Since 2001, PokerStars has been among the most prominent online poker brands. The company was one of the driving factors in the meteoric success of its young industry, and always offered strong security measures and customer support.
PokerStars had a strong reputation ten years ago, but that all began to change in late 2006 when the U.S. passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This act made it illegal for PokerStars to accept US players and illegal for US banks to process payments related to online poker.
The biggest online poker site in the world at the time, PartyPoker, immediately accepted and followed this new US law, and left the USA market. PokerStars, however, disregarded the US government and continued to operate in the US. We feel this choice started PokerStars down a road of shadiness which leads us to our opinion today – that PokerStars is a scam.
PokerStars realized it was breaking US law by continuing to accept US players and eventually abandoned the US market. The company lost a lot of money and a significant portion of its customer base.
PokerStars has been in business for over 15 years. Although the company started as a play-money service only, the focus has been on real-money poker for more than a decade. After neglecting the USA UIEGEA law of 2006, the company reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012. This settlement allowed PokerStars to return to the U.S. – in Nevada and New Jersey – which had legalized online gambling.
On April 15, 2011, the Department of Justice seized the pokerstars.com domain name, along with fulltiltpoker.com and several others. On April 20, the pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com domain names were returned for the purpose of helping to facilitate the withdrawal of US players’ funds.
PokerStars was forced to leave the US market at this time.
Prior to the seizure, PokerStars could not legally provide service to U.S. residents, but they continued to for a time because it was profitable and because that law was difficult to enforce with them operating entirely outside the United States. The company is located in the Isle of Man and acquired a European Union gambling license through Malta.
Is PokerStars Rigged?
The most concerning question about PokerStars is whether the service is rigged. Admittedly, there is some compelling video evidence on YouTube of sponsored PokerStars players beating the odds on multiple occasions during a number of big events. PokerStars spends a lot of money on its sponsorships, and it behooves the brand to have these professional players be successful. The nature of online play, however, is that it is more difficult for a pro player to be consistently successful. Therefore, PokerStars has motivation, and the company has chosen to ignore rather than dispute the video evidence.
Keep in mind that PokerStars has no incentive to rig poker games outside of sponsored play. The revenues that PokerStars earns is based on the total pot no matter who wins it. In addition, VIP rewards are earned based on the amount staked not the amount won or lost. For that reason, it is very difficult to believe that PokerStars would rig games on a regular basis, and there is no concrete proof to suggest that PokerStars has done so.
In the end, there are a lot of conspiracy theories surrounding rigged games and rigged decks, but overall it’s difficult to believe that PokerStars would actually fix the deck or the dealing of cards… but you never know.
Data Analysis and Breach of Privacy
It is worth noting that there were at least two independent analyses of the PokerStars dealer mechanism that presented data outside the norm. For some, this data was evidence that PokerStars was rigging standard games or at least that the dealer mechanism was not random.
PokerStars did react to this story by providing these studies with more comprehensive data sets to work with. In doing so, PokerStars breached the privacy contract with its players. Although user names were stripped, hand logs are publicly available, and it is possible to associate individual players with the released data.
Does PokerStars Cheat Players?
A much bigger concern of whether PokerStars games are rigged is whether the company is actually cheating players out of winnings. A quick search online will reveal a sharp increase in the last several years of players making complaints about having their accounts seized, bankrolls reduced when making a withdrawal, withdrawals refused, bonuses voided for no reason and so forth.
PokerStars turns a profit on every real-money player no matter how much he or she wins. Nevertheless, there is incentive to be even more profitable in a highly competitive market, and PokerStars would not be the first online gambling service to increase profits by exploiting consumers.
PokerStars does not want money leaving the system, so players that earn profits and routinely withdraw cash from the site are not good for the site.
In fact, PokerStars purchased Full Tilt Poker and continues to manage and operate this brand – a brand that is synonymous with the term ponzi scheme. Full Tilt Poker had rampant cheating going – and this is a fact. Directors of the company took money directly from players’ accounts and purchased homes, cars, jewelry, and more.
To this day, countless players and business partners are owed money from Full Tilt. PokerStars did not fully satisfy these commitments even though they now own and are responsible for the Full Tilt brand.
Better Business Bureau
Another point of concern for poker players considering PokerStars is that the company has never received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. This was true prior to the UIGEA, and it is true even now in the states where the brand has a legal presence.
The BBB does track international companies, however, and although it has not accredited or rated PokerStars, it does have a file for the company in nearly every state. There are a significant number of complaints on file, and we urge everyone to check with their local BBB to consider local experiences with the PokerStars brand.
Is PokerStars Trustworthy?
The most egregious act destroying any remaining goodwill PokerStars may have had came very recently. On May 1, 2015, PokerStars sent an email to its online marketing partners drastically changing the terms of their agreements, causing significant damage to all of their Internet partners for their own benefit.
Marketing partners of PokerStars had an agreement – that they would receive a certain percentage of the revenues that PokerStars earned off players referred by that partner. And that revenue share plan would persist for the life of the player.
On May 1, 2015, PokerStars unilaterally changed the terms to only compensate their marketing partners for only two years.
AND POKERSTARS MADE THIS RULING RETROACTIVE.
What this means is that marketing partners that have been supporting and promoting PokerStars for years and years will lose all revenues from those players. They will only get compensated for players from the past 2 years. For partners that have been sending PokerStars traffic for over a decade, built up a sizable database of players, and developed those players, will lose 90-95% of their marketing revenues.
Basically, this is a breach of contract and PokerStars is more than willing to completely screw their partners.
You can read the full email below:
Email from PokerStars
If PokerStars is willing to do this to their business partners, then what are they willing to do to their players?
If you win a big tournament, what prevents PokerStars from immediately changing their terms to not pay you out?! NOTHING.
We believe that all of these poor decisions stemmed from the fact that PokerStars decided to break US law by continuing to offer their services to Americans.
Because PokerStars broke US law, they had to pay huge fines to the US Department of Justice. PokerStars paid $731 million to the US government to settle the charges of bank fraud and evading US restrictions on online poker.
