- US Online Poker
- US Online Casinos
- US Online Sports Betting
Stars Casino (formerly know as PokerStars Casino) is the world’s largest and most recognizable online poker brand. No surprise, then, that when people see PokerStars, they think of poker first. However, Stars Casino has grown considerably over recent years. In states where PokerStars operates, its online casino has started to provide a competitive option for US players.
Stars Casino is currently available in three states:
The company’s flagship poker product has long enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as the best in the world. Now, the PokerStars online casino provides an equally great user experience with its smart design and graphics. This is true whether you’re playing on a desktop computer, your laptop, or using a mobile app.
For online casino players who also play online poker and/or enjoy sports betting, PokerStars neatly integrates multiple forms of online entertainment into a single site. With a shared wallet and a generous rewards program integrating all three varieties of gambling (poker, casino, sports betting), Stars Casino becomes all the more attractive.
Here’s a review of what players can expect at PokerStars Casino, including what games are available and a look at the software, a rundown of bonus offers and the loyalty program, a review of banking options and customer support, and other information about what the online poker giant brings to the online casino market.
Stars Casino offers a couple of different welcome bonuses for new players. It also has an ongoing promotion allowing players to earn a bonus for each day that they play.
For new customers, PokerStars Casino offers a $50 casino instant bonus. It’s not exactly a no deposit bonus, as you do have to deposit funds before claiming it. However, it’s not dependent on the amount you deposit, so it works out to almost the same thing.
Once you’ve registered and have some money in your account, click Challenges and opt in to the offer. The “challenge” itself is dead simple: just place a minimum bet of $1 on any Stars Casino game and you’ll receive the bonus.
Note that the bonus does come with a playthrough requirement, however. To make the funds available to wager with, players need to accumulate 100 redemption points, i.e. twice the bonus amount. Note that these aren’t the same thing as rewards points (see below).
How much play is required to earn those points depends on the game. Generally speaking, the less favorable a game’s return-to-player rate, the more favorable it will be for earning redemption points. For example, you earn redemption points more quickly playing slots than roulette, and more at roulette than blackjack, since the house edge is larger at roulette than blackjack, and larger still at most slots.
This is simply to make the bonus available to wager. Even once cleared, it can’t immediately be withdrawn as cash. However, any winnings earned by wagering the bonus money are paid out in cash, so this merely amounts to an additional 1x playthrough requirement, which isn’t too onerous.
Stars Casino also offers new customers a larger, more traditional deposit bonus. It’s not a single first-deposit match, but rather three separate 100% match deposit bonuses worth up to $1,500 combined. What’s more, they come with the chance to claim up to $1,000 more in slots bonuses.
Note that these deposit bonuses are currently available only in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Although PokerStars Casino is available in Michigan, this offer isn’t available in the state at this time.
In order to receive these welcome bonuses, players need to use the appropriate bonus codes for their first three deposits, each of which needs to be $25 minimum. To maximize the bonus, each deposit would have to be $500, for a total of $1,500.
For each of these, you will a 100% match on the amount you deposit. The second and third deposits must each be made within 14 days of the previous one, or you will forfeit all remaining bonuses. As with the instant bonus, you will need to click on “Challenges” and opt in to activate this offer.
Naturally, each deposit match has playthrough requirements. In this case, the requirement is 5x the bonus amount, i.e. you will need to earn 2500 points to clear the maximum $500 bonus. Fortunately, you have 28 days to clear each bonus.
The second and third matching bonuses include additional slots bonuses. These come in the form of Mystery Chests — one each when you make those second and third deposits.
Each Mystery Chest contains a slots bonus worth up to $500. These bonuses have the same 5x playthrough requirement as the deposit match, and the same 28-day window to earn those points. The difference is that these bonus funds are for slots only. Once you clear the bonus, you’ll have to use the money to play your favorite slots. Whatever you win will be paid out in cash, whereupon you can withdraw it or play whatever games you like.
All in all, PokerStars Casino’s welcome bonuses are quite generous in terms of dollar value, but require some work to clear. They’re especially valuable for high-volume players who can deposit the maximums and rapidly clear their bonus. However, the Instant Bonus and Mystery Chests also provide decent value for more casual players starting out at Stars Casino.
For returning players, Stars Casino offers a daily Mystery Mega Prize on an ongoing basis. This works a lot like the instant bonus described above.
After opting in (again, under “Challenges”), all players have to do is wager at least $1 in any casino game to receive a Mystery Chest. The Mystery Chest contains a casino instant bonus worth up to $500. These bonuses come with a 2x playthrough requirement, similar to the Instant Bonus. However, you’ll only have a 7-day period to meet the playthrough requirement.
Players can claim a Mystery Mega Prize once each day, and only have to wager a dollar each time to get it.
Those who play at PokerStars Casino can additionally participate in the company’s loyalty program, which it calls Stars Rewards. Like most such programs, Stars Rewards lets players accumulate bonuses simply for playing on the site. These rewards come in a few forms: direct cash prizes; StarsCoin, which you can exchange for cash or use to make purchases in the rewards store; and game credits.
