PokerStars arrived a little late to the New Jersey online poker market, entering the state in March 2016. The first operators launched in the Garden State in 2013, shortly after legislation passed. However, the PokerStars site was much anticipated, as the brand has earned a worldwide reputation and stands tall as one of the leading poker sites in the state, despite the late arrival.
The room is run by PokerStars USA. They operate sites in other states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan. At each site, you will find the same high-quality software, giving players that unique PokerStars experience. The three poker rooms are not considered a network, though, as they do not share players pool at the moment. PokerStars New Jersey players can only play with each other and not with players from other jurisdictions.
Sharing player pools across state lines is currently not possible. However, that could change due to a recent reinterpretation of the Wire Act. You could see PokerStars USA making the most of its links in states where online poker is already legal to establish shared liquidity in the near future.
PokerStars NJ has a land-based partner in Atlantic City Resorts Casino. All operators in the state need to work with a brick-and-mortar casino to obtain a valid license. The site is licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. It is a clear sign that operations are 100% legal and safe, which means you can fully trust PokerStars NJ.
You will find more than poker on the site. You can also access casino games through the Stars Casino, and sports betting is available via Fox Bet. The platform has a strong foothold in the online gambling market in New Jersey, meeting all players’ gaming needs in one place.
If you are considering signing up, it is worth reading this PokerStars New Jersey review. You will find out about the crucial aspects that will affect your playing experience at the site. Read on to learn about bonuses, rewards, tournaments, software, and more.
The PokerStars New Jersey bonus is similar to offers that you will find at other NJ poker rooms. Most operators provide a welcome package with a free play amount and a first deposit bonus. There are two rewards for new players.
The first of the two welcome bonus options is a 100% deposit match up to $600 for your initial deposit. You also receive a ticket to the Depositor Freeroll tournament on the last Sunday of the month.
The second option is $50 in free play funds, which you can spend on tournaments. The latter is triggered by playing just one hand in a cash game on the site.
Other poker rooms in the state, BetMGM and Borgata Poker NJ, offer a free play amount just for signing up as well as a solid first deposit bonus. In that sense, the PokerStars welcome offer does not compare favorably, although the $50 in free funds is fairly easy to get. The bonus terms and conditions are quite reasonable.
$50 PokerStars NJ No Deposit Bonus
The free bonus at PokerStars NJ does not have a preset deposit requirement. However, you will need to play at least one real money cash hand at any stakes, so to claim this offer, you need to have at least the minimum buy-in for the lowest table available on the room.
You first need to opt in for the offer and then you can proceed to play a hand and receive $50 worth of free funds. These are not issued as cash but rather as tournament tickets for MTTs and Spin & Go tournaments. You can find the full breakdown of how these tickets are distributed in the “How to Claim the Bonus” section.
First Deposit Bonus up to $600
The second bonus option is in line with what you might be used to from your experience with other sites. It is a straight-up 100% deposit match with the maximum cap of $600.
So, any amount you deposit, the operator will match in full, adding funds to your bonus account. You will need to release these funds gradually playing real money cash games and tournaments. All important details, terms, and conditions of both bonus offers are described in the next two sections of this PokerStars NJ review.
How to Claim the Bonus
Once you have decided which bonus you want, follow this handy guide to claiming the offer to make sure you take full advantage:
- If you choose the $50 free play bonus, you do not need a bonus code, but you will need to opt-in. You can do so from the challenges page after you register.
- To claim the deposit offer, you need to register for an account and make a deposit. When you complete the process, you should enter the bonus code STARS600.
- There are no deposit limits for the free play bonus. However, you do need enough funds in your account to join a cash game table and to play one hand, as this triggers the release of the reward. The game must be played within five days of registering.
- For the 100% deposit match, you must deposit a minimum of $10, and the maximum amount is $600.
- The free play bonus is issued in chests, which are ways of giving you rewards on the PokerStars site. The chests are delivered on days one, three, and five after you play the required cash hand.
- On day one, you receive two $5 Spin and Go tickets. On day three, it is two $5 Spin and Go tickets and a $10 MTT ticket. On day five, the final chest contains two MTT $10 tickets.
- For the deposit bonus, if you do not initially deposit $600, you can make another two qualifying deposits in 60 days. That means your first deposit could be $150, and you will receive a 100% match. Your second deposit of $100 would also receive a match bonus. For your third deposit, you could add $350 and receive the rest of the bonus. The reward is given as restricted funds that need to be released by playing.
Releasing the Bonus
Claiming the PokerStars New Jersey bonus is step one. Now you need to know how to meet the wagering requirements so that any winnings can head to your cash balance to be withdrawn. Take note of these rules to make sure you get the maximum out of the bonus:
- The free play bonus comes as tournament tickets. You can use these to enter events, and any winnings will go straight to your normal cash balance. That means there are no requirements or restrictions for withdrawing.
