PokerStars Casino online platform
PokerStars Casino is one of the latest online casinos to join what is already a densely populated New Jersey market.
Yet, as partner sites Resorts Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino have proven before, being late to the party isn’t always a disadvantage.
In fact, there’s strong reason to believe that PokerStars Casino will eventually carve out a sizable niche in New Jersey, if only because the casino has the advantage of packaging the operator’s widely popular and highly functional online poker platform.
But in order for it to become anywhere near dominant, PokerStars – which is relatively new to the casino business internationally as well – is going to have to do more, much more, in the way of loyalty perks, game diversification and promotions.
PokerStars Online Casino Review
- Casino Bonus
- Casino Game Selection
With a gorgeous interface and a robust mobile app, the new PokerStars online casino is sure to shake up the NJ online gambling scene. There are a few small issues with the software, which we imagine will be worked out in short order.
One downside is that the game selection could be healthier – at present there are few tables games and slots titles to choose from. Again, we expect it won’t take long before the selection is expanded. However if you’re a blackjack fan, you’ll have lots of variants to choose from!
The casino bonus offer is packaged along with the PokerStars NJ online poker bonus, which is a plus if you enjoy both casino and poker games. It’s a negative if you’re strictly a casino player, though since the site is still in its early days, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a standalone casino bonus offer rolled out in the near future.
PokerStars Casino software
The PokerStars Casino bases its platform on the same PokerStars 7 software found abroad, and like its international counterpart, PokerStars’ software is second to none.
Nowhere will NJ players find access to more account management and other quality of life features. As for the interface, it is beautifully organized, aesthetically appealing and incredibly responsive.
It will, however, be some time before the NJ team irons out all the bugs. For now, the most pressing issue is that the downloadable client will crash if pressed too hard. We also experienced a few instances where table games failed to load properly
The PokerStars Casino client comes in two flavors:
- Downloadable client: In order to play from a desktop or laptop, players will have to download the PokerStars NJ client software. The software comes packaged with both online poker and casino and runs fairly well on most modern computers. Older model computers may struggle.
- Mobile applications: There is a PokerStars Casino app available for both Android and iOS-powered devices. Many of the sites games and account management features have made the move to mobile.
Quick review of PokerStars mobile casino
As is the case with the desktop client, the mobile casino integrates with PokerStars’ online poker application. The app is available for both Android and iOS-powered devices.
To say that the application is remarkable wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. The only real issue is that the casino game library is lacking.
Currently, the app features just 14 slots, five blackjack variants, and European roulette. Relative to other NJ online casino sites, that’s pretty terrible, but not so bad for a site that only features less than 50 total games on its desktop software.
There is no shortage of account management features. Everything from the cashier to player settings and access to the VIP Store is neatly tucked away in a drop-down menu. In fact, there aren’t many quality of life feature that didn’t get ported over to mobile.
But the mobile casino app truly shines when playing, as not only are the graphics exceedingly sharp, but the overall game interface and performance are stellar – light years ahead of what’s found on competing mobile applications, most of which are burdened by slow loading times and freezes.
Suffice it to say that once the game library expands, and we’re hoping it does at a much faster clip, there will be PokerStars Casino and the rest.
New Jersey iGaming regulations required PokerStars to link up with a land-based casino in Atlantic City before launching its online poker and casino sites. It found that partner in one Resorts Casino all the way back in July 2013.
PokerStars NJ is the third site to conduct operations under the Resorts Internet Gaming Permit. The first, ResortsCasino.com, launched in February 2015. Three months later was the launch of sister site MohehanSunCasino.com. Both sites share the same NYX Gaming platform and games.
PokerStars NJ began a soft launch period on March 16, 2016. It was approved to conduct full operations five days later on March 21.
What games are available at PokerStars Casino?
The game selection on PokerStars Casino is currently rather small. However, the games included in the package are mostly fan favorites and should suffice until PokerStars expands its library – which by the looks of its international casino, seems to be only a matter of time.
The burgeoning casino currently consists of 35 slots games, an impressive 8 blackjack variants, two roulette games and Heads-up Hold’em.
Blackjack aficionados will have absolutely no trouble finding a game that suits their playing preferences, as PokerStars casino offers a staggering 8 different alternatives of the casino favorite.
- Classic Blackjack
- Perfect Pairs Blackjack
- Atlantic City Blackjack
- European Blackjack
- Premium Atlantic City Blackjack
- Premium Blackjack
- Double Deck Atlantic City Blackjack
- Double Deck Blackjack
Stakes for Classic Blackjack start at $0.10. For the stakes, the rules are quite favorable, paying 3:2 on blackjack and 3:1 on 7-7-7. You are allowed splits up to three times per hand.
On the negative side, there is no surrender option and the dealer hits on soft 17.