Stars Rewards is a tier-based loyalty program, with players’ current tier determined by how many reward points they’ve accumulated over the past 28 days. Players earn reward points for every wager made in the Stars Casino. They can equally earn points by playing real money online poker games on PokerStars, or by betting on sports at the Fox Bet Sportsbook. All these sites share the same program, but the rewards the player earns are dependent on which products they use.
As with redemption points, players earn reward points more quickly in games that have a bigger house edge. The ratio is different however, and reward points accumulate much faster than redemption points. For instance, wagering $12 on European roulette earns 12 reward points, but only a single redemption point.
The six tiers are designated by different colors of Mystery Chest. New players start out by working to unlock Blue Chests by accumulating the requisite number of points. If a player unlocks 10 chests in 28 days they move up to the next tier, e.g. from Blue to Bronze. Conversely, if 28 days pass during which the player does not earn any chest, they are demoted to the previous tier.
Each level of chest requires more points to unlock than the previous tier. However, the range of value of potential prizes hidden in those chests goes up, too, as follows:
As noted, the value of prizes in each chest will come as a mixture of cash, free play and Stars Coins. You can redeem these latter for cash in the Stars Rewards Store at a rate of 1 cent per Coin (e.g. a $10 cash prize costs 1000 Stars Coins). You can also use Stars Coins to purchase other sorts of prizes such as Stars-branded clothing, electronics, poker cards and chip sets, casino bonuses, poker tournament entries, free sports bets, and more.
A handy and prominently-displayed progress bar always shows your current Stars Reward status whenever you’re playing on Stars Casino, as well as how far you have to go to earn your next chest.
The Stars Rewards loyalty program is fun and engaging. It’s especially nice that it spans the company’s various products, making it great for those who also want to enjoy the PokerStars online poker room or wager on sports at Fox Bet.
PokerStars Casino Michigan: Stars Casino launched at the end of January 2021, a week after the first online casinos went live in the state. In Michigan PokerStars has partnered with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, who operate the Odawa Casino Resort near Petoskey. The site is regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Stars Casino New Jersey: PokerStars joined the crowded NJ market a bit late, with its online casino going live in March 2016. The Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City is PokerStars’ land-based partner, and the site is regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
PokerStars Casino Pennsylvania: PokerStars first opened its online casino in Pennsylvania in November 2019. The Mount Airy Casino Resort in Pocono serves as the site’s land-based partner. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees online gambling in the state.
Stars Casino is available as part of an integrated, downloadable desktop client that allows players to switch back and forth between the casino, the online poker site and the Fox Bet Sportsbook. It’s also available for play in your browser. The best options for that are Google Chrome for Windows users and Safari on Mac.
The casino uses the same attractive red-and-black color scheme as the online poker room. Games and other features are arranged according to an intuitive layout, making the casino easy to navigate, which in turn helps enhance the user experience. Tabs across the top highlight different game categories, such as slots, card and table games, video poker, multiplayer games, and live dealer games. A large green “Cashier” button in the upper right makes depositing, withdrawing and managing your balance equally easy.
Meanwhile, down the right side are various useful links. “My Stars” allows you to check how close you are to clearing your bonuses, review your Stars Rewards status and get to the rewards store. “Challenges” enables you to check for available promotions and opt in to new ones. There are also links to “Settings” and “Tools” to customize the client further, and “Help” to access support.
You can arrange the games by popularity or alphabetically. You can also search by game title if you know exactly which game you want to play.
Clicking a game opens it in a new pop-up window. The graphics and animation are all of high quality, as are the sounds and music, all of which combine to create a genuinely immersive experience. Many of the games can be played for either real money or play money, which means you can try them out for free before wagering actual cash.
The PokerStars desktop client is the best, most versatile option for Stars Casino players. However, you can equally access the casino through your mobile device, with free-to-download apps available for both Android and iOS platforms. Simply visit the PokerStars Casino website for your state using your device and click the download button. Follow the directions from there to download and install the app.
The app version of Stars Casino generally features a smaller game selection than you’ll find when playing over a desktop or laptop. Nonetheless, most of the top titles are there, and the app has all the same functionality, including the same banking options and customer support.
The PokerStars Casino features a nice variety of games. These come from a variety of software providers, and a few are produced in house. Across the various Stars Casino sites, you’ll find games from the following providers:
Working with so many providers enables PokerStars to pick and choose the best games each has to offer. The exact list of available games varies a bit from state to state. Some of those differences are noted below.
Some other online casinos have larger libraries of slots games than Stars Casino. However, it curates its selection very effectively, so there’s no filler. Players will find an assortment of slots titles here, including several fan favorites such as:
There are a number of exclusive titles that PokerStars developed in house, as well:
PokerStars has only a couple of progressive jackpot slots available: Divine Fortune and Mercy of the Gods. Currently, you can play these only in NJ and PA, but not in MI, which has special rules about progressive jackpots and may require different games. The jackpots for progressive slots are often in the six figures.
When it comes to card and table games, PokerStars Casino features multiple versions of blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Many of the card and table games at Stars Casino are playable as either solo, or alongside other players.