- The restricted funds of the deposit bonus are released in increments of $10. You need to play cash games and tournaments to have this money paid into your cash balance. Once it is there, you can withdraw it as normal.
- When you play cash games and tournaments, you will earn redemption points. You need 140 redemption points to release each $10 increment.
- Every $1 that you spend as a tournament fee or rake in a cash game will earn you five redemption points.
- You can track your progress in your account. You have four months after each qualifying deposit to earn redemption points and release the bonus.
The selection of PokerStars New Jersey promotions is quite small. However, it is worth checking the page to see if there are new offers added. There can be weekly and monthly deals. For example, you might see half-price tournament entry for a particular day, giving you the option to play with a much smaller buy-in.
The half-price tournaments do not require any action; just search for them on the schedule. You can also win entry through satellites. Other offers often include access to free Spin and Go tournament tickets. Typically, you just need to log in during a specific timeframe, and the ticket will be credited to your account.
The site has monthly multi-table tournament leaderboards. If you finish in the top 60, you will share in the prize pot of $7500 in tournament dollars. First place takes $1500. Ranking is determined based on your 20 best results over the whole month.
You earn tournament leaderboard points (TLBs) by finishing in the top 15% of a regular MTT. The number of points you get depends on the buy-in, your position, and the number of entries.
Although PokerStars New Jersey promotions might not have a huge amount of variety, there are other ways for players to boost their bankrolls. The personalized rewards scheme operates across the three pillars of the PokerStars site, which means poker, sports betting, and casino customers can participate.
It is a nice way for PokerStars NJ to reward its loyal customers. For you, it is a fantastic opportunity to get something extra through your normal playing activity. If you play at all three parts of the site, accruing points is very easy. However, if you only spend time in the poker room, you can still enjoy some perks, depending on how high you play and how much time you spend at the tables.
Rather than a tiered system, where you gain a status level that offers certain player benefits, the PokerStars NJ scheme works using progress bars. Filling bars earns you chests, which are full of rewards. You can move up through the levels to win chests with better rewards.
How to Use Stars Rewards
- You need to opt-in to the scheme; you can do so from the main lobby or from the ‘MyStars’ menu in your account. Clicking the ‘Start Now’ means you can start collecting points.
- The ‘MyStars’ section of your account lets you keep track of everything relevant to the scheme. That includes your progress bar, rewards points, chests, rewards, and StarsCoin.
- The progress bar shows how many points are needed for you to win the next chest. Chests contain personalized rewards. They could be special offers connected to your activity. For poker, that could mean tournament tickets, tournament dollars, cash, or StarsCoin. Progress bars reset if you do not win a chest within 28 days. You will be moved to the level below when it expires. Progress bars at the lowest level reset after three months of inactivity.
- Poker players earn 100 reward points for every $1 rake in cash games or tournament fees. The scheme is personalized, which means your activity and the chest types will affect the number of reward points required to unlock a chest.
- There are six levels of chests. Here are the levels, chests, and expected value:
|1||Blue||$0.36 – $6%|
|2||Bronze||$0.72 – $12%|
|3||Silver||$1.80 – $30%|
|4||Gold||$6 – $100%|
|5||Diamond||$15 – $250%|
|6||Black||$42 – $700|
- Chests expire after 30 days if you leave them unopened.
- The rewards that you find in chests can also expire. You can check this information in your ‘MyStars’ account. Some rewards include playthrough requirements.
- When you win 10 chests in one month, you will move to the next level.
- One of the reward types is StarsCoin, the website’s own currency. Read more below to find out how it works and how to exchange it.
In your chests, you might receive StarsCoin with a particular value attached. You can see your StarsCoin balance in your account. There are three main uses for this reward.
One way to use your rewards is to spend your StarsCoins in the Rewards Store. It is full of PokerStars branded merchandise. This includes clothing, poker accessories, electronics, and more.
The Rewards Store only accepts StarsCoin. However, if you want to purchase an item with real money, you can check out the Stars Store. Alternatively, you can use your PokerStars currency to buy in to tournaments, including Spin and Go and sit and go events.
Instead of tournament tickets, or merchandise, you could use your StarCoins for bonuses or cash. The exchange rate is 2500 StarsCoin for $25, 10,000 for $100, and 100,000 for $1,000.
At the heart of this PokerStars New Jersey online poker review is the analysis of the tournaments. They bring out the competitive nature in all poker players and are a great way to win big prizes and prestige. If you are going to register at this poker room, it is crucial you know whether PokerStars has the types of events that interest you.
