In 2016, PokerStars brought their industry leading online poker product back to the United States after a five year absence following the events of Black Friday. Today, PokerStars USA is the largest online poker operator in the United States and continues to blaze a trail by being the first to enter states as legislation passes.
The path to the top of the U.S. market started in March 2016 with the launch of PokerStars NJ in New Jersey through a partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The return of PokerStars to U.S. players was met with open arms by players and thanks to an industry-leading software and a tournament schedule developed with players in mind, the site nearly instantly became the most-trafficked site in the country.
Just over 3.5 years later, PokerStars went live in a second state with the launch of PokerStars PA in Pennsylvania. PokerStars working in partnership with the Mount Airy Casino in the Pocono to bring players in the Keystone State their top tier product. With Pennsylvania holding the fifth largest population of any state in the U.S., PokerStars PA numbers quickly surpassed those of PokerStars NJ. As the only online poker operator in the state, PokerStars has enjoyed a significant first-mover advantage..
PokerStars followed their Pennsylvania strategy in Michigan when, in January 2021, PokerStars again became the first legal online poker operator in the Great Lakes State. Early traffic numbers in Michigan from PokerStars MI proved that players were eager for the return of online poker.
Unfortunately for PokerStars players in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are unable to play against each other as the three states are not yet part of the inter-state liquidity sharing enjoyed by WSOP.com players in New Jersey and Nevada but there are discussions to bring all three states together in the near future.
PokerStars USA Bonus Offer
No Deposit Promo Code FREE30
No Deposit Bonus $30 Free
First Deposit Promo Code STARS600
First Deposit Bonus 100% match up to $600
Online Since 2016
Available to players in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, & Michigan
With PokerStars USA (in NJ, PA, and WI), you can get $30 free when you make your first deposit of $20 or more and use the promo code “FREE30”. The $30 in free play is awarded in a $20 cash bonus and $10 in Spin & Go tickets.
Additionally, you can get a 100% deposit match on your first deposit up to $600 using the code “STARS600”. If your first deposit is less than $600, you have the option to use the bonus code ‘STARS600’ up to three times until the total bonus amount equals $600.
How to Claim the Bonus
Sign up for a new PokerStars USA account in any one of the states in which PokerStars operates:
Sign up for a new PokerStars PA account here.
To get started on PokerStars USA, download the software for your state and click on the cashier button located in the top right corner of the client. Choose your desired deposit method, and in the “BONUS CODE” box, enter the promo code you wish to use. From there, make your real-money deposit and the bonus will be added to your account.
To get the $30 in free play, sign up and make your first real-money deposit of at least $20 and use the bonus code “FREE30” when you make the deposit. The Depositor Freeroll ticket and the 1 million play-money chips will be credited to your account straight away. The first $10 in bonus cash will be credited to your account within 36 hours of your deposit, and then the second $10 in bonus cash will be credited to your account seven days after your deposit. You’ll also receive the Spin & Go tickets.
For the 100% bonus up to $600, PokerStars will release $10 cash for every 140 redemption points earned. You receive five redemption points for every $1 you pay in rake or tournament fees. Any uncleared bonus left after four months will be forfeited.
PokerStars USA Software
Desktop Windows, Apple
Mobile App iOS, Android
It’s no secret that PokerStars software is one of the best, if not the best, that the industry has to offer. No matter which state you are playing from, the PokerStars USA software features many of the features that have long made PokerStars a highly respected online poker room. Whether you’re playing on a PC or a Mac, a downloadable client is available and offers access to all PokerStars products including cash games, multi-table tournaments, SNGs, and Spin & Gos.
Some of the industry-leading features that the PokerStars software offers include a highly customizable player set up that allows players to change the appearance of the table and cards and the four-color deck that many MTT players prefer. Speaking of multi-tabling, PokerStars USA software gives players the ability to easily tile numerous tables at once.
PokerStars owns the second, third, and fourth busiest regulated online poker sites in the United States trailing only WSOP.com. The oldest of the three, PokerStars NJ, averages 250 players playing on the site and peaks on weekends with nearly 750 players. PokerStars PA hits 350/900 while the new kid on the block, PokerStars MI, averages 450/1,100.
PokerStars also has one of the most advanced online poker clients in the world, one which offers a wide variety of poker variants. While there are 25 different games available to players, No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha are the two most popular by far. In fact, on most nights those games make up 100% of the site’s traffic.