PokerStars was guilty – and when online poker became legalized in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, with the potential of California coming next, some laws had a bad actor clause – which disallowed PokerStars from entering the market since they were illegally operating in the US previously.
Amaya Only Cares About Its Bottom Line
Associating with the owners – the Scheinbergs – prevented PokerStars from entering US markets, which eventually led to the sale of PokerStars to Amaya. And this new change of ownership has led to the issues we see today. Amaya does not care about the players or the business partners of PokerStars.
Amaya added a 2.5% foreign currency transaction fee when depositing or withdrawing funds into PokerStars. And it did this WITHOUT NOTIFYING ANY OF ITS PLAYERS. This was just an added tax to increase Amaya’s bottom line.
Amaya increased the rake at PokerStars in late 2014! Rakes were increased on cash games, mtt’s, sit-n-go’s… basically everywhere. Again, this is another tax added to increase Amaya’s bottom line at the expense of the customer base.
And the final straw is Amaya’s destruction of it’s partnership agreements – changing their compensation from the life of the player to two years is utterly devastating to their list of long-established and trusted marketing partners.
If you do business on the Internet or play online poker, you simply can’t trust Amaya. Sorry, but we have to call it. PokerStars is a scam.
Leave Us Your Opinion
How were your experiences with PokerStars? Let us know.
Submit your review
1-I've read about a reccurent fact: new players (who put their money for the first time on the site) would win their first tournament, or players who make a long pause (several months) would win a tournament when they come back. I confirm that point, that's what has happened to me, first time and everytime I came back to the site.
2-Other thing: I played blackjack on their casino. What happened to me was possible, just as possible as me winning the lottery (that's why I do have doubts). I played with the following strategy: 1€ each bet. If I win I bet 1€, if I lose I bet 2€, if I lose again, I bet the double again: 4€, etc. That strategy makes you win 1€ each time (when you win and when you win after X losses): +1€ or -1+2 or -1-2+4 etc. You play like this in a casino, you´re forbidden for life. So it worked after hundred of hands, even thousands. However, at no point, would I have more than 4 wins in a row. But 20 losses in a row, yes, and that happened 3 times. It's mathematiclly possible, however extremely rare. My opinion was ok, they have a formula on this to make the player lose. I got back to my poker, and from that very date I keep losing, lower hands keep beating me. Possible colors against me always (100%) get the color at the river. Straight the same. The other player makes a stupid call on the flop, he gets his cards on the turn+river. If I win a difficult hand, the very next one (AA vs 82)will kill me. I cannot win a hand like I used to for more than 15 years! I used to have a slow increasing winning curve, but since the blackjack thing, forget it. I guess the site has an interest on this: 100% profit on the casino vs 6% on the poker. As soon as they see you losing some money on the casino, they make you lose the poker everyday thinking the guy is going to go back right away on the casino to lose more.
3-I keep seeing the following: SB (chip leader or almost) BB (very few chips left), only those two are going, well, no matter what the BB does: just call, raise, all in, he gets top pair on the flop and loses vs double pair on the flop.
I can't speak for the real money part of the Poker Stars but I can on the play money part. I have been playing here for over two years now and I have kept logs. Going for over 372 blinds without a pair doesn't even happen in live poker. I have had this happen several times over the two years with the longest streak at just over 387 hands and the average at over 200 plus. Also getting beat on the river over one to two dozen times in a row on several occasions and three times by the same player. This mainly happens on Zoom poker but has also happened on KO tournaments and in regular tournaments. I know this is a play money site but the odds of these things happening this many times in a row has to be astronomical. When you have pocket aces and are all in and someone calls with J 8 off suit and hits a full house on the river on you its a bad beat. If the same player does this to you on several hands in an hour then I say that the player in question has to be a bot or part of the Poker Stars site. Would like to know if others have dealt with the same issues.
I have four people in my family right here in my home that play on pokerstars. I had almost three million in chips and my husband had almost six million is his and my daughters has far less but my husband I both buy ships. We were logging in each day and topping of our chips and each time we did we checked to see how much we had in play chips. Then one day we logged as usual and all four of us had way less then we had the day before. I only had a million and something left and my husband had around three hundred thousand left it all and each of my daughters had a lot less as well. When we wrote them about it they said the chips were put in our accounts by mistake which is a lie. We use to like playing poker there but not anymore. Now they will not answer at all when we email them. What can we do?
100% theifs and scammers...everyone knows and see’s all the scammingg poker stars does over and over
1) favours chip leaders
2) favours sponsered pros
3) sets up big hands against big hands
4) bad beats and sickest beats which you never see on other sites or pive
5) ignores emails
6) no phone number
7) usa frauds and full tilt theft
8) steals money from accounts and uses for own personal benefits
9) once you withdraw gives you more sicm beats after sicks beats
10) having there licenses of shore
Sooo much more...this site is day light robberry us fools keep giving them money for free and they have got us right where they want us...they know we all want to win money...win big...have emotions and tilt ...one day they will be caught and i really cant wait!!!
Why is the goverment not doing anything? Why are they getting away with such oubvious fraud
How are they fooling soooo many millions of people
Yes, pokerstars is a scam!
Now they also display games in the wrong area, to trick you to spend more $ than you want. I selected I only want to play free or micro buy-in games, an they display expensive games mixed in there, with the same name as free games, written in the area of the free games, with the same color, same font, same size. You'd never know it's not free!! They charged me a fortune for a stupid game I thought was free 'cause I selected I wanted to play ONLY free and micro buy-in games!!! That's bad faith! That's a scam!
I've noticed within the passed, 2 months, a dramatic change in flop/board variance in general.
I realized that I had just witnessed the 4th flop in a row where all three community cards were the same suit. I thought to myself...how the fu.....?
I play live NLHE twice a week as I have for nearly a decade. It is very rare that you see 3 of the same suit come down on the flop. Does it happen? Sure. But 4x in tournament, no, let alone 4x in a row?
Then I noticed another strange occurrence. It seemed like I saw a paired board on every other hand. Again not an impossible thing to see but not a regular occurrence either, by any stretch.