The good news is that PokerStars NJ has a rich and varied tournament schedule. There are regular events taking place, and with some excellent guarantees, buy-in ranges, and types of games. A large number of events are multi-table tournaments (MTTs), but you will also find sit and go and Spin and Go (SNG) events going off around the clock.
The multi-table tournament offering at PokerStars has great value. It has a mixture of big and small events, which means you will find something to suit your mood and budget. The daily schedule includes games all throughout the day. However, most of the action can be found in the afternoon and evening.
The schedule runs seven days a week with regular events. Plus, you will see weekly tournaments that only happen on certain days of the week. Most tournaments start with a buy-in of $5, although you will see options for a $100 buy-in. Options in between range from $10 to $50. Events are listed with the buy-in, start time, and guarantee.
Events like Nightly Stars, which takes place every day at 7 pm, have a guarantee of $10,000. You can also look out for late-night events, like Midnight Express, which has blind levels of three minutes, making it a faster type of tournament. Other regular features include Hot Turbos, with five-minute blind levels and tables of six or nine players.
The majority of tournaments are No Limit Hold’Em. However, you can find Pot Limit Omaha games. PokerStars also runs events with Seven-Card Stud, Five-Card Draw, and Razz. If you are looking for big money or a particular style, it is worth searching for these regular major events.
Between 4 pm and 7 pm every day, you can find the Daily Bigs. They are freezeout tournaments with a 10,000 starting stack. You can choose the Big $5, Big $10, Big $20, or Big $30, where the amount indicates your buy-in.
Most poker sites get increased traffic on Sundays, and PokerStars is no exception. To mark the day, it gives players the chance to play in five different tournaments. They include the Sunday Warm-Up for those who like to get the day off to a great start. The Sunday Storm has universal appeal, thanks to its low buy-in but a large guarantee.
The Sunday Special is considered the peak of the day, as it has the highest guarantee. It is also possible to win a seat through qualifiers, which means you spend less but still have a chance to win big. The daily schedule rounds off with the Sunday High Roller and the Sunday Supersonic. The former attracts the best players, while the latter is ideal for those who prefer fast-paced hyper-turbo events.
Bounty Builders, a part of the daily schedule, have a different structure. They are progressive knockout tournaments with guaranteed prize pools. Each player has a bounty attached to them, which means when you bust someone, you win a cash prize. Plus, when you knock out another player, your bounty increases as well.
As well as the regular daily, weekly, and monthly events, every now and then, PokerStars runs something even bigger and better. That includes annual events like the New Jersey Classic. You need to register well in advance for this tournament with a guaranteed $100,000 prize pool.
At present, PokerStars NJ does not share liquidity with other sites either in the state of New Jersey or outside. There are NJ operators that do have shared player pools, including WSOP, which operates in NJ, Nevada, and Delaware. There is also the partypoker US Network, which has shared liquidity in New Jersey through the Partypoker, BetMGM, and Borgata.
PokerStars NJ is part of the PokerStar USA company, which does have online poker rooms in other states. These are not connected for tournament or cash game player pools yet. However, that could change in the near future.
The reinterpretation of the Wire Act means that cash transactions between states are now theoretically possible. The state legislators and regulators need to work through the details, but it looks likely that you will soon see shared liquidity between states where poker is legal. The good news is PokerStars already has a presence in NJ, PA, and MI, so players from these sites could form a pool and improve the traffic and competition.
Sit and go tournaments have been eclipsed slightly by the New Jersey online poker favorite Spin and Go. However, you can still find regular and turbo events playing No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Traffic can be quite light, so you might need to wait, which is not really the idea of an SNG, where you can start anytime, and the games are over in under an hour.
Spin and Go tournaments at PokerStars NJ are quite popular. They have a jackpot format, with players looking to win a prize up to 1000 times their buy-in. The buy-ins range from $1 to $25; you choose your buy-in and the number of games you want to play. When two other players are seated, a random draw determines the prize pool. 7% goes to the rake.
If you want to sign up to a poker site to improve your game and win some money in the process, you might have skipped straight to this part of the PokerStars New Jersey review. Cash games are an excellent way to hone your skills and find players of different levels to beat. Without a large player pool, some types of cash games on the site suffer. However, the operator makes up for that in other areas, such as stakes and game variations on offer.
PokerStars NJ boasts the best range of game variations compared to others in the state when it comes to sitting down at cash tables. You will likely find something to suit your style among these:
- Five-Card Draw
- Fixed Limit Omaha
- No Limit Omaha
- No Limit Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha
- Seven-Card Stud
Stakes range from $0.01/$0.02 up to $25/$50, which means players of any budget can find a game. You will find six-max and full-ring tables. If shared liquidity is achieved, you could expect improved traffic across all the game types. As it stands, No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha are the busiest games.