Some of the other variants that are available on the PokerStars USA clients:
- Limit Hold’em
- No Limit Five Card Draw
- Eight Game Mixed
- Seven Card Stud
- Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- Limit Deuce to Seven Triple Draw
- Omaha Hi-Lo
- Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
- Pot Limit Deuce to Seven Triple Draw
- No Limit Deuce to Seven Single Draw
- Five Card Pot Limit Omaha
PokerStars USA offers a wide variety of cash games, ranging in stakes as low as $0.01/$0.02 and as high as $100/$200. The higher the stakes, the less action there is, but players can find plenty of games running regularly at the low- to mid-stakes levels.
Cash games are available in a wide variety of game types, including Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Triple Draw, and 8-Game. As one can expect, No Limit Hold’em is the most popular variant.
PokerStars USA has one of the healthiest tournament poker offerings in the country, with a very good selection of regularly scheduled MTTs and popular series that occur throughout the year.
Sunday is the biggest day for tournaments, highlighted by marquee PokerStars events including the Sunday Warm-Up, Sunday Storm, Sunday Special, Sunday High Roller, and Sunday Supersonic. On a daily basis, the Nightly Stars provides great value, as the ‘The Big’ and ‘The Hot’ series has a few different tournaments for each at different buy-in levels and varying prize pool guarantees.
The tournament schedule may differ depending on the state (and it may change when multi-state player pools are in play) but players can expect a full slate each and every day with larger guarantees being rolled out on Sundays.
Other Games Offered
In addition to cash games and multi-table tournaments, PokerStars USA offers SNGs, with buy-ins ranging from $1 up to $500, and Spin & Gos, with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $25. PokerStars NJ Spin & Gos offers players a chance to win up to $25,000.
Long gone are the days of the PokerStars VIP program. PokerStars USA players can benefit from the Stars Rewards loyalty program. Rewards points are earned by playing in real-money poker games. The more rewards points a player collects, the higher the status they can earn.
Rewards Chests can be earned once a player reaches a certain status level. Opening the chests will reveal benefits for the player, including Starscoin and free play. For an idea of what a player can expect to earn from a Rewards Chest based on their play, take a look at the following status levels.
- Level 1 – Blue: $0.25-$5
- Level 2 – Bronze: $0.60-$12
- Level 3 – Silver: $1.50-$30
- Level 4 – Gold: $5-$100
- Level 5 – Diamond: $12.50-$250
- Level 6 – Black: $35-$700
Starscoin is a PokerStars currency that players can use in multiple ways, such as purchasing PokerStars products from the Rewards Store, exchanging them for cash or tournament tickets, or using Starscoin to qualify for events. Every 2,500 StarsCoin you collect can be redeemed for $25 cash.
Staying close to its roots as the world leader in MTTs, PokerStars offers their marquee Championship of Online Poker (COOP) to all three states it currently operates in. NJCOOP, PACOOP, and MICOOP bring a series of standout tournaments to players in the US with, quite often, $1 million or more in guaranteed prize pools.
Solid customer support is yet another reason why PokerStars grew to become the behemoth that it did. Players in the USA will be happy to learn that the standard set by the worldwide support team continues to be met in NJ, PA and MI.
The only way to contact PokerStars support is via email, but the response time is amongst the best in the industry. The PokerStars FAQ on each state’s individual site is also very robust and usually provides players answers to any questions they have about the site or their account quicker than the email support option.
Right in the lobby of the PokerStars client, located in the right-hand menu is a ‘Help’ tab that players can use for assistance. In the help center, there is information on how to contact PokerStars USA support and more.
PokerStars isn’t just an online poker site. As an operator, PokerStars also offers live poker around the world, including the long-running, successful European Poker Tour.
It’s been a while though since PokerStars has held a live event in the United States. However, as the PokerStars network continues to grow there is always the possibility that the online poker giant may tap one of their partners, like the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, to hold a larger live event for U.S. players and award satellites to live events on their online platform.
PokerStars USA gives its players everything they’ve come to know from the PokerStars brand. Players can take advantage of great software, robust game offerings, and big-time series, all while feeling safe and secure in a legalized market.
Hopefully, PokerStars NJ, PokerStars PA, and PokerStars MI merge player pools in the near future, as that will really give a boost to the site’s liquidity. Even without having an interstate player network yet, each of the PokerStars USA’s individual clients has plenty of traffic to make it a “must-play” destination for poker players of every level.
Whether you’re a cash game player or a tournament grinder, you’ll find no shortage of games from PokerStars USA, and we’re big fans of the COOP and SCOOP festivals in which PokerStars provides a tournament schedule to get excited about.