Then I kept noticing those two variances were happening constantly, during every tournament I was playing. It got so bad that I started logging how often I saw the, "flush flop", (as I've been calling them), and the "paired board" as well. Over the course of a 66 hand MTT 43 of those hands were either a "flush flop" (flop consisting of 3 cards all of the same suit) or a "paired board" (a pair of any of the cards occurs through either the flop, turn or river). That's almost exactly two thirds of the hands dealt. 25 of those hands were "paired boards" and 18 were "flush flops".
If you've noticed similar activity. You're not crazy. PS is engineering hands for action.
I recently join pokerstars made a deposit and suddenly after about a hour they suspended my account for banking detail problems, they said it would be very quick maybe only minutes. But it has now been 8 days they do not answer any emails and I can not withdraw my funds. I think this is a new scam from them, what can you do if no one answers emails? So BEWARE it seems they are scamming you as soon as you join. If I knew it was this bad I would have stayed far away from Pokerstars
Again we send you our details regarding the transfer of $200 (see below) these are the correct details that we sent to you on our withdrawal request, if there has been a mess up, it has not been from our side and the deduction of Eu 29.47 is a disgrace. We would request that you immediately refund the initial $200 and honor your online commitments. If not we will have no recourse but to initiate a complaints with the governing body (The International Federation of Match Poker) that handles online poker.
They refused to comply with my request. Disgusting company.
If I could give zero stars I would. Avoid this site at all costs. Relentless bad beats, runner runner constantly.
As a mathematician and a poker player, I can confirm without question that most, if not all, online poker games are rigged, in a similar fashion to slot machines. This includes all the poker games on the Android Play and Windows10 app store.
The whole 'Random Number Generator' certification thing is a scam of itself. Google and Microsoft are well aware of this, but they seem the least bit concerned. In truth, it's quite easy to do random generations, just ask any programmer.
Software is rigged and deals cards based on your hand-history and position on table. It deals winning cards to small or big blind, so when player from the button or before position shoves or raises, SB or BB will win the hand. I saw that all my AA, KK, QQ etc. hands was busted when i played against SB or BB. Best position to call shoves is on the small blind. If you are holding for example 10 6 suited, you have big chance to win the hand, even against AK or AQ that opponents have, because they are blocking each other's cards. Just play basic poker, follow rule that avoid all play against SB and BB and you will be fine. Relax, wait for your spot and pick up players with small stack of chips.
Bought a top up at my local shop 15 digit voucher thing anyway didnt work got in touch with live chat they try and fob me off before blocking and freezing my account no swearing no argument just blocked me for asking where my money was wont be back
Guys I would suggest to chip in and sue these fuckers 🙂 it is clear as a day that they changed algorithms since FullTilt came back. Other fact I'd like to mention is this video - https://www.pokerstars.uk/en/tv/channels/2014/10/inside-pokerstars---episode-3.shtml
PokerStars suggest that their "Random Number Generator" as its sounds is totally random. This is what they have written on their website -- Glossary
Random Number Generator (RNG): a system, device or module that creates a sequence of apparently unrelated numbers. --
Now when you check the video "Lee Jones" clearly states that there are 2 parts of shuffling the deck. The "Beam" which I think is pretty cool but the other part that he says in the video is that algorithm is constantly tracking our mouse movement, reaction, speed between we / bet / fold etc and I believe etc etc.
So my question is - how in the hellava world can you claim something being totally random when its a obvious lie and not true? He explains that software tracks us every second, learns our movements and only then as a 2nd part of shuffle deals the cards..Come on? Fuck off...Been on PokerStars for 10+ years and I can say they fucking ruined it irrecoverably. Its amazing how you can win by working out odds at live tables and be a wining player but here at JokerStars you lose literally everything you can throw at them. Scammers and should be gone, government should be all over them. Its an obvious win.
Besides all of that - how can we forget a fact that ShitStars have already broken laws in USA and got fucked the out ere'.
email me email@example.com - its not that hard to sign a petition, we have a mountain of interesting insides and probably even some facts.
Let's boycott them together, bit by bit they will start feeling pain. Or maybe an end?
Wish I could give them a zero rating. Tried to tell me they had given me play chips and had to take them back. They never gave me anything, I won those at the table. Now that they charge for play chips, they are taking them from accounts so you have to pay to play. I have asked for a complete accounting since I open my account with them. Watch out people, they will steal from you.
I had 113 million chips had just placed in a tourney that paid 30 million (play money). Then on 4-15-19 I logged in & only had 24 million chips. They wont talk to me just saying that they had over credited my account. They would not tell me why or even why they left me with less chips then I had just won. This is poor business. I have no use for them anymore.
I’m no disgruntled poker loser. I’ve played dozens of online poker apps. PokerStars isn’t even original. I’ve never seen so many River Straights turned Flushes! I played 5 hands on break and EACH HAND was a Full house!!! The odds on that are insane! It’s like they don’t even try to hide the BS. I know some will read this and be like, “yeah but I just wanna play some poker blah blah blah.” Then be a tool and play it. BUT DO NOT PUT MONEY IN THIS CROOKED APP!!!! It is designed to bilk you dry!!!
You have been warned.
I'm pretty sure the random number generator they use bases it's decision on the cards pre-flop.
So for example If its AK vs JJ the software decides there and then who's going to win by the end and then generates cards based on that, giving the game more action and excitement.
Personally I don't mind.
I'd say if you're a cash player then stay clear!
If you're a tournament player then yeah it's a lot of fun x
I used to play on Ultimate Bet, got some firsts there, won some money, this would be back in 2009 or so.
Now I try out pokerstars, reviews say it is the hardest poker site to win on but is the most popular by far. My plan is to get bankrolled and move upwards.
At first all I can do is win! My bankroll increases, I notice some phony bad beats that go in my favor, I choose to learn from them. I make note of the patterns involved.
A week down the road I begin losing, the bad beats begin to be on me, I learn harder. I learn people use HUDs to detect leaks in game play and to tighten up strategies and that the majority of fish are not aware of this technology. I decide to evolve my game play to become unpredictable so that HUDs can not nail me down. This involves folding certain valued hands when I feel something isn't right, raising with garbage, flat calling with the nuts. I begin to hit final tables using no HUD software.
