PokerStars US Sites: PokerStars PA, NJ and MI Review

PokerStars US Established: 2016
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PokerStars NJ allows you to experience the world’s biggest poker site along with other players in New Jersey. Same for PokerStars Pennsylvania where the other players are all from the same state and PokerStars Michigan. As for the poker traffic, you’ll be competing against a smaller PokerStars US player pool, as opposed to the rest of the world. Which can be a good thing as smaller fields may be easier to beat.

There may be a few differences from the international client. But you can rest assured you’ll be getting excellent software. Which you can fully-customize to your liking with background, table options, sounds, and multi-tabling features.

Most online poker rooms will offer some Hold’em, Omaha and Stud games. But the PokerStars US sites set the industry standard for how many poker games and varieties are available, including obscure and mixed games. The only issue is that it’s tough to find action for the mixed game action. So we suggest getting some friends together to start a game. Now that New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are sharing a player pool, the odds of those games running are higher.

The PokerStars NJ and PA sites have been upping the guarantees in many of their online poker tournaments and you'll likely luck out with an overlay. The PokerStars NJCOOP - the NJ version of PokerStars' famed online tournament series offers over $1 MILLION in guarantees. The PokerStars PACOOP runs in September-October with a $1.5 million guarantee in 2020. Meanwhile, MICOOP was quick to launch in February-March 2021 following PokerStars Michigan opening up in January.

Start by collecting your welcome package of free tickets and bonus money, by registering a new Pokerstars NJ, MI or PA poker account. Click PLAY below to sign up through us and get more exclusive offers:

Playing from Outside the US? Check out the:

PokerStars US States

PokerStars US is licensed and regulated by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, the PA Gaming Control Board, and the Michigan Gaming Control Board. For New Jersey, the poker giant partners with Resorts Atlantic City, in Pennsylvania their partner is Mount Airy, and in Michigan it's Odawa Casino Resort.

PokerStars NJ

  • PokerStars NJ launch date: March 2016 | Partner: Resorts Atlantic City

PokerStars PA

  • PokerStars PA launch date: November 2019 | Partner: Mount Airy

PokerStars MI

  • PokerStars MI launch date: January 2021 | Partner: Odawa Casino Resort

Future States

West Virginia online poker on Stars is likely to come in 2021 since the state was officially legalized in late 2019, but was delayed in 2020 due to COVID. 

PokerStars entered into an agreement with US poker operator Eldorado Resorts, Inc., to be able to operate in Illinois, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and West Virginia. However, online West Virginia and Nevada have legalized the online gaming, and PokerStars NV is not likely to happen soon. 

Regarding PokerStars in California, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas - these states are far from reaching an agreement to legalize poker.

PokerStars PA, NJ and MI Bonus Codes

PokerStars deposit bonus offers tend to change, but right now there’s a healthy package for PokerStars US players. All new players who create an account at PokerStars MI, PA or NJ by clicking “PLAY” on this review page are instantly eligible for:

  • $30/$50 FREE play on PokerStars in USA
PokerStars US: Free Play Poker Bonus - Free Tickets

PokerStars PA & NJ Players

The play chips and freeroll ticket hit your account immediately upon sign up. To get your $30 Free, you need to deposit at least $20 on sign up using Pokerstars PA, MI or NJ bonus code: FREE30. It will be released in increments. The first $10 bonus is credited within 36 hours of your deposit. The second $10 bonus money is credited within 7 days. New players also get $10 in Spin & Go tickets.

PokerStars MI Players

This is exclusive to Michigan players. Get $50 in Free Play when you sign up to PokerStars MI, Stars Casino or FOX Bet, and get verified. Opt-in and play one hand in a Cash Game to receive three chests worth a total of $50 in free play tournament tickets:


To receive your 100% match bonus up to $600, you have 60 days to make up to three deposits. Match bonuses are paid out in increments of $10 for every 100 VPPs (play points) you earn. You’ll get 5.5 VPPs for every $1 in tournament fees or rake and you must earn enough in 4 months. You can always see how close you are to the next $10 released in your account info.

As with most bonuses, you may need to play Pokerstars real money poker games if it’s a deposit bonus - to clear the full poker bonus. But it can happen reasonably fast if you play regularly. Make sure you check the terms and conditions before you sign up for any bonus just in case.

PokerStars US Loyalty Program: Stars Rewards 

You collect reward points by playing PokerStars real money games from NJ, PA or MI, and see your progress bar fill up. Get enough and you’ll earn a Chest full of prizes, including loaded with rewards you’ll want to use. Including PokerStars free play and StarsCoin - which you can exchange for cash bonuses and tourney, S&G entries and qualifiers.

There are six different Chest levels of increasing value: Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Black. You need to win at least one chest within a 28-day period to retain your level. Meanwhile, if you win more than 10 chests, you get upgraded to the next level. 

PokerStars NJ Tournaments vs PokerStars PA

Most events for PokerStars PA, MI and NJ have low-medium buy-ins and run often and the smaller buy-in tournaments tend to be quite loose and juicy. Buy-ins for the Daily Bigs range from $5 to $50 and prize pool guarantees top out around $2,000. That's not bad for daily action with around $6,000 GTD in total. 