Moving up the ladder, Premium Atlantic City Blackjack hands deal from a four deck shoe, pay 3:2 on all blackjack and the dealer stands on all 17’s. Surrender is allowed in this game, and players can split once per hand. Stakes start at $5.
Perfect Pairs introduces “carnival” aspects into the game. The Perfect Pairs side bet pays out when players are dealt a pair, with same colored and identical pairs paying out more than mixed pairs. The 21+3 bet pays out hands of three cards or more that take the shape of strong poker hands such as a flush or straight.
When playing European Blackjack, Premium Deck Blackjack and Double Deck Blackjack, the dealer will not draw a hole card until after the player has acted. As a result, any splits or double down bets are scooped should the dealer reveal a blackjack.
This rule variant is significant enough to warrant a change to basic strategy.
Classic Blackjack, Perfect Pairs and Premium Blackjack are also available for multiplayer play, with up to five players per table.
PokerStars Casino offers two versions of roulette: Double Ball Roulette and European Roulette.
As the name firmly implies, Double Ball Roulette features two balls. In order to win outside bets such as Even/Odd and Black/Red both balls must qualify. To account for this added difficulty the payouts for winning outside bets are augmented significantly.
On the flip side, because inside bets are twice as likely to hit, they only payout 17:1 as opposed to the normal 35:1. However, on the somewhat rare occasion that both balls land on the same number, the payout is 35:1.
Also worth noting is that both European Roulette and Double Ball Roulette only feature one zero.
There are both single and multi-player version of the games, and stakes range from $0.10 – $100.
Other PokerStars table games
The only other game on PokerStars Casino is Heads-Up Hold’em.
Heads-Up Hold’em resembles traditional hold’em in that both the dealer and the player are dealt two hole cards. Then a flop is dealt, followed by a turn and river (the last two community cards are dealt simultaneously). There are three betting rounds, although players have the option to check on the first two rounds and fold on the last.
Should the hand go to showdown, the player must beat the dealer’s hand in order to win. If the dealer qualifies with a pair or better and the player still wins, then the player will win both the Ante and the Raise bet. There is also a mandatory Odds bet that pays on straights or better and pushes on all other wins.
Finally, players can place two additional side bets – one that pays out on trips or better and another that pays based on the strength of a player’s starting hand.
PokerStars Casino slots
All slots on PokerStars Casino are multi-line penny slots. There’s only 35 titles available at present, but at least some of the industry’s more popular games are represented
There are currently no progressives slots available.
Popular slots include Guns N’ Roses, StarBurst, Chili Gold and Flowers. Games are provided by NYX Gaming’s proprietary games studio, NextGen.
PokerStars Casino video poker
Video poker games are finally available on PokerStars Casino. Five single line variants have launched on the site:
- Jacks or Better
- Double Double Bonus
- Deuces Wild
- Joker Poker
- Double Bonus
PokerStars Online Casino promotions
PokerStars Casino Welcome Bonus
What you get
PokerStars offers a 200 percent match up to $400 on first time deposits. That means players only have to deposit $200 to receive the full bonus amount.
Any player that makes an initial deposit of $10 or more using the promotional code CASINO will have triple their deposit amount to play with.
In order to unlock $1 of the bonus, players must earn three StarsCoin. The rate at which StarsCoin are earned varied widely from game to game, and is based on a game’s theoretical.
For instance, slot players will earn StarsCoin at a clip of one coin per $5 – $11 wagered, which works out to 3 – 6.67 percent cashback deal.
Video poker and blackjack players will have to put in a ton more volume to unlock a dollar. As an example, the Double Deck Blackjack games require players to run through $145 in order to earn one StarsCoin, which works out to just a scant 0.23 percent cashback rate.
Overall, PokerStars Casino’s welcome package is not a bad deal. The monetary cap is reasonably high, and the percentage match is unprecedented in the NJ online casino market.
But the cashback rates relative to other sites tend toward the low side. Even in a best case scenario, they’re certainly not high enough to grant players a temporary edge over the house.
Players have 28 days to unlock the bonus, otherwise any uncleared bonus amount will be forfeited.
|Casino Name||PokerStars Casino|
|First Deposit Code||CASINO|
|First Deposit Bonus Amount||200% up to $400|
|Atlantic City Casino Partner||Resorts AC|
|IGP Permit Number||NJIGP 16-008|
|Last Verified:||November 7, 2017|
Complete any of the casino’s multiple challenges to earn free entries into one of PokerStars’ All-in Shootout prize draws. Challenges include:
– Wagering $5 playing slots
– Wagering $5 playing Blackjack
– Wagering $5 playing Roulette
Achieving any of the above will grant you one free entry into a daily $250 Shootout. Each challenge can be completed once per day for a total of three challenges daily. And if you complete five or more challenges during a single week, you’ll be additionally entered into an exclusive weekly $750 all-in Shootout.
The promotion is available from the desktop and mobile applications. Remember to opt-in to the offer via the casino’s Challenge window.