However, after a month of switching up my routines my non-routines become a routine and I begin losing. I get a HUD. This makes me a clone and a terrible player because I do what everyone else does now and become highly predictable.
Poker Stars, along with their flops that suck 3+ players into the mix on the flop only to create improbable and unexpected results by the river is a study in abusing algorithms to take advantage of human greed and impulsiveness. Poker is tapping into our dopamine receptors in the first place and the 5 card set ups are just elevating that scenario to the next level.
It is actually terrifying to watch how easily a little bit of coding can manipulate human thought and action.
Anyway, having realized there are these algorithms, I tried to learn how the card patterns work. Mostly it comes down to: if you flopped the nuts, you must find a way to shake everyone else off before the end of the turn or you will lose. And good luck with that, there are all-in addicts and calling stations out there at every level of the game.
Which is why I quit playing on this site. There is no predicting outcomes properly and as has been reported over and over people will shove all in with pretty well everything. I have video of AA (best starting hand) being destroyed by 72(worst starting hand) so there you go, structure of hold em out the window and no longer viable.
I gave the rating 1 star. Having said that:
-when gambling situations are manufactured by algorithm
-when there is not a natural and real chance to win tournaments
-when you play vs the software and coding
then you deserve ZERO stars.
This is the third time my account has been frozen. The last two times resulted in my account being emptied of the funds. I didn’t realize Full Tilt Poker was PokerStars or I would never have opened an account nevertheless deposited money. All the complaints you read are true about stealing money, rigged games and being asked for verification over and over while the account remains frozen and they hold your funds for days on end. The only way to reach them is through email which they just ignore and only reply to ask for further verification which you provide and still no action on their part. Stay away these reviews are not exaggerations or isolated incidents!!!
Among many other obvious manipulations within their system the most glaringly obvious one is what I call "big stack favouritism". How this is not noticed by every single player who uses this site I do not know. If you get your chips in against someone with more chips, it doesn't matter how far ahead of you are you will be knocked out by them 90% of the time and I would say that genuniely isn't an exaggerated figure.
If you somehow haven't noticed this go and play a re-buy tournament or a make progress in a satellite tournament, see what happens when it gets closer to the end, if you're short-stacked you're f**ked, flopped set of aces still won't stand a chance against any two cards in the deck if there is one more outs and the villain holds more chips than you. It's a disgrace.
The idiots who defend these corrupt w@**ers always use variance as the answer, simply put, no, variance does not hold enough weight in explaining what happens on Pokerstars. They also berate any haters of Stars for a lack of evidence. So, on that note, while the sample size might not be huge the study is in depth, sound and thorough so take a look and see if there might not be at least something legitimate to bring up about that horrible joke of a site.
I've played many times on Pokerstars and I've noticed many strange things that just don't seem to add up and appear unusual compared to traditional poker room play.
Just yesterday, for example, I was playing in a pokerstars tournament and I had an unusual all-in call from the player (bot?) to my immediate left. This player was the table chip leader but was playing very conservatively before that hand. 2 players with short stacks (under 2k) moved all-in before it was my turn. I had AK and saw this as good opportunity to knock out these two players out without too much loss if it did not work out (I was second in chips at my table with about 10k).
The tight player to my left (table chip leader at about 15k) called my all-in. When that happened I assumed that he must have had a premium hand (KK, AA?). But he did not. He had 86 off suit. This call based on his previous play made no sense. I wasn't playing wildly and there was no way I saw this coming.
What was devastating is that I hit an ace on the flop but my opponent knocked me out by rivering a third 8. Pretty screwed up don't you think. I've noticed stuff like this many times on Pokerstars and seriously doubt things are fair for regular players there.
If you have AA, QQ or KK, you will get beat 8/10 times. If you pick up a set on the flop, you will get beat 5/10 times. However, PS is fun and full of action, but it is NOT normal variance. IF you are a winning pokerplayer, dont bother to play at PS, because no strategy will be even 60% bulletproof
Believe this or not; Playing heads up....remember...heads up. I have QJo. Flop comes K Q and 10 (all hearts). I bet and he calls. I figure he has a heart flush draw. On fourth st, another Q. Looks good. I bet and he calls. Still looking for his flush. River comes with J heart. He filled his flush, but I have a full house (QQQJJ). All in. He calls. He filled his flush alright, a ROYAL FLUSH. Can anyone give me the odds of a royal flush and a full house in heads up on the same deal.
Playing heads up....remember Heads Up. The other player lands a heart ROYAL FLUSH on the river.....But the best part...……..I land a full house on the river (QQQJJ). What the fck are the odds of that????
I have been trying for 3 weeks to withdraw my money to no avail. Even though they used my MasterCard to deposit my funds and their written policy is that they will use the same method when you withdraw funds, they won't. Instead they said I had to go through a MuchBetter account. Then they said to use Netteller. In both cases they said they would send a verification code. Neither did. I'm just glad the the amount was not significant. Better to lose $120 than lose thousands. Beware of these scam artists.
Thought I'd contribute the bad beat that made me drop PS once and for all. After having most of the experiences that many mentioned before, this one really did me in.
On the final table bubble of a $100 buy in, so significant money at stake, a big pool of players, probably 8 hours into play.
10 players left, final table bubble, I have one of the smaller stacks, at risk of getting knocked out, but just barely over other stacks, the bubble had been lasting a bit too long so:
At this point I am over 98% chance to win, sitting pretty you'd think.
It was clear the algo needed to get the players to the final table and this was the first at risk hands in almost an hour. . . the algo needed to take the opportunity.
It was really a sad moment. runner runner to create a winning hand out of something like 1.5% potability. . .
I too have a screenshot backlog of bad beats, but this was just really felt the worst.
