PokerStars USA: PA, MI, NJ
Why Play at PokerStars USA?
- #1 online poker brand with unmatched poker game selection and software
- Strong rewards for casual players: freerolls, bonuses & satellites
- Massive NJCOOP, PACOOP & MICOOP tournament series with great prize pools
- Regulated in the US market: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan
- Unique poker innovations like Zoom & Jackpot Spin & Gos
POKERSTARS USA SUMMARY
Odds are you've come across the international poker behemoth that is PokerStars at least once over the past decade. PokerStars-sponsored pros have been on TV, and the brand name has flown high even in sports events. Although it had its share of highs and lows in the United States, there's no doubt PokerStars played a gigantic role in shaping the global poker industry over the past 20 years.
It started, of course, with the "perfect storm" of PokerStars USA qualifier Chris Moneymaker's win in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event that set off the US poker boom. With the exception of the low point of Black Friday in 2011, it’s been upwards ever since.
Thanks to proper online poker legislation passed in 2012 and a $731m settlement with the US Department of Justice, PokerStars is now active in three US states and counting (at the time of writing). Its partner in New Jersey is Resorts Casino & Hotel and, more recently, PokerStars USA has obtained licenses in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
We’ll discuss its state-based relationships and offers in the following sections. However, for now, PokerStars PA and PokerStars MI have joined PokerStars NJ. And, moreover, you can expect to see more states added to the PokerStars USA stable in the future.
*Note: To play online poker in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, you must be over 21 and within state boundaries. You do not have to be a resident - just physically inside legal state borders.
PokerStars US Legal States
The PokerStars NJ app is the original and, in many ways, still the best. We say this because it’s the most established platform within the PokerStars US network. As such, the tournament guarantees are bigger and there’s a certain level of stability. What we mean is that PokerStars New Jersey has proven itself in a competitive market. Its products are up against some of the biggest online gaming brands in the US., which isn’t (currently) the case in other states.
For example, PokerStars Michigan was the first and, for a few months, only online poker site in the state. Since then, BetMGM has joined, but its initial monopoly meant it attracted a lot of players. PokerStars NJ didn’t have this luxury, therefore, it might not look as attractive as its counterparts in some respects. However, the reality is that it’s just as impressive, if not more so, because it’s still popular, even in a market where 888Poker/WSOP.com and Partypoker are active.
PokerStars Pennsylvania was the Keystone State’s only poker site for a while. So it has a solid pool of players. In fact, at the time of writing this PokerStars USA review, it had a 24-hour peak of 740+ cash game players. That’s more than PokerStars NJ and, more significantly, more than any other site in any state.
There are many reasons to hit the PokerStars PA download button. Firstly, it has a contract with one of the best casino operators in the state, Mount Airy. Secondly, it has a sportsbook and casino site. Finally, it has plenty of added value. From the $600 welcome bonus to $1 million+ events such as PACOOP, there are many ways to win big at PokerStars in Pennsylvania.
PokerStars in Michigan went live in 2021. It quickly captured the market because it was the lone operator in the state. At the time of writing, more than 590 cash game players were logging into the PokerStars Michigan app on a daily basis. Add MTTs into the mix and that number increases dramatically.
The PokerStars bonus code for Michigan is the same as other states, as is the value of the welcome bonus. The same goes for the main features within the app and its selection of cash games and tournaments. However, as it is in all PokerStars legal states, there are some local twists.
These are mainly with regards to traffic and MTTs. In Michigan, the first MICOOP went down in February 2021. It started with a $1 million guarantee but that was blown out of the water when the total prizepool sailed to $2.2 million. So, by this measure alone, PokerStars real money Michigan is booming.
PROMOTIONS & BONUS INFORMATION
PokerStars Bonus Code and Payout
All players who create an account at PokerStars in the USA will receive a no deposit bonus worth $30 as well as a deposit boost worth up to $600. To unlock these offers, you’ll need to use our secure registration links and the PokerStars Free 30 promo code and the STARS600 code.
To explain this in more detail, here are the things you need to know about the Poker Junkie PokerStars welcome bonuses:
- $30 of free play at PokerStars NJ
- 100% match bonus up to $600
- Free ticket to the monthly Depositor Freeroll
- 1M in play money chips
To earn $30 free play, you must deposit min. $20. You'll instantly get a freeroll ticket and play-money chips. The first $10 free bonus money arrives in your account within 36 hours of your deposit. The final $10 of your free bonus money does so within 7 days after your first deposit
You’ll also receive $10 in Spin & Go tickets the first three days:
- 1: 3 x $1 Spin & Go tickets
- 2: 1 x $2 Spin & Go ticket
- 3: 1 x $5 Spin & Go ticket
You will receive an email you to let you know when each credit goes through.
