PokerStars Casino online platform

PokerStars Casino is the latest online casino to join what is already a densely populated New Jersey market.

Yet, as partner sites Resorts Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino have proved 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 being packaged with the operator’s widely popular and highly functional online poker platform

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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.

Editor’s review

PokerStars Online Casino Review
  • Casino Bonus
  • Casino Game Selection
  • Support
  • Deposit/Banking

Summary

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.

4.3

PokerStars Casino software

The PokerStars Casino platform is based upon 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.

That being said, it’ll likely 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. There are also some minor audio and lag issues, although these appear to be getting better by the day.

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. However, at present only a small sampling of the games available on the desktop software have made the transition to mobile.

Quick review of PokerStars mobile casino

As is the case with the desktop client, casino is integrated into 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 – and its a big one – is that the casino game library is sorely lacking.

Currently, the only games currently available via mobile are blackjack and European roulette. On a positive note, at least all the blackjack variants present on the desktop client made the transition, but the lack of slots and other table games is a big minus.

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 is expanded, there will be PokerStars Casino and the rest.

Network partners

As per New Jersey iGaming regulations, PokerStars was required 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. That was followed three months later by 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 that are 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 23 slots games, an impressive 14 blackjack variants, four roulette games and four other table games.

PokerStars blackjack

PokerStars NJ online blackjackBlackjack aficionados will have absolutely no trouble finding a game that suits their playing preferences, as PokerStars casino offers a staggering 14 different alternatives of the casino favorite.

They are:

  • Classic Blackjack
  • Perfect Pairs Blackjack
  • Atlantic City Blackjack (two limit ranges)
  • European Blackjack (two limit ranges)
  • Premium Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Premium Blackjack
  • Double Deck Atlantic City Blackjack (three limit ranges)
  • Double Deck Blackjack (three limit ranges)

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. Splits are allowed 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 are dealt 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 sidebet 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 will be 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 multi-player play, with up to five players per table.

PokerStars roulette

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 two table games on PokerStars Casino are baccarat and Heads-Up Hold’em.

The latter 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

slots games PokerStars online casino NJAll slots on PokerStars Casino are multi-line penny slots. Of the 23, four sport bonus rounds and 22 possess a free spins feature.

There are currently no progressives slots available.

Popular slots include Jack Hammer, StarBurst, Chili Gold and Druidess Gold. All games are provided by NYX Gaming’s proprietary games studio, NextGen.

PokerStars Casino video poker

Video poker games are not yet available on PokerStars Casino. Most popular variants are available on the dot-com site, however, which firmly suggests that video poker should be introduced in New Jersey in short order.

PokerStars Online Casino promotions

PokerStars Casino Welcome Bonus

What you get

Currently, PokerStars does not offer a welcome package exclusive to casino patrons. That’s likely to change in the future, but for now, the operator appears more focused on attracting online poker players.

All of this is not to say that casino patrons do not have options, however.

The lowdown

Any player that makes an initial deposit of $20 or more using the promotional code FREE30 will receive the following:

  • $15 in free cash credited within 36 hours of the initial deposit
  • An additional $15 in free cash credited seven days after the first deposit
  • A ticket to a $5,000 Depositors Freeroll
  • 1 million play money chips

Admittedly, this bonus offer is somewhat poker focused. However, because there are no game restrictions (or wagering requirements) associated with the cash bonuses, the funds can be used for casino play.

PokerStars does offer a couple of alternative bonuses, but they’re targeted exclusively at poker players.

The first is a $10 no deposit bonus. Players can opt in for this offer by using the promotional code FREE10 at the time of registration. Upon successful verification of their account, they’ll receive a $10 Spin & Go ticket package, comprised of four $1 tickets and three $2 tickets.

Although Spin & Go’s are technically poker games, the randomized payouts and blistering fast pace are bound to resonate with the online casino crowd. Even if they’re not for you, it’s worth capitalizing on the offer, as any money won via the tickets is credited immediately to your cash account.

The other offer is a 100% match up to $600 on all first deposits.

Casino players who frequent the poker room may want to consider this welcome package, as the clearance rate (50 percent cashback) is by far the best offered by a NJ poker operator. Just keep in mind that the only way to unlock the bonus funds is to pay rake in poker cash games, or pay tournament entry fees.

Players looking to add poker to their online gambling rotation are encouraged to sign up for PokerStars

Claim your PokerStars NJ Casino bonus

Casino NamePokerStars Casino
Bonus CodeFREE30
Opening Bonus Amount With Code$30 Free + $5,000 Depositors Freeroll Ticket
Opening Bonus Amount Without Code$0
Atlantic City Casino PartnerResorts AC
IGP Permit NumberNJIGP 16-008

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.

The lowdown

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. As is the case with the welcome package, we wouldn’t be shocked to see this change in the near future.

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 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.
  • Visa credit card/debit card: Coming soon. Visa users are encouraged to use Neteller in the meantime.

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.

If the callback request is 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.

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