Currently the weekly PokerStars NJ tournament schedule is anchored by a $45,000-GTD Sunday Special but special events with bigger guarantees are mixed in every few months. There’s also the NJCOOP, which emulates the famed Spring Championship of Online Poker, but is obviously smaller. And there was also the first PokerStars PA-COOP shortly after the site launched in 2019. As well as the first MICOOP in Feb-March 2021 - less than a month after the PokerStars Michigan launch at the end of January 2021.

Aside from the guaranteed online tournaments, you can also win satellites for all-inclusive packages to live Pokerstars events. Freerolls are also rife if you play PokerStars from US, to help you build a bankroll from scratch. Including the monthly $5k depositors freeroll.


Sunday Tournaments Still the Greatest

Sunday is the best day to play because it’s the day with the most player traffic and weekly tournaments including:

  • Sunday Warm-up 
  • Sunday Storm
  • Sunday Special
  • High Roller
  • Supersonic

Interstate Player Sharing Agreements - Shared Player Pools Across States
In May, 2018, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware entered an official player sharing agreement which increased tournament offerings and prize pools.
PokerStars NJ benefits from this and it’s only a matter of time before PokerStars PA follows suit, although there hasn’t been confirmation of this as of late.
Currently, interstate online poker doesn't exist in Michigan but a law has recently been signed in the state so they are just in negotiations with other states.

Huge Online Poker Series Pioneers

In 2002, PokerStars ran the first-ever World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) – to recreate the World Series of Poker vibe. That online poker tournament series became a central part of online poker's playbook. Since then, they’ve been going bigger and better every year - even adding a Spring version - SCOOP. And now New Jersey has its own PokerStars NJCOOP, NJSCOOP and US Turbo series. Meanwhile, PokerStars PA and PokerStars MI have also come along with their own PACOOP and MICOOP series.

  • 48 Events
  • $1.5 Million+ Prize Pool 
  • Buy-in: $50 - $500
  • Levels: Low, Med, High
  • Main Events: $150,000 GTD
PokerStars in New Jersey

The PokerStars NJCOOP plays in the Fall (usually October), similar to the WCOOP and PACOOP. Meanwhile the NJSCOOP plays in April/May and MICOOP was first played in February. Events include progressive KOs and hyper-turbos. The PokerStars NJ Turbo Series runs around February and offers Turbo and Hyper-Turbo versions of the most popular poker formats. Guarantees typically run to about $200,000 with a $25,000 GTD Main Event. Buy-ins start from $15 but you can win your seats for less in low-cost satellites.

Also in the online tournament series:

  • $30K Platinum Pass packages to PSPCA in the Bahamas
  • Freerolls / Second Chance Freerolls with $10-20K in Main Event seats 
  • Special Spin & Go’s awarding Main Event seats for just $4

Greatest Game Variety

We can’t think of anything we’d miss here because there’s literally something for every poker player in the lobby. With 40 variants for tournaments and 30 for cash games, no other online poker site can compete with game variety. However, Pokerstars NJ is quite small so for some variants, like Badugi, we suggest getting some friends together to get a game going. As you may not find it otherwise.  PokerStars Pennsylvania seems to fare better with around 1,000 players at peak hours so you may find more opportunities if you’re in that state. PokerStars holds the lead in Michigan cash game traffic by far, but has less around 1,000 players online at a time during peak hours.

There’s Pot-Limit Omaha and No-Limit Holdem at virtually any stake level
and cash games and tournaments on demand.

Pokerstars Poker Games

All with No-Limit, Limit and Pot-Limit options, even some hi-lo games for most varieties.

Sit & Gos and New Spin & Gos

Pokerstars NJ Software - Spin&Go Lobby

Besides the biggest guaranteed MTTs in the industry, players are particularly keen on the fast-play, high-reward SnGs offered. Needless to say they offer up some of the best and most addictive play online. Just 3 players per game with 500 chips regardless of buy-in - which can be as low as $0.25. With Spin & Gos, you spin the wheel for a randomized prize every game, then it’s hyper-turbo pace. And you could end up with a fantastic return on investment.

Cash Games 

You’ll easily find cash games for 30 poker game types, multiple buy-ins and max player amounts. Just go to the tab and filter your search. You can even observe a table to get the feel of the action, players and pace.

Software and Graphics

The software is privately developed and is one of the best in the business. Aside from its great feel, stability and aesthetic, it's also fast, highly customizable, stable, and caters well to multi-tablers. With a constantly growing number of players, the software is continuously updated and improved. 

Stars cash game table

The lobby is of course much easier to navigate because there are less games running. The Quick Seat tab gets you to the hottest games in seconds. You can even save your Favorites in the relevant tab. Otherwise, you pick a variant, then filter your game, stakes and max players, and your perfect poker game is there for you to register. The highlighted table shows the names of the players seated and their stack. 