- PokerStars NJ Bonus Code: FREE30
- PokerStars PA Bonus Code: FREE30
- PokerStars Michigan Bonus Code: FREE30
How to claim:
- Download the software
- Create a new account via our review link to instantly qualify for all bonus promos.
- Input the PokerStars US bonus code for your state.
- PokerStars New Jersey Deposit Bonus Code: STARS600
- PokerStars Pennsylvania Deposit Bonus Code: STARS600
- PokerStars Michigan Deposit Bonus Code: STARS600
- Claim the 100% match bonus by making a deposit of at least $10 within 60 days of creating an account.
Once you’ve claimed the PokerStars no deposit bonus, there is a PokerStars deposit bonus up for grabs. This is a 100% deposit bonus worth up to $600. That means any $10+ deposit gets a match up to a maximum of $600. So, if you deposit $300, you get an extra $300 to your pending bonus. To clear your bonus, earn VIP Player Points (VPPs) by playing real money games on PokerStars NJ, MI and PA. You earn 5 VPPs for every $1 you pay in tournament fees or cash game rake. You’ll release $10 of your bonus for every 140 VPPs you earn.
This equates to a PokerStars rakeback rate of 35%. That’s a sweet deal. The only other thing you need to note is that your bonus credits are valid for 4 months. To check your pending bonus status (how much until the next $10 released), navigate to the Cashier in your app. If you have any free credits left after 4 months, you can unlock the remainder of your bonus by making two more deposits. That’s a nice clause that you don’t see at many US poker sites.
Rewards and Loyalty Program
PokerStars real money USA is all about action and added value. As you’d expect, all the action takes place at the tables. For the added value, you need Stars Rewards. Everyone that plays for real money becomes part of the loyalty scheme. What's unique about this system is that the rewards are ideal for you.
Basically, everyone earns 100 points for every $1 they rake in cash games and tournaments. However, from this initial starting point, the bonuses you collect will be dependent on the games you play. For example, if you’re a slots fan, you’ll probably receive a lot of free spins. If you’re an SNG player, you’re more likely to get free tournament tickets.
PokerStars is able to give different players different rewards because of its chests system. Each time you hit a personalized milestone, you’ll earn a chest. Open the chest and you’ll receive a random reward. You know the value of this reward by the color of the chest. For example, at Level 1, the chests are blue and prizes are worth between $0.36 and $6. At Level 6 (the top level), chests are black and contain prizes worth between $42 and $700.
You can move up the levels by leaving chests unopened. However, regardless of whether you open them instantly or save them, the rewards are always random. This is how PokerStars loyalty scheme is according to your preferences. Even though it does make things a little mysterious and ambiguous, it’s a great way to ensure everyone gets maximum value for their time online.
PokerStars USA real money customers can take advantage of regular promotions. The welcome bonus is the first promo and Stars Rewards gives you a steady stream of extras. However, there will also be times when you can pick up reload bonuses or take part in cash races.
If we’re being honest, the PokerStars Michigan bonus page and those of its counterparts aren’t brimming with offers. This is because you unlock most promotions via Stars Rewards. However, compared to other US online poker sites, there aren’t as many deposit bonuses and the like. So, if you’re doing a 888 or PokerStars comparison, for example, there may be times when the former is more appealing.
POKER GAME VARIETY
Every US PokerStars platform has a solid selection of games with stakes that should suit every player. Texas Hold'em and Omaha are the most popular but you will find action at the Stud and Draw tables. You can sometimes find players willing to play Mixed Games too.
There’s no doubt that games outside of Hold’em and Omaha are relatively slow. However, something is better than nothing. A lot of US poker sites don’t offer Stud, Draw, and Mixed Games. Therefore, even if you won’t find a lot of action in these games, PokerStars NJ and its counterparts are still better than the likes of WSOP.com et al.
As you might expect, action is steadiest at the Texas Holdem tables. Cash games are available at limits starting at $0.01/$0.02 and go up to $200/$400. As well as offering more games at more limits than its peers, the PokerStars rake system is also better than most. At the lowest stakes, rake has a 3.50% cap at $0.30. From there it goes up to 4.15% and maxes out at 5%. That’s up there with the best in the business. In fact, if you’re a high stakes limit poker player, rake can be as low as 1%. That’s truly impressive and one of the main reasons PokerStars is a favorite among pros.
- Flagship Sunday Millions
- Major NJCOOP / MICOOP / PACOOP series each year
- Thousands of daily sit & gos, Spin & Gos, MTTs,
- Freerolls and satellites running.
