PokerStars brand-new loyalty program Stars Rewards is now live and players have to get used to very different-looking rewards landscape. The previous loyalty scheme was very beneficial for the most industrious players who would earn a high rakeback (also known as cash back). For some of these players the rakeback was providing them with their daily bread and butter as games are becoming tougher and tougher.
With Stars Rewards, PokerStars clearly intends to reward the recreational player at the expense of the rakeback pro.
You are still rewarded for every cent you pay in rake but the rewards are now random and generally smaller unless you should be lucky to win one of the top prizes.
Additionally, net depositors will experience increasing benefits while winning players, who are not donating much to the poker ecosystem, will see their benefits decrease.
We will not discuss here if Stars Rewards is good or bad for the players but we will instead focus on how it works in practice.
How to Get Started with Stars Rewards
First of all, you need to sign up to Stars Rewards as you are not automatically a member. Luckily, just a click of a button is needed to join. When you have joined and log in for the first time you will notice a new look for the status bar in the software.
The new status bar is similar to the previous one where you were collecting points in order to receive StarsCoins. The points are now called Reward Points.
For every $1 you pay in rake will you get 100 Reward Points. You will also get Reward points for playing in PokerStars Casino and BetStars but here the points are calculated differently.
Once you have filled out the status bar and reached the required amount of points will you get a chest. We will elaborate on the contents of the chests later.
You can see in the screen shot below how the status bar looks like. We already have 50 Reward Points and need another 100 points to fill out the status bar and get a chest.
On the screen shot you also see that we have a Boost. When you have a boost you will double the rate you get Reward Points.
In our case we have a 45 point boost, which will give us twice a total of 90 Reward Points when reaching 45 points.
Once you have completed the boost you have to wait for 8 hours before getting a new boost period.
Under My Stars you can see information about the number of Reward Points and the requirements for getting a chest. Here you can also see your StarsCoins and the rewards you can receive in the chests.
What's in the Chests?
The color of the chests depends on how many Rewards Points are required. The requirements are different from player to player and are based on how much you have played before, what stakes you are playing and how much you have deposited.
We needed 150 Reward Points to get a red chest, which is the smallest chest. The other colors are blue, bronze, silver, gold and platinum, which is the biggest chest.
The contents of the chest are randomized, however they usually contain StarsCoins and Reward Points. You can also receive tournament tickets, cash or even packages to PokerStars Live events.
In this case we received 11 StarsCoins and 5 Reward Points when opening the red chest, a total value of $0.11. The top prize of $100 for the red chest did not come our way this time.
You can actually see the chest values and prize probabilities in the FAQ section about Stars Rewards on PokerStars.
Here is the breakdown:
|1 in 10,000||$100||$100||$500||$500||$1,000||$1,000|
|400 in 10,000||$0.60||$1.95||$5||$13.25||$34.50||$107|
|700 in 10,000||$0.36||$1.17||$3||$7.95||$20.70||$64.20|
|1,000 in 10,000||$0.12||$0.39||$1||$2.65||$6.90||$21.40|
|1,200 in 10,000||$0.11||$0.35||$0.90||$2.39||$6.21||$19.26|
|1,400 in 10,000||$0.08||$0.27||$0.70||$1.86||$4.83||$14.98|
|2,000 in 10,000||$0.07||$0.23||$0.60||$1.59||$4.14||$12.84|
|3,299 in 10,000||$0.06||$0.20||$0.50||$1.33||$3.45||$10.70|
(Please note that the table does not include additional top prizes which PokerStars offer on a regular basis)
As you can see from the table you need to get VERY LUCKY to be awarded the top prize (1 in 10,000 times) and you have to settle for a smaller reward almost every time – a bit like in a Spin & Go.
If you earn four chests within one day you will be upgraded to a bigger chest. The status bar will turn blue when you are close to reaching an upgrade and you will be informed how much time you have left to earn four chests in 24 hours.
Please note the following expiry dates for Stars Rewards if you are not playing very often on PokerStars:
- Your Reward Points will be reset if you are inactive for three months. Your boost will also be reset but you will get a new boost when you log in again.
- If you fail to open a chest within three months it will expire.
- StarsCoins now also will expire if you do not collect any Reward Points for a six months period.
What did you get in your chests and what do you think about Stars Rewards? Let us now in the comments below.
If you're looking to try Stars Rewards and don't have an account you can get an extra bonus by signing up through our PokerStars review page.
*Any mention of a bonus or discussion of such terms is not in relation to the province of Ontario.