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Honest HighStakes Poker Review

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About HighStakes

HighStakes is a relatively new online poker site founded in 2018. It is an independent poker network that operates with a licence from Curacao. Initially this online poker room was part of the GGNetwork, but it is now an independent platform.

The number of players at HighStakes are currently still comparatively low, but the provider is currently trying to attract new players with good bonuses, many freerolls and good rakeback.

In our HighStakes review, we take a look at the software, the games offered, bonuses and VIP program of the provider.

Software and graphics

The HighStakes software is simple and functional. In the lobby players have the choice between tournaments, cash games, spins and sit & gos.

The tables look simple and are easy to understand. The interface is not overloaded, and players can adjust many options at the tables individually. Among other things, these settings can be personalized:

  • Table Themes: Colour of the table and cards (e.g., 4 or 2 color deck)
  • Auto-Rebuy and Add-Ons
  • Hotkeys: Customizable hotkeys for all actions
  • Bet sizing: Customizable bet sizes for preflop and postflop betting
  • Sound: Players can adjust the volume for sound effects individually and even upload their own sounds.

While the functionality can't quite match that of GG or Stars, players can easily play multiple tables at HighStakes and customise the tables to their needs.

Mobile Play

It is easily possible to play at HighStakes on any modern smartphone via the HTML5 client. Just go to poker.highstakes.com and you can access the HTML5 client and it allows instant play.

The mobile view is simple, quick to understand and intuitive. The tables are displayed vertically and it is possible to play several tables at the same time.

HighStakes Bonus

HighStakes offers an exclusive bonus to new players who sign up via PokerListings: $5 free with no deposit needed.

In addition, the site offers a very good deposit bonus. 100% of the first deposit up to $2,000 is credited as a bonus. Players have 3 months to clear this bonus at a rate of $5 cleared per $25 rake generated.

How to receive the $5 No Deposit Bonus

All PokerListings readers will receive an exclusive no deposit bonus worth $5 at HighStakes. To receive the bonus, all you have to do is follow these steps.

  • 1. Sign up at HighStakes via PokerListings
  • 2. Enter your personal data
  • 3. Send an email with the bonus code LISTINGS5 to [email protected]  (Important: use the email address you registered with at HighStakes).
  • 4. you will be credited with $5 within the next 72 hours (usually within one day).

Player numbers

At the moment HighStakes has few players compared to other poker sites. Most of the players are from European countries which means that during the European evening hours you will find numerous active tables, but at other times only a few tables are being played.

Most of the action at HighStakes currently takes place at the low limits, but there is also the option to play up to $25 / $50.

Tournaments run every hour at HighStakes, with the freerolls in particular attracting many players.

HighStakes Rake

How does rake work in poker?

Every poker provider takes a small fee from every pot played, the so-called rake. A percentage is taken and this is almost always capped at a certain amount. In most casinos, rake is only taken if a flop has been dealt.

In the online sector, the rake is low compared to live casinos and rarely exceeds 6% of the pot. Thus, from many pots only cents are taken. Nevertheless, these amounts add up quickly in the long run. Therefore, when choosing a provider, you should pay attention to how high the rake is.

In general, a rake of 5% or less and a cap of 3 dollars or less are good for the player, higher amounts are bad.

The rake structure at HighStakes is simple and fair. The provider takes 5% rake and this is capped at $1 for 2 - 3 players, $2 for 4 - 5 players and $3 for 6 or more players. This is better than the current industry standard.

12 hours per week, HighStakes has happy hours where the rake is only 1% capped at 1 Big Blind. During those happy hours the rake is definitely unbeatable.

Here are the current Happy Hour Times:

DateStartEnd
Monday11:00 CET15:00 CET
Wednesday11:00 CET15:00 CET
Friday11:00 CET15:00 CET

Competition level at HighStakes

The competition at HighStakes is very soft. The site currently attracts mainly microstakes players and freeroll hunters. Accordingly, the cash game tables and tournaments are easy to beat. Another advantage is that the freeroll tournaments at HighStakes are not too overcrowded. Especially in the morning hours, you only compete against around 100 players and thus have a good chance to win a share of the prize money.

Game selection at HighStakes

The number of game variants currently offered is low which makes sense given that the provider is currently still in its early stage.