From microstakes to nosebleeds, PokerStars attracts the best into the booming poker community to get some street cred. That's not saying you have to play all of your action there (in fact the level of skill at the tables across most stakes is so strong we actively encourage you to spread your poker bankroll around to many of the softer sites out there). But if you want a signature poker experience, PokerStars is it - and its software is still top of the game.
At PokerStars PA, NJ and MI, you get poker cred on a smaller scale because there's no worldwide player pool. But with the major series, Zoom, Sunday Majors and PokerStars Live satellites for big tourneys, it's the next best thing. Field sizes (especially weekdays) aren't substantial enough to provide life-changing prizes. But the consistent MTTs bring steady money-making opportunities every week:
The Daily Bigs
- $5 (16:00 ET) – $5 buy-in, $500 guaranteed
- $30 (17:00 ET) – $30 buy-in, $1,000 guaranteed
- $50 (18:00 ET) – $50 buy-in, $2,000 guaranteed
- $10 (18:00 ET) – $10 buy-in, $1,000 guaranteed
- $20 (19:00 ET) – $20 buy-in, $1,500 guaranteed
- Warm-Up (16:00 ET) – $50 buy-in, $8,500 guaranteed
- Storm (17:00 ET) – $10 buy-in, $4,500 guaranteed
- Special (18:00 ET) – $200 buy-in, $45,000 guaranteed
- High Roller (19:00 ET) – $500 buy-in, $15,000 guaranteed
- Supersonic (22:00 ET) – $75 buy-in, $5,000 guaranteed
PokerStars spreads large numbers of low buy-in satellites to give players a chance to win all-inclusive packages to most of its big tournaments - both live and online. Steps satellites start at $0.01 and you can win your way up to a life-changing live buy-in in just 5 events. Daily qualifiers for the big Sunday online tournaments also run all week at various buy in levels accessible to the entire player base.
You can also win your way to a variety of live events. PokerStars is one of the biggest poker tour operators in the world. This means it hosts qualifiers for a variety of mid and high-level tournaments. As well as US events, you can win your way to international offerings like the European Poker Tour (EPT), the Players Championships, and even non-PokerStars events such as the WSOP.
PokerStars Zoom Poker
The most popular Stars innovation so far might be the much-copied Zoom Poker, PokerStars' variation of fast-fold poker. If you've ever played, you know that you get a new hand and new table the second you fold. You can even hit auto-fold and rocket away without even looking. And if you like playing poker on your phone, Zoom Poker is perfect for one-tabling, especially cash games.
Spin & Gos
Spin & Go’s are 3-player Hyper-Turbo tournaments with buy-ins from $1 to $25 on PokerStars NJ. Before the tournament starts, a prize multiplier spins and randomly boosts the prize pool. Each prize has a multiplier between 2x and 1,000x the buy-in. So the highest possible prize pool can be $25,000 - an amazing value for a tournament with 500 starting chip stacks and 3-min levels.
All Spin & Gos are winner-take-all except at the top 3 tiers. In those, 2nd and 3rd place also get 8-10% of the total prize payout. Spin & Gos are available in Omaha and for special prize packages like all-inclusive trips to the PCA, the EPT and local PokerStars Live New Jersey events.
SOFTWARE & GRAPHICS
The PokerStars rewards scheme isn't ideal for high-volume players as it’s less lucrative than the old system. However, even if this is a slight issue, there’s one thing you can’t deny: PokerStars US has world-class poker software. There isn’t an instant-play option, so you’ll have to use our PokerStars download link to access this software. Once you’ve done that, the experience is second-to-none.
Even after dozens of years and an equal amount of competitors rising and falling over the past decade, PokerStars' software is still the gold standard for the poker industry. From its immense customization options to its speedy, bug-free play. It has well-thought out and practical architecture - everything a poker player could want.
If you like multi-tabling, you get tiling and cascading options. Then there are innovations such as PokerStars Zoom and Jackpot Spin & Gos. Basically, the developers are constantly creating new, intriguing products to appeal to poker players of all stripes. Indeed, another neat extra you can access via the PokerStars app is private games.
Unlike other US sites, you can play with friends in a private setting using the PokerStars home games feature. This means that you can create your own cash games or mini-tournaments. If you’re the owner of the club, you can set the buy-in/stakes, the format, the speed of the games, and, of course, who gets to play. This is a fantastic feature and another reason PokerStars USA has the best software in the business.