The exact selection of card and table games varies from state to state, although each has Atlantic City premium blackjack, where the dealer stands on a soft 17. All three also have American and European roulette. Both roulette and baccarat use custom, in house software rather than off-the-shelf versions of the games.
Here PokerStars draws on its extensive poker know-how with a set of proprietary video poker games. In other words, you won’t find just the familiar Game King video poker titles. Rather, you’ll find an assortment of single-hand games, some of which use the same mechanics, others of which are more novel:
All five of these appear on both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sites. The Pennsylvania site has a few extra games as well: Ace & Eights, Aces & Faces, All American, Tens or Better and Triple Bonus. As of this writing, the Michigan site still lacked video poker, but it should have some games added soon.
Stars Casino has a deal in place allowing it to offer live dealer games by Evolution Gaming. Currently only New Jersey and Pennsylvania have these, though Evolution plans to open a Michigan studio soon. Here are the available live dealer games:
Stars Casino has the same look and functionality regardless of the state. However, as noted, each state does have a different selection of games. New Jersey, as the oldest, also has the largest library of the three.
PokerStars NJ has over 170 slots, more than double Pennsylvania’s collection. It also features nearly 20 table games, including video poker and multiplayer blackjack and roulette, and four live dealer (or “live casino”) games.
The Pennsylvania poker site has close to 80 slots titles. It also features close to 20 table games, including a broader selection of video poker games than in New Jersey. PokerStars PA additionally offers four live dealer games, though not all of the same ones as PokerStars NJ.
As the newest site of the three, the Michigan PokerStars currently has the smallest library of games, although chances are good that selection will expand. Shortly after going live, PokerStars MI featured 25 slots and eight table games. There were no video poker titles at launch, and Michigan is still waiting on its first live dealer studio to open.
However, the Michigan site does have one feature not available at the other two sites. PokerStars MI players can participate in one of several “Casino Races” where they compete against others playing the same slots title. These run around the clock and award cash prizes and free spins for the luckiest and most dedicated players.
Stars Casino offers a number of methods to deposit and withdraw funds. The available options vary somewhat depending on the state.
There is a $10 minimum on deposits at Stars Casino. Here’s a quick look at the many ways to deposit funds into your account, along with the states in which each method is available.
More deposit options could become available at any or all of these sites in the future. For instance, depositing at the casino cage is currently available only in New Jersey, but may become an option in the other states soon.
To find out which deposit methods are available to you, first log in to your account and go to “Cashier.” On the desktop client, click “Make a deposit” to see all deposit methods. On the app, click “Deposit,” and if on the website click “Deposit & Withdrawals” and select your location.
Certain methods include their own deposit limits or special conditions, so be sure to check the terms before depositing. All PokerStars Casino sites also allow players to add their own deposit limits, limiting their spending per day, week or month. These self-imposed limits apply across all deposit methods.
As with most online casinos, there are fewer ways to withdraw funds from Stars Casino than there are to deposit. That’s because some of the deposit methods, like credit cards, don’t allow the user to receive funds the same way they spend them. Here’s a summary of the withdrawal methods you’ll find at PokerStars Casino:
Here too, the range of options should expand over time, especially in Pennsylvania and Michigan which currently lack some of the withdrawal methods available in New Jersey.
PokerStars has a particularly detailed and thorough FAQ compared to other online casinos. Whether accessing Stars Casino through the desktop client, website or app, the FAQ should be your starting point for any questions. It’s organized into sections and has good search tools as well. You can access it through the Help button in the client or app.
However, if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for there, you can email support directly. Alternately, use the Contact Us form in the client to submit your question, and you’ll receive a call back from support staff, as long as it’s between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time. If you send your query outside of those hours, you’ll receive an email response instead.
PokerStars is the world’s largest online poker operator, having first launched in 2001.
The poker site served American players until April 2011 when the “Black Friday” indictments and civil complaint forced PokerStars and others to cease US operations. Having reached settlements in those cases, PokerStars began its return to America in 2016 by launching in New Jersey.
On the way to reaching those settlements, PokerStars’ parent company, The Rational Group, acquired Full Tilt Poker and reimbursed that company’s players for their lost balances. The Rational Group then went public in 2014 by way of a reverse takeover by the Canadian gambling company Amaya. This new company subsequently changed its name to The Stars Group in 2017.
In 2019, the Ireland-based conglomerate Flutter Entertainment (formerly Paddy Power Betfair) struck a deal to acquire The Stars Group that was completed the following year.
By then, The Stars Group had already entered an agreement with Fox Sports to create a new sports betting brand, Fox Bet. This replaced BetStars as the company’s sportsbook. In addition to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Fox Bet Sportsbook also operates in Colorado.
Currently online poker players from all over the world play on PokerStars. Many play against one another on the global site, while in some countries such as Italy, Spain and France there are “ring-fenced” PokerStars sites where players only compete against those in the same country. PokerStars’ New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan online poker rooms are similarly restricted. On each site, players only compete against others in the same state.
Stars Casino is also available alongside the poker room in most of these jurisdictions. Conversely, Fox Bet is purely a US brand at the moment.