PokerStars wasn’t the first player to the mobile poker market but, as expected, the online gaming giant became the market leader very quickly
The online gaming giant had been developing their mobile client for over two years before they released it so it was no surprise that the final product is extremely polished.
The killer app is the turbo-paced Zoom Poker, which translates very well to the mobile space. Just one table of Zoom Poker is enough to keep most casual poker players entertained but you can actually fire up two tables if you’re really into rapid-fire action.
Amazingly PokerStars developed the app so you can compete against the whole of the player pool on the desktop site, meaning you’ll never have to hunt for action very long.
While PokerStars’ initial mobile offering is very sharp, there are a few dull edges. While the game runs smoothly we found everything to be just a tad too small. It would be nice if there were a way to enlarge the size of your own hand, at least.
All in all, though, it’s astounding just how much PokerStars has crammed into a phone-sized download and it remains the go-to mobile poker site for most online poker players worldwide.
BONUS CODE AND PROMOTIONS
The universal PokerStars sign-up bonus is now pretty standard at 100% up to $600. As with most bonuses you need to play some actual poker to clear the full bonus but it does clear reasonably fast if you play regularly.
If you can't make the maximum deposit to collect the full bonus the first time around you do have another 60 days to deposit a couple more times and access the full bonus.
PokerStars Mobile Promotions
Promotions at PokerStars, on the other hand, can be pretty amazing with a series of $1 million freerolls one year, for example, plus ongoing opportunities to win amazing packages to PokerStars Live events at minimal cost.
A good example are the 25 cent Spin & Gos where you can win a full package to the PCA in the Bahamas, for example. There are also literally dozens of low buy-in satellites daily to win your way to pretty much any event PokerStars puts on worldwide.
The big push in 2018 is the new Platinum Pass promotion which will give out 300 packages - each worth $30,000! - for players to win a seat in the January 2019 $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship.
The new PokerStars rewards program (aka the treasure chests) gives out a series of surprise rewards to players at all levels and can be very generous. It's not quite as lucrative as the old Supernova/Supernova Elite program maxed out by the most active players but it provides more than enough free tournament tickets and cash prizes for the average recreational player.
it also rewards them more often and doesn't require maintaining a certain activity level every month.
TOURNAMENTS AND FREEROLLS
The PokerStars app kills it when it comes to tournaments as you have access to their complete lobby with buy-ins ranging from free to thousands of dollars. Whatever you want to play, it will be in the mobile app.
If you don’t want to put down any serious cash in tournaments where you could potentially disconnect due to data problems there are always a ton of low buy-in or free tournaments to play. There’s something for every poker player in the PokerStars lobby.
No other mobile poker site can compete with PokerStars' game variety, either, with Pot-Limit Omaha and No-Limit Holdem at virtually any stake level and cash games and tournaments on demand.
Zoom Poker is also huge a huge draw with dozens of tournaments and cash games starting up every few minutes.
The Sunday tournaments on PokerStars are also massive, of course, headlined by the flagship $215 buy-in Sunday Million. Given how long and rewarding some of the Sunday tournaments can be to have the option of playing on your mobile phone while you get a few things done is another huge advantage.
PokerStars mobile home games are also a big plus as you can set up private games and tournaments for just you and your friends to play.
SOFTWARE AND GRAPHICS
The PokerStars mobile software is exceptional. We were amazed the first time we installed it how fast and painless the whole process was. You’ll be mashing the bet/raise/fold buttons before you know it. It’s so good that it feels like the future of online poker. Not only is the software reliable it’s very clean looking and although you can’t customize the look of the tables, the default table view is fantastic.
It’s amazing how many features PokerStars has shoved into this app including four-color decks, Pot-Limit Omaha, Omaha-8, a decent betting slider, Zoom Poker. You can even multi-table, although you are limited to 4 tables (5 on iPad).
Of course there are some limitations with the software and you won’t have access to hand replays. One caution about mobile software: You’re probably going to want to play on 3G or better networks and take extra care when you’re pressing buttons as it’s easier to misclick.
Generally PokerStars isn’t as soft as some of its European competitors and that tends to be true on the mobile version as well. You’ll find bad players in the microstakes but as soon as you starting climbing your way up the ladder you’ll run into seasoned online grinders who are literally waiting for fresh prey. That’s not to say the games are unbeatable but there are definitely some easier sites.