PokerStars Mobile App
The PokerStars mobile app is equally exciting and again the standard for mobile poker play. Available for both Apple and Android. Buttons, sliders and custom features fit perfectly on the smaller format and make mistakes from mistakes a non-factor. What it might lack in customization it gains in simplicity and function. Zoom Poker and multi-tabling also work seamlessly on the PokerStars app. Players who create a new account via the mobile app are also of course eligible for the full bonus offers too.
TRAFFIC AND SOFT COMPETITION
PokerStars NJ cash game traffic averages about 100 cash game players and more than 300 at peak times (according to PokerScout). That makes it the second-most visited site in New Jersey after 888poker/WSOP.
Things are a little better in other states where PokerStars USA was first into the market. Indeed, although it’s a strong player in the Garden State, other brands were active in New Jersey three years or so before PokerStars. Therefore, it doesn’t have the same hold over the market that it does elsewhere in the US.
The PokerStars app for Michigan residents gets an average of 290+ cash game players each week. At peak times, there’s as many as 590+ cash game players grinding at low and mid-stakes tables.
It’s a similar story at the PokerStarts PA real money tables. The weekly average for cash game players is 350 and peak times see more than 730 grinders anteing up. When you combine all of these stats, the PokerStars USA real money network is the busiest of its kind.
Indeed, even though it doesn’t have liquidity sharing deals like other US operators (namely WSOP.com), it still attracts the most cash game players on an overall basis. Then, when you add MTTs to the mix, PokerStars USA is much bigger than any other site in the US. Thanks to Sunday specials, weekly guarantees, and festivals with $1 million+ prizepools, PokerStars US attracts thousands of players every month.
SUPPORT & SECURITY
The primary means of customer support on PokerStars NJ is an online FAQ which, if not the most dynamic of options, does have solutions to the most common hiccups. An email or the Contact Support forms are your next option if the FAQ can't sort you out and customer service reps are on hand 24 hours, 7 days a week to answer your queries.It’s the same at PokerStars PA and MI.
You're likely to get a response within a couple of hours or so but on the odd occasion it may take longer. Responses are usually satisfactory although if you've broken the terms and conditions of the site (playing via VPN, cheating, etc) don't expect great lengths to get your account re-opened.
POKERSTARS US DEPOSITS & WITHDRAWALS
PokerStars US is fully-licensed and regulated in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This means all deposits and withdrawals will be 100% safe and secure. Once you have your account set up you can then fund it via the desktop or mobile client. Payment options available to players in New Jersey include
- PokerStars Instant Online Banking
- Cash at the Cage (Local partner casinos)
- PokerStars Play+ Card
All player funds and account balances are held in segregated accounts and not used for any operational expenses meaning your money is available to you to withdraw at all times. You can also set weekly limits on how much you can deposit.
There's an approval process for withdrawals but this is generally quick and easy - usually taking only a day or two to process. To withdraw just navigate to the ‘Cashier’ and select ‘Withdraw’. You will then need to enter a withdrawal amount. Enter and click ‘Submit’.
HOW TO SET UP AN ACCOUNT
Anyone who is 21+ and living in a licensed PokerStars US state can create an account. All you need to do is use our secure registration link, input your personal details, and include any extra pieces of information such as the PokerStars bonus code PA. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have to verify your identity and location. These are important steps in the process because the security team has to know you’re a valid customer living in a valid location.
Here are the steps you need to complete in order to sign up:
- Click PLAY HERE to create your PokerStars Michigan login / PokerStars New Jersey login / PokerStars Pennsylvania login.
- Enable geolocation services when you get the prompt. *Note: You must be located in a state where PokerStars US has a license.
- Input your personal details, including the PokerStars promo code to receive $30 free + a deposit bonus worth up to $600.
- Verify your account (usually by clicking a link sent to you via email.)
- Hit the PokerStars Michigan download button / PokerStars NJ download button / PokerStars Pennsylvania download button.
- Once you’ve installed the software on your PC, Mac, iOS, or Android device, log in to your account.
- Try out the play money games or make a deposit and play for cash prizes. *Note: You will have to send in copies of your ID before your first withdrawal is processed. This is to confirm your identity in line with state gaming laws.
OUR OVERALL POKERSTARS USA RATING
PokerStars is the biggest brand in poker and its US platforms are fine examples of what this operator has to offer. Although the company had a slower start in the US than some of its peers, it’s quickly making up for lost time.
Its New Jersey site has established itself in a tough market, while PokerStars real money Michigan games have surpassed all expectations. Basically, wherever PokerStars lays its hat, it becomes a market leader through a combination of fantastic software, excellent promotions, and an impressive selection of poker games. So, if you’re able to access PokerStars where you live, we’d suggest joining ASAP.