Ongoing short-term promotions
– Blackjack Money Boost (November 21 – December 10): complete Blackjack challenges and enter massive prize draws with $60,000 in cash prizes.
– Thanksgiving slots puzzle (November 21 – December 3): complete your daily Slots Puzzle to enter a $1,000 all-in prize draw shootout and earn a random cash prize of up to $25,000.
– The Wheel (from October 16-31, 2017): opt-in to the challenge via the PokerStars Challenge Window and collect puzzle pieces by completing different tasks, such as placing a straight zero bet and winning, or placing 50 straight bets on any spots. A total of eight puzzle pieces can be collected, with each piece granting a free entry to a $20,000 prize draw.
– Blackjack Money Boost (ends on October 8, 2017): increase your Blackjack return-on-investment by completing daily challenges. By winning one, 21 or 42 hands with Blackjack you’ll receive free entries into Shootout poker tournaments with prize pools ranging from $250 to $3,000. Total of $7,000 in prizes available. Sign-up soon!
PokerStars Casino player rewards program
What you get
- Earn StarsCoin for placing real-money wagers on slots and casino games.
- Redeem StarsCoin for accessories, clothing, online poker tickets and VIP cash rebates.
Unfortunately, the casino arm of PokerStars NJ does not abide by the same tiered loyalty system as the poker room. Thus, players who frequent the casino will receive the same amount of cashback regardless of volume.
PokerStars Casino awards the virtual currency StarsCoin for play, with the amount determined by the RTP of the game played.
For slots, players receive one StarsCoin for every $5 – $11 played. Considering each StarsCoin is worth $0.01, that works out to between a .09 – .2 percent cashback deal.
The rates on most table games, especially blackjack, are significantly lower – ranging from .05 percent on the high side to 0.007 percent on the lower end.
StarsCoin can be redeemed for a variety of items, including $10, $25 and $100 cash rebates, online poker tournament tickets ($1 – $500), security items, PokerStars-branded gear and PokerStars accessories.
PokerStars Casino – cashiering
PokerStars offers a fairly balanced array of depositing and withdrawal options, although players might find the deposit limits a bit too restrictive for their liking.
Available deposit methods include:
- Instant eChecks: Immediate approval, high acceptance rates, low limits, no fees.
- MasterCard/Visa credit/debit: Lower approval rate, higher limits, no fee charged by PokerStars.
- 7-Eleven PayNearMe: Instant approval, no fees, but requires players to visit a 7-Eleven outlet.
- PokerStars instant online banking: Instant approval, works only with personal bank accounts set up with online bill pay.
- Neteller: Solid alternative payment processing method for players who have had trouble depositing with eChecks and credit/debit cards. High limits, fees charged by Neteller, requires Neteller account creation.
- Skrill: Similar to Neteller in that it requires account creation, charges nominal transaction fees and offers access to higher deposit limits.
- PokerStars Play+ Card: The PokerStars prepaid card option, listed in the cashier but not yet available. If prepaid card options on other NJ regulated sites are any indicator, this should become one of the most reliable deposit methods.
- Resorts cash at the casino cage: Highest limits, requires that players present a photo ID and provide PokerStars account details to a Resorts casino agent at the casino’s brick and mortar venue in Atlantic City.
It’s been suggested that PayPal will also be added as a cashiering option in the near future.
Withdrawals are first processed back to the methods used to deposit, if eligible. Any winnings can be withdrawn via a method of the player’s choice.
A couple of points worth noting:
- Initial deposit limits on eChecks ($750 per 24 hours, $5,000 per 30 days) and credit/debit cards ($640 per 24 hours, $2,000 per 30 days) are quite a bit lower than what’s found on most New Jersey regulated iGaming sites.
- Players can seemingly only enter in one checking account.
- Players have the option to delegate a payment method as a “Fast Deposit” option. As the name implies, this expedites the depositing process.
- There is an elongated pending period of 10 days on eCheck transactions, regardless of how quickly the funds are deducted from a player’s checking account. This is a pretty severe limitation that doesn’t exist on most other NJ iGaming sites.
PokerStars online casino support
Players who wish to contact customer support by phone can request a callback via the Open Contact Support Form (found in the platform’s “Support” tab) and selecting the “Request a Callback” category. Phone support is available from the hours of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
For callback requests received outside these hours, the request will be responded to by email.
Support response times are generally on the speedy side. However, complicated inquiries will typically have to be escalated to the proper department. When this occurs, wait times and response quality tend to vary widely.
For the answers to common questions, players navigate to Help -> Information -> Frequently Asked Questions from the PokerStars NJ platform.
- PokerStars Casino online platform
- Editor’s review
- What games are available at PokerStars Casino?
- PokerStars Online Casino promotions
- Ongoing short-term promotions
- PokerStars Casino player rewards program
- PokerStars Casino – cashiering
- PokerStars online casino support