I played a Bounty Builder tournament last night and was going pretty well. After a break I was moved to a new table and there was a player pushing the worst hands and winning. I noticed that every time a player with a smaller stack pushed all in he would call with anything, like 23o, and would knock out the smaller stack. So I try it, I bet and a smaller stack pushes, I call and guess what? I lose and am wounded. I build up my stack again and end up in a round with this player I'm telllimg you about (let's call him Wiseguy). . I have 55 in the hole. I'm in SB and I call two raises, one to them is Wiseguy. It's a risky move I know but im trying to change it up a bit. The flop comes 444???. I figure im up against two players both with high cards so I push all in with my petite fulll house. Wiseguys is holding AQs. Now I don't know about you but I would not call an all in on a 444 flop with a couple of high cards. It's just too risky and I think the odds of hitting those cards is just shy of 5-1. The third player has a pair of tens so he's in much better shape than either of us. The flop brings a 5! Brilliant, I can't believe my luck, now im going to be heading into the final third of the tourney in first place, but wait! What does the river bring? A ten, queen or ace and I'm dead. The river card rolls over and its a........4!!! BOOM!! Wiseguys wins the pot with his ace kicker and knocks me and the other guy out. Now make of that what you will but just don't say to me 'random card generator'! For feck sake, Pokerstars.....Jeeeesssusss!!
If you want to play poker, go to a casino, do not play online. I have been playing on pokerstars for years, it seems they have an algorithm analogous to quantum mathematics but with a twist: they seem to be using statistical probability in favor of certain pre-arranged outcomes rather than true randomness. Fortunately the human brain pretty soon can catch up with such math: too many bad beats giving fish an unequal opportunity at winning and poker experts at losing where on average they shouldn't be following such a trend. I do not have hard proof of what I am saying but only anecdotal evidence except there are so many other experienced players who agree with me. If you like poker play at a casino where you can see the dealer dealing the cards (avoid shuffling machines which unfortunately can also be tweaked with although by far less likely than online play). Read the book "52 Ways to Cheat at Poker" available on Amazon.com so you can get an idea historically of the extent to which scammers are willing to go to cheat in live poker let alone online where there are by far fewer controls or "watching eyes" to make sure that there is no cheating going on. I will never play online again unless the online software is being monitored 24/7 by a cross section of incorruptible statisticians (something that will never happen). To add insult to injury, bad beats on pokerstars are in your face, at predictable times or in predictable places as if to make a mockery of true randomness. Stay away from online poker unless you are playing at 02-04 cents so you learn how to play butt trust me you will not learn true play because based on my own experience (which after all could be mistaken, but that's what I think) the software algorithm is not really randomized but pre-arranged to favor certain winning and losing patterns particularly by the time the river card hits, your AA and on up notwithstanding. Save your hard earned money for the kind of poker play where losing is based on true randomness or poor play rather than "unbeatable" odds. I am glad that online poker is illegal in US.
WARNING: BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT DEPOSITING MONEY ONTO THIS SITE IF YOU DON'T WANT IT TO BE STOLEN!
I bought a prepaid Mastercard to load funds onto the site as some credit cards issued by Canadian banks won't be accepted. I used the exact prepaid card they recommended on their website (Vanilla).
As soon as my initial deposit went through, they locked my account, citing the requirement to submit multiple forms of personal identification.
If you're not comfortable sending them various personal documents (passport/bank statements etc.), then DON'T DEPOSIT MONEY.
Anyway, the identification requirement isn't the main issue. I understand there may be legal requirements to collect such information.
My problem, however, is that they're now demanding that I scan them a copy of the RECEIPT for the prepaid Mastercard I used.
It's ridiculous! Who keeps every single one of their receipts? I don't.
It appears now that they're now just going to keep my money as they're ignoring my requests for a refund.
The support is also terrible. You'll wait 2 days to get a response from them, and when you do, it'll be some pre-written, canned nonsense that barely even addresses your issue.
I don't understand how such an unethical company is still in business.
I have a library of bad beat screen shots. It would be easy to prove the implausible odds of me losing as many times has I have. The odds of me losing being ahead 90% of the time going into the flop and losing 80% of the time. It’s 100% laughable. I’d love to share my screenshot bad beats with the world. Poker name: Mitchybango
For the fifth time in a row on PokerStars cash & tournament games I have sunk $100 US currency into their site. All three times in a row I have lost 100% of called hands which were good hands
To a higher kicker and or higher hand repeatedly.
I have been on poker stars for years and used to win regularly and every time I load money to this site I lose 100% of deposits in the first few hours.
This site has changed big time.
And when you play the deal jackpot which strips you of poker stars, the points you earn in game it always takes the cards you choose and makes them the losing ones you need
I have played that many times and also 100% of time you lose the cards you need.
I am as of today done with this rigged site after over 14 years of regular play.
Pokerstars wants new players to be hooked. New accounts have incredible luck on pokerstars.
Incredible luck. You cant miss that.
Im sure that this detail is one thing that ps think will bring success - it will be the opposite.
It will ruin them cus regs are tired of it.
How stupid/blind do ps think ppl are?
It is so blatantly rigged I find it strange that some people look down on people who think this way.
It only takes a few decent sessions to pick out the very obvious patterns:
- It's nicknamed "Riverstars" for a reason. The amount of river suck outs is way way way too high.
- Big stack favouritism. Rich player vs the little guy, 90% of the time the big stack is coming out on top as long as he has outs.
- Want to slow play someone? That's risky unless they have no outs. Be prepared for that worst possible card to hit the river or turn. Flopped a set? Wait for the turn or river to open up the flush and/or straight. Flopped a flush or a straight? Wait for that board to pair! Got your flush with poor kickers? Wait for that board to put the fourth spade down to sh!t all over your 67 of spades.
- Depleting stack? Increasing blinds? Bubble approaching? Sorry buddy, there's a target on your head. Time for 72, 64, 95, 73, 54, 103, J2......AK??? Where did you come from!? You beauty! All-in, sorry mate, no chance. Their pocket 3s held up on this one. Same scenario, different tourney. Oh look pocket 7s, nice, all-in, nope, not this time, that simply cannot hold up against the likes of Chips McMassive stack over here with his Q9.
The only thing I will say for them is they definitely aren't the only ones.
I think PS runs an algorithm that determines if the player has never played poker before or is possibly retarded, they will hit their card(s) on the river and turn if need be for a complete BS straight or flush etc.
