles.
PokerStars is undeniably a force to reckon with in the online gambling platform, and it continues to grow in its game collection and other areas. The establishment maintains a healthy relationship with their clients by having a reliable client care team. However, the difference in the gambling laws of each jurisdiction makes the accessibility of PokerStars online casino impossible in some, even with the entity’s operation with three powerful licenses. Some of these restricted countries include:
- Hong Kong
- The United States
- French Guiana
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sweden, etc.
Players should note that it is their responsibility to understand the gambling laws of the jurisdiction they reside in before trying to access the services in PokerStars Casino. Like most gambling dens, PokerStars allows the use of Virtual Private Networks for players in restricted nations to explore their services using an untraceable network. To further improve its accessibility, PokerStars includes a multilingual feature that translates their webpage into more than ten languages, including Japanese, Norwegian, French, English, Ukrainian, Spanish, Dutch, and German. Any other jargons will have to be accessed using browser translators.