Interesting Features

At the table, you have your regular game info, stats and chats visible. Plus, note-taking function to type reads on your opponents for future reference. But special features are constantly added to keep up with the competitive poker world. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Emotes to throw at other players - including tissues and balls, to blow off steam/ tilt
  • Side-bets within a poker game
  • Hand history - which you can choose to visualize
  • Time Banks - how many you have left and which ran out
  • Your Chip Graph - how your chip stack has progressed throughout
  • Multi-tabling - tiling or cascading cash games, MTTs and S&Gs 

Customization and Personalization

To personalize the software, players can also upload an image to use as their avatar. Thankfully, there's also the option to block player images and rid your poker table of cats, dogs and the occasional Playboy bunny. The software has several backgrounds and table layouts. With some tinkering, you can make the poker environment look and sound exactly how you want it to.

  • Table theme and felt
  • Four-colored decks
  • Stack size in big blinds
  • Show/hide hole cards
  • Dealing animations
  • Seat preference
  • Bet slider / mouse wheel
  • hotkeys

Pokerstars Mobile USA

PokerStars NJ app, PokerStars MI, and PokerStars PA download are available in the App Store and on Google Play or via direct download from site itself.

The killer PokerStars mobile app features popular, fast-paced Sit & Gos, which translate very well to mobile. Just one table is enough to keep most casual poker players entertained but you can actually fire up two tables if you’re into even faster action. Though the product is extremely polished and smooth, we found everything to be just a tad too small. It would be nice if there were a way to enlarge the size to avoid potential mis-clicks. 

PokerStars mobile 2

PokerStars Awards from PokerListings

Best Poker Software Overall

We awarded PokerStars this award, purely for outstanding software that they have maintained from the start. With the leanest interface, finest features and graphics, it's much more advanced than the competition. And Stars are basically the innovators of most modern internet poker features, like ever online home games. Another is their multi-tabling experience, which is second to none.

Best Online Series of the Year - PokerListings Operator Awards

Best Online Series of the Year

PokerStars won this award for hosting the best tournament series event this year - WCOOP. Yes, we've had lots more online series events than usual this year, for obvious reasons - with some giant guarantees. Yet this series still stood out for its overall organization, structure, branding, prize pools and number of entries recorded. Not to mention the 10M main event pool loaded with added value.

See All Pokerlistings Awards Winners

PokerStars Play Money vs Real Deal

You can toggle between PokerStars play money and real cash poker from the client with a similar cash game and tourney schedule. And all the same great games too, which is incredible and something you won’t find everywhere. Some poker rooms will offer very basic play money options for practice. You get a 50,000 free chips bankroll to start with, which you can reload every 4 hours, even if you bust out of everything you play. Alternatively, you can purchase play money chips - 500,000 would cost you less than $3.

Smaller Fields and Softer Competition

You’ll find about 100 people online playing ring games, but it can go up to 250-300 during peak hours. So Pokerstars is surely one of the top poker rooms in the Garden State. This can go up to a thousand at peak hours if you’re playing from Pennsylvania or Michigan - only against other plays.

On the one hand, there are beginner players trying online poker at Pokerstars NJ, MI and PA now that it’s fully regulated. On the other hand, there are a number of returning, more experienced players. Regardless, it’s not connected to the wider, international network. Meaning you’re only competing against other New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania players respectively, so the games are smaller. 

In our experience, the play’s also considerably weaker than the global site - but that may just be variance. You can still find good spots to exploit at the micro stakes. And there’s a decent amount of games to do so in. We recommend our extensive guides for beginners and advanced grinders if you need to brush up:

For a direct and free PokerStars USA download, click the PLAY HERE link on this page or below.

Pokerstars US FAQs

  • Can you play PokerStars in the US?

    Yes, if you’re looking for where to play poker online for money, you can do so in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But PokerStars has deals to open up in other states if they were to become legal.
  • Where is PokerStars legal? Is PokerStars legal in US?

    Yes, PokerStars US is licensed and regulated by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement and the PA Gaming Control Board. There are specific sites for both states and you need a separate account for each. Also separate from the main Stars site that operates in Europe.
  • Is Pokerstars legal in California?

    Not yet.
  • Is Pokerstars NJ legit? What about in PA?

    Yes, Pokerstars has a fully-approved license in both states and must therefore adhere to regulations. The software uses age and location verification protections, account segregation, and responsible gaming practices for player activity. For your safety, player funds are kept separate from operational funds.

    It’s easy for losing players to blame the poker room at times, but this one is heavily licensed. And uses random number generators which are verified by third parties. Player funds are also segregated. So it would be hard for them to cheat players this way.
  • Can I use my Pokerstars PA account in New Jersey and vice versa?

    No, you can only play on the NJ site from New Jersey and on the PA site from Pennsylvania.
  • How can I get free chips on Pokerstars?

    There are big free chip rewards for completing at least one challenge every day of the week. But you also get a certain amount of free chips to play with every 4 hours in play money mode. If you have insufficient balance to enter a play money game, just click Add Chips to get a top up and your 4 hour countdown timer will start. However you can also play online poker for money and start with two welcome bonuses.