Overall, traffic is decent, especially for popular games. You will find the most action on the weekends, but micro stakes see a regular flow of players most days. The site has run Zoom tables in the past for faster games, but there was not enough traffic to keep them going.
No matter how good the tournaments, games, and traffic are, it can all be let down by one crucial aspect of an online poker site. Software is at the heart of every game and player experience, which is why it is a significant part of this PokerStars New Jersey online poker review.
PokerStars NJ has rightly earned an excellent reputation for its poker software. Prior to their withdrawal from the US market in 2011, PokerStars was using an earlier format of this platform, so it might seem familiar. It has been updated to create a system that is easy to download, install, and use. Plus, security is top-notch, with encrypted protocols and signed security certificates for files.
In comparison to other poker sites, PokerStars has managed not to compromise in any area of the player experience, which means functionality, appearance, and reliability are all taken care of in equal measure. The desktop client can be downloaded from the site for you to start playing, or there are mobile options too. Read more in the categories below.
There are no known issues with the PokerStars platform, which means you should not experience bugs, screen freezing, or crashes. The connection remains stable, which is not surprising from one of the oldest names in the business that has only gotten better over time.
The occasional disruption or connection is unavoidable. However, in those cases, it is how the company handles it that is most important. PokerStars often reimburses players when money is lost due to a technical fault. Plus, the team works to get things back up and running as quickly as possible.
You can download the desktop client onto Macs and Windows PCs. If you prefer to access it from your smartphone or table or want to have the flexibility of both, you can download the PokerStars New Jersey app. It is available on Android and iOS devices..
You will need a stable internet connection and need to be located in New Jersey to play. The desktop client and mobile versions are accompanied by a geolocation application that ensures you are within state boundaries before you can play. Otherwise, you should have a seamless playing experience, whichever option you choose, as the features are accessible from all devices.
The design quality of the mobile apps and desktop client lives up to the same standards set by the functionality and reliability of the software. It has a distinct visual appeal, and the animations and user interface make it a pleasure to play.
The appearance does not distract from the playing experience. In fact, it enhances it, giving you a personalized experience while also keeping the menus and tables clean and slick, so you can find what you want.
The PokerStars NJ mobile app has lots of useful functions, like managing your account, accessing your hand history, and using the rewards system. Plus, there are filters to help you quickly find the type of game you want. There are also plenty of customizable aspects, including how your screen and tables are arranged, the felt color, and your player avatar.
As expected, the app is available for iOS and Android devices, so your choice of technology will not influence your experience with the operator. Everyone can enjoy their online poker experience on the go with PokerStars New Jersey mobile apps.
Is PokerStars NJ really legal and trustworthy?
Yes. To run a New Jersey online poker site, an operator needs to meet certain standards, including running fair games and protecting customer data. PokerStars NJ is licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. That means that it is 100% legal, acts transparently, and can be trusted.
Is PokerStars NJ rigged?
No. The site runs fairly. The games, promotions, and other aspects of the operation are overseen and tested by regulators to make sure that they are random, adhere to the rules, and do not disproportionately benefit a player or the operator. Additionally, the site has been operating for several years, and its reputation relies on good player experiences.
Do I have to be in New Jersey to play on PokerStars NJ?
Yes. The New Jersey site operates legally within the state. However, this means that it cannot accept players from outside its jurisdiction. You will need to use the platform’s geolocation application to confirm your location before you can play on your desktop or your mobile. You need to be in the Garden State to deposit money, earn rewards, and play real-money games.
Can I register for PokerStars New Jersey without being in the state?
Yes. You can register for PokerStars New Jersey from another location. You will need to choose which site you would like to access in the future if you plan to use a real-money account to deposit and play games. Remember, you might need to claim and use your bonus within a certain timeframe, so make sure you will be back in the state in time.
Does PokerStars NJ share liquidity with any other PokerStars sites in the US?
No. PokerStars NJ does not share liquidity. There are other PokerStars sites in the US, in Pennsylvania and Michigan, where online poker is legal; however, due to regulations in those states, shared liquidity with New Jersey has not yet been allowed. With the recent court decisions on the Wire Act, those states are expected to begin offering interstate online poker once additional clarity is received from the US Department of Justice. So, players at PokerStars NJ should expect the benefits of shared liquidity soon,
Can I play on PokerStars NJ from my phone?
Yes. You can use the PokerStars New Jersey mobile app to play from a smartphone or tablet. The app is available for iOS devices and Android users. You still need to be in New Jersey to play, but you can use the same credentials to access all the excellent tournaments and features.