Either that or it is rigged
Feeling really ripped off and angry at myself for being so naive. I've been playing for 10 years. For the first 6 I was actually up (not much, but enough to keep my entertainment budget in life quite low). Anyway I find the following recently:
1) IF you don't play for a while (months) the next time you deposit you will be "set to win". I'm talking it doesn't matter almost what is flopped your A2 offsuit is gonna win against AA somehow.
2) As soon as I withdraw, I'm "set to lose".
3) When I play multiple tables, I often see the SAME cards. I like to play 3 at once (otherwise I get bored) and often I will have a variation of 7 2 on all three tables.
4) I recently won up to 900.00, then plummetted down to 0 in no time. I kept playing the tourneys (loved the 18 player super turbos) as I thought I was just on a super losing streak... nope I was "set to lose". What I think is they motivate you with making you think you are this amazing player (I know I am though, lol) and then rip it from under you to ensure you keep depositing.
5) Players don't seem like real people or have cheating software (maybe can see future cards? I'm not sure how this would work, but something is definently so off). How else can I have AA and someone PUSHES me all in after the turn with 3 high??!!?? Low and behold, what are the last two cards you ask? 33 of course. No normal person would do this. Eithe these are robotic players or someone has developped cheating software. Too many time to count! I am so made at myself right now for constantly putting in $50 here and there. I tallied up my history and it is gross. I'm DONE BSstars. You suck. Shame on you.
How can you sit there and say they are not rigging the games? I have over 50 hours of games i have played and i will show you to a tee how they rig. the game . The so called random generator is utter bullshit. The cards are based of the hole card to get more action out of players. Bad beats are poker it happens but their site it every single hand . I can show with the clips i collected the number of river suck out to the point i can call it before it happens. You stated you dont see why they would rig it? um let try 4 billion dollar they spent to buy the site. They cant recoup that being legit. They need to be shut down and exposed as the frauds they are
You can create an account, no documents are being asked for.
You can spent thousends of euro's, dollars,you name it.... No questions asked. You can play for years and like 90% of all gamblers you will get addicted to it. You see strange things happen on Pokerstars, 100% scam but you carry on, knowing better. And then when you want to withdraw a small ammount, they strike. They use their rules to blackmail you. They freeze your account. I had to send them a copy of my passport. Pokerstars stinks sooo much that I rather let them have my money then sending them a copy of my passport. Its fraud, it stinks. Do you belong to the 0,01 % of people that did not lose all their money ? And do you belong to the 99,99 % of the people who think.... towmorrow... yes tomorrow then I will win. Trust me POKERSTARS IS A SCAM You are being SCAMMED
Am I rating the review or pokerstars lol its 5 stars for the review haha. My question is which site do you use? I have been looking for a new site for a while but I dont want to play partypoker because all their sit and go's are turbo or hyper or hyper turbo and I want just standard.
Which brins me to my next point which is directed at some of the other reviews here. Dude we don't want all action all the time, thats stupid, we want real legit poker. Even know it can be slow, i want people folding all the time like real life. Its how the game is played and truthfully if you don't like that you should not be playing poker. (which is also why i hate hyper turbo games, the blinds were not meant to go up that fast. Poker has different dynamics depending on how big the blinds are.
its all about the random generator, which ofcourse can and is programmed in a certain way, just like in slot machines...a random generator works diffeently in a keno machine than in a slot with bonus feature...thats common sense...
now to poker stars, or other poker sites online....my quess is that pokerstars have , for a online poker site, the best software ....why? it creates ACTION, more than on other online sites, but ofcourse 90% less than in a live casino poker game.
Thats the key...95% of plaayers at pokerstars are not poker players, 95% have never plaayed poker in a real live casino, from those 95%, if they would play in a live casino, would stop playing poker the next day...WHY? because there is no action...simple...how often does one get AA in a live poker game in a casino...?be honest? i could play 2 weeks at the bellagio and not get AA....at pokerstars you get it every single day...they at pokerstars have to create action or 95% of players would quit the next day, because of the "boring" play........Thats the truth of true poker.....its boring 95% of time....in a real casino live game, thats ok, but online thats the death of the site...in a real live game it happens alll the time that you have to fold 90% of your cards....at pokerstars, anybody that plays there frequently, you know that there are no loosing cards....thats why they get played that often there...59 offsuit, 7 10 offsuit, and hitting or AA/KK against 22,33,44 and we all know who wins....thats the action that this software creates...its their survival....without such a software that creates artificially action, online poker would die in a week....look at the "big" poker rooms in vegas LOL hahahahaha....or any whhere else on this planet...where are the poker rooms with a 1000 tables full of action LOL hahah...aint gonna happen...again...real time live poker is a BORING game 90% of time played.
at pokerstars hahahah, its the opposite....90% of the game is full of action..pockt pairs vs pockets, straights win,full wins,4 of akinf wins,str.flush wins,royal wins etc....
I'm 22 now playing for ten years or so, of course I first started playing with friends ,I was winning as a kid and kinda fall in love with the game, not because I was winning I mean it's a plus if you win but it's like luck and math altogether I just loved it always tried to find places to play. Now tournaments is a different thing, 2 months ago I decided that it's time to start raising my tournament knowledge , and where should I go if not the good old PS? first month maybe I was telling myself it's normal to have bad beats it's part of the game ,I am new in tournaments etc... man... this shit is ridiculous , you need to play a certain amount of tournaments just to get to the bubble so you can get at least what you got in with ,also watching this so called pro streamers , so I could become better... Many will say this is the way it is and it's less likely to make profit from a single tournament or two, but mate I know what is a bad beat I also know what is a scam , a berry on the river is okay , but all day long every single all in situation to end up beaten? The new boss likes to make money this way and that's it, as long as the promotions go more fishes like me will come along, yes I am a fish because I wanted to learn more about this beautiful game ,I'm still gonna do it yet in a different place than PS PEACE
ps I was a casino dealer once so I'm prеtty sure I know what I'm talking about.
I'm no expert but I think PokerStars is rigged (at least on occasion).