These games can be found at HighStakes Poker at the moment:

  • 6-Max Cash Games: No-Limit Texas Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha
  • 3-Max All-In or Fold: All-In or Fold NLH
  • Spins: Spin & Go Jackpot-Tournaments (Buy-Ins: $1, $5 and $10)
  • Tournaments: Daily tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $109
  • Freerolls: Multiple freerolls with prize pools between $11 and $100 daily
  • Sit & Go: Heads-Up Sit & Go with buy-ins between $1 and $100

Apart from Poker, HighStakes also offers Sports Betting and Casino Games.

HighStakes Casino

The HighStakes Casino offers hundreds of games from various well known software providers. The games include multiple blackjack- and roulette variants, a plethora of poker games and many live dealer games.

The casino games run in the poker client and also the HTML5 client directly in the browser.

HighStakes Sportsbetting

On HighStakes.com you can also bet on sporting events. The HighStakes bookie covers all big events, including football, tennis, basketball, hockey, boxing and many different esports.

HighStakes Sports Betting
HighStakes Sports Betting

HighStakes VIP program and rakeback

HighStakes has a very simple, yet worthwhile VIP program: every player receives 27% rakeback. This is paid out once a week on Monday.

On top of that HighStakes has a weekly Rakerace which awards prizes to the most active players.

This VIP program is not particularly exciting, but lucrative for recreational players and grinders alike.

HighStakes Promotions

Besides the $5 no deposit bonus and the $2,000 match bonus, HighStakes also offers its players other promotions.

Every day there are numerous freerolls for all players and several times a week there are happy hours during which the rake is significantly reduced. In addition, HighStakes pays out 27% rakeback every week.

Customer service and support

HighStakes offers a fast service and good customer support. The best way to reach the site is this way:

Deposits and withdrawals

HighStakes offers many payment options, among those are:

  • Paysafe
    • Skrill
    • Neteller
    • Mastercard / Visa
    • Direct Debit
    • Griopay
    • iDeal
    • Klarna
    • Trustly
  • MuchBetter
  • AmEx
  • Scardu
  • Luxon
  • SticPay
  • Crypto
    • Bitcoin
    • Ethereum
    • Dogecoin

The easiest way to deposit and withdraw is via MuchBetter or Paysafe account. But payments with various cryptocurrencies are also possible and processed quickly.

Withdrawals must be made through the same channels as deposits (so-called "closed loop" system). HighStakes does not charge any fees for deposits and withdrawals, but fees may be charged by the payment service providers.

HighStakes license

Info: Why licences are important

Every poker provider needs at least one active licence to operate and legally offer games in most countries. Poker sites without a licence are considered illegal in all European and North American countries. They operate without regulations and without legal options for players. All poker sites recommended on PokerLisintgs.com operate with at least one reputable license. The four main licensing authorities are:  Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), Gibraltar Gaming License (GGL), UK Gambling Commission and Curacao eGaming.

HighStakes is licensed through Curacao eGaming.

  • License: GLH-OCCHKTW0707242017

HighStakes is operated by the company 180Holdings N.V and all the games are fair and audited by GLI, iTechLabs, and Quinel.

HighStakes FAQ

  • Are the games at HighStakes fair?

    The games at HighStakes are tested by an independent organisation and HighStakes has to comply with the licensing conditions. This means that all games at HighStakes are certified and run fairly.
  • Can you win real money at HighStakes?

    At HighStakes you play for dollars and prizes are paid out in real money. Withdrawals at HighStakes are fast and there are several common payment methods (including credit cards, Skrill, Neteller and cryptocurrencies) that can be used to withdraw from HighStakes.
  • What is the bonus code for HighStakes?

    All PokerListings readers receive an exclusive no deposit bonus of $5 at HighStakes. To receive the bonus, you need to send an email with the bonus code LISTINGS5 to [email protected] after signing up. Use the email address you registered with at HighStakes.

Features:
  • Free no deposit bonus
  • Multiple daily freerolls
  • Short handed action
General Information:
Established 2018
Country Curacao
E-mail
Hits and Misses:

Hits

  • $5 No deposit bonus
  • Flat rakeback (27%)
  • Happy hours
  • HTML5 mobile client

Misses

  • Small number of players
  • Only Hold'em and Omaha
Score:
8/10
Software & Graphics 8
Cash Game Traffic 7
Tournament Traffic 4
Rake 8
Soft Competition 10
Game Variety 6
Sign-up Bonus 9
Loyalty Bonus 9
Promotions 9
Support 9
Financial Security 8
Deposit & Withdrawal 7
Mobile Experience 10
Reliability 9