At first I just chalked up the repetitive seemingly impossible bad beats to just plain bad luck. Strait flush being beat by a better strait flush? just bad luck. Full House being beat by a better full House? Well I guess it's bound to happen. luckily (and just to make the point I'm not just some poor loser) it wasn't always me that came up on the losing end of these situations, but it did certainly catch my attention how often it seemed to happen compared to anywhere else (specifically live play).
What really got my attention though is how often one of my opponents got a pocket pair whenever I had one (or some else at the table had one). Pretty well 8 of 10 times I had a pocket pair, some one else at the table had one. It happened so often that I really started wonder, is the site intentionally giving out pairs at the same time to get players to bet bigger? Could make sense where I was witnessing it (cash games), because the more players bet, the more the rake takes. And how hard would it be for them make an algorithm to do this periodically, and then shut it down when audited? Probably not too hard. And by only doing it periodically it would be alot easier to deny or just claim the loser was just on tilt and looking for excuses.
After reading up on PokerStars, I will no longer be using the site. I never looked into PokerStars prior to using it because I just trusted that a big name like PokerStars would be legit and trustworthy. But there seem to be way too many stories like mine to be just random coincidence, and I don't trust them at all anymore.
It's starting to look like ALL the players on the PokerStars site are the fish, no matter what do level.
PokerStars has a different distribution pattern than playing a live game
I could play 100 or more pocket pairs without catching a set while running at the same time into 25 sets
It rarely has “ high hands” like straight flushes or quads which are faitrly common in live games
And the number of hands played per hour is significantly higher online
The distribution pattern is definitely different than at live games
So the awkwardness and skewed distribution can only be explained by either
1- pokerstars does not have a “ random “ distribution which means that the “ shuffler” is defective ( improbable )
2- pokerstars is rigged from within
3- pokerstars is being hacked for there is a lot of money to be made by hacking pokerstars
A simple trick would be to place 2 or 3 players on every cash table ( in different countries with fake accounts ) controled by a computer that could analyze the hole cards of 3 players out of six and make decisions based on the inside information . Since there is so much money to be made rigged games , or hacking could very well explain the discrepancies and the awkwardness of the card distribution
It feels like the opponent knows what card is coming on the board
Being deep in a particular tournament with a siazable stack I had AA
The pot was raised to 400 I reraisef to 1200 and the opponent went all in with a sizable stack
He had 88
No one deep in a tournament with sizable stacks would ever do that
I called the all in
On the flop comes an 8
He must have known something that I didn’t know ( which was the flop )
The prize for 1st place was significant
This individual came in second for this tournament
That’s when I dumped pokerstars
It was after going through this awkward distribution , thousands of hands that made no sense that I gave up
I win consistently at live games ( against top notch players)
I lose consistently at pokerstars
Something is not right
Wow, reading the comments here is just laughable!
First off I used to grind Stars for a living back when it was in the USA. My goodness did they have the softest games on the net. Turn around to today when NL is bigger than Limit and Stars isn't the titan it used to be.
Also to the people complaining about losing and complaining about losing even in Play Money games:
If you can't beat Play Money on Pokerstars you are just bad. It's so beyond incredibly easy to beat these players.
I've never had to buy play money chips and I've worked my play money bankroll into the million dollar stakes(which almost never run anymore.) There's not much else to do once you have a ton of play money though. If you think the play money is rigged, it isn't rigged and you are just bad at poker and can't beat the worst players imaginable. I know that sounds harsh, but it's the truth. Seriously just look up some strategy on NL/Limit online or read a book. The book is your best bet in my opinion. There's a ton of places to get information and learn, there is no excuse to not to try to understand why you are losing with all the information on the topic that is out there.
The problem is it's just easier to think: Oh, but it must be rigged how else could someone like ME possibly lose? I am clearly and god and savior to the game of Hold'em. Sure would be convenient if I wasn't bad, and it was just rigged. Sure wouldn't have to face reality then, huh? Poker is a good but harsh teacher. Keep that in mind. If you wanna win and not go having to post your "bad beat" stories on the internet so you don't have to feel so bad at night then it's time to start studying!
So is the real money games rigged? No, again you're just bad. Same advice applies. In real life I've lost with everything imaginable. Quads, straight flushes, etc. It will eventually happen and every possible scenario will play out. Even that 650,000 to 1 chance of flopping a royal flush. It's gunna happen... eventually as long as you keep playing! When it does happen it's not because it's rigged. It's because it's inevitable!
Oh and on the review Stars is ok, but Amaya will probably run it into the ground. They have a decent amount of competition now though so who knows which site will come out on top?
I have been with Poker Stars for 7 years in November. Since Amaya bought Poker Stars a few years ago I have noticed many changes,all for the all mighty dollar. The rake for Texas Holdem is now 5.8% and they have multiple chip sales every week. They have 22 programmers and many of the players I talk to and some sophisticated software engineers/programmers I know ensure me that the play money games are manipulated/rigged. A lot of the hands are setup for a max bet so that the rake is maxed out. Reading many articles on Poker Stars reveals that they have a random card generator, but again, we think they only use it for the one day a year they are audited. The site is sophisticated and you become addicted to it if for no other reason is that you make friends all over the world and enjoy their company. This is the only reason I play any more. I can tell after 3 rounds on the table (9 player/27 hands) if I am going to have a good day or not. Poker Stars will never be allowed to operate in the 50 United States as Washington state as dropped out and I am sure others will follow. Still looking for another site to play on.
I have so many seemingly impossible UNREAL bad-beats on Poker Star (REPEAT INCIDENTS OF SAME TYPE HANDS LOSING IN SAME WAY) that until now I'm still mind boggled and trying to make sense of it all.
I found this website wondering has anyone else experienced the seemingly impossible kind of bad beats I have and this website reassures me it's not just me.
The seemingly impossible unreal (REPEAT) bad beets include hitting QUADS and someone pulling out a Straight Flush or Royal Flush somehow on the river somehow GEEZZ gimme a break and they push and shove all in on a miracle prayer getting the only 1 card that could ever save them. DIVINE INTERVENTION?
UNREAL BEATS beyond belief and REPEAT incidents- Seemingly impossible coincidences. My Bad Beats for today include someone raising $450 USD pre-flop and me holding AA - I decide to just call - The flop comes off AKK - They then shove the rest of their stack in $3,200 USD roughly and I call - they have 33 - It puts a smile on my face at first until I see 33 come out on the turn and river giving him quads.
Whether a bot or a real person I'm uncertain, left instantly after winning nearly all the cash I had left in my account. It felt like a SETUP - what are the odds of that? The other bad bets experienced are me on the opposite side having 44 and the flop coming up 544 hitting quads and someone pushing all in with 55 - Yep you can guess it river is a 5 - quads over quads.
Even worse having hitting quad K's and someone pulling out a ROYAL FLUSH ON ME on the river - say what? HOW did that possibly happen and how does it REPEAT - This is the 2nd time it's occurred to me but the next time I had quad Q's and they hit ROYAL FLUSH again. Come on folks - this is just a beginning but what are the odds of this even happening to me in a lifetime twice in such a fashion?
Whether the person was bluffing on me with 33 earlier trying to get away with a bluff and getting EXTREMELY lucky in running 33 on the turn and river to pull off quads well OK I would accept that alot easier than accepting losing to a ROYAL FLUSH twice someone shoving all in needing a MIRACLE RIVER to save them losing twice with Quad Q's an K's. Give me a break. K I had to let that off my chest and share it with the world.
Poker Stars is I'd have to agree now RIGGED, I could go on & on & on with other bad beats that seem to repeat.
I have never come across anything like Pokerstars in all of my life. I can relate to a lot of what is said here and one review in particular stood out to me; this person mentions playing every site over the years and winning at them, the only anomaly being Pokerstars.
I recently have been back to regular playing again thanks to a change in circumstances and I ended up at Stars because their range of tournaments is second to none by a long shot, it's the main site, simple as that. I figured it was years ago I last played there, maybe it's not as bad as my memory is telling me.
Well turns out it is now worse from what I can tell. I'm not going to go into every hand, there's too many but I will say that I'm a very solid online poker player, my patience, discipline and decision-making are very good. I do not often make a wrong decision and I call out the plethora of idiots that are obsessed with overplaying their hand on a regular basis. Unfortunately on Stars any decision is apparently the wrong one, I get screwed so often it just cannot possibly be normal.
I hate the people that treat you like some sort of conspiracy nut if you dare to question the integrity of a multi-million dollar company that has already broken U.S. law and is not regulated. Yeah, it's completely beyond the realms of reality to even suggest that something maybe off with them.
The two main arguments you hear from those people are "variance" and "prove it", "if you're gonna make those claims then you have to prove it".
Two pretty simple responses to this that seem to fall on deaf ears. Ok, variance exists, it happens and I can accept that. What I can't accept is that if you want to blame it on variance then where the f***ing hell is my upswing? I'm still waiting. The clues in the name pal, "variance", that's some very peculiar variance where it's only one way!
As for "prove it", very simple, "You prove it isn't". If you wanna tell me I can't say something is up then show me your proof there isn't something untoward going on? Better still, Pokerstars, you get enough complaints about this, you take our money, you prove it. They never respond to any claims made, why? It would be pretty simple.
I don't know what more I can say without turning this into a small novel. Just simply put, all aspects of either side of the argument aside, I personally find it a lot harder to believe that something isn't going on with that site than believe it's all hunky dory and I'm just somehow one of the most unlucky players to ever use their site.
Poker Stars mostly certainly is NOT rigged
Poker Stars care about their players
Poker Stars have high-level security systems
Poker Stars have numerous support staff.
I've had an account with Pokerstars for ten plus years, never had an issue. Yet I also never deposited very much. Middle of March I deposited $140, and roughly a week later I get an notice my account is frozen, and I need to email them. Odd. Why not email me?
Anyways I get a reply stating that during a random security screening, my account was selected and didn't pass screening. No reason as to why, just a BS excuse to keep my money.
They ignore my emails, and efforts to contact the gaming commission have done nothing as of yet. Not even a reply from them either.
Be warned, I'm not alone, and this is happening at an increasing rate. PS had to pay some $700 million in settlements with the USA, for fraud. My guess is their trying to recover some loses.
Read their terms of service closely. They can close your account for any reason they chose, and keep your money. No questions asked. Is a company that committed grand scale fraud, and has policies that enable them to steal accounts where you want to put your money at?
I'm fighting tooth and nail to get my money back, yet I don't stand a chance really.
I've played Spin and Go for a while and more and more I realise that even if I was not an average player I would still win more hands than I do, especially when I have two cards that are better than what I see the other players eventually have. I've lost count of the amount of times I've lost AA or KK to a low tow pair with the other players going all in with something crazy like a 3 and a 7 and - OMG they get two pair or a straight, or a flush or a tripple. Its happened soooooo many times than now I actually bet myself I will loose a higher hand and nearly 100% of the time I do.
I also notice many other players (usually in Russia) seem to push every raise when they have the lowest card on the flop they have paired, even if there are face cards out too.
Its happening so often as well. Other players have noted that they have lost 3, 4, 5 winning hands in a row to lower cards from other players and its a flush, a straight or two pair and I have to agree. The frequency at which I loose to these hands, compared to how often I get them is outrageously unbalanced odds.
I'm not sure if its Pokerstars that is rigged or if its been hacked - either way its not something you should put any money into.
I spend an entire weekend a few weeks ago tracking every hand, what I had, and how I won or lost and the above was shown to be so true. I lost around 80% of my hands. No matter how I played I lost on average around 80%.
I've also noticed that when I would deposit, I would initially win a few good hands, but then the same old same old would start to happen and invariably my stack would drop.
Its time for the government to investigate Pokerstars so the suspicions of so many people, the fact Pokerstars avoids any accountability and the video evidence of games that are so blatantly rigged or hacked comes out and they end up having to refund the real genuine players.
I have been playing poker for 20 yrs and Jokerstars is corrupt. Do not play there. I played the money tables at first started to win at the start and then I would get rivered every hand. So i played play money and they cheat there too. In my last 13 hands i had the overpair 13 times and wouldn't you know it they hit 11 sets and 2 quads on me.
ITS RIGGED. Stay away folks.
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