PokerStars Software – New Features

Poker Room

The PokerStars software gives you the best poker playing experience available anywhere online. From intuitive features for basic game play to sophisticated functionality for advanced users, we are continuously updating and enhancing the poker software so you can get the most out of your game.

Check below for the latest software news and updates, and try out the newest features when you play poker.

June 2014

* A bug involving refresh issues on Windows 8 machines has been fixed. Tables will now feel much more responsive for affected players.

* Many improvements to flighted tournaments (which are now called Phased Tournaments).

* Play money satellites now allow repeat winners. Players who win a second entry into a tournament will receive its seat value in play chips.

* Many other bug fixes and small improvements.

May 2014

* New installations of the desktop client will no longer round bets off by default.

* Many bug fixes.

April 2014


* Many bug fixes and small improvements.

February 2014

* No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha cash games now have player Buy-in Obligations. This feature prevents players from repeatedly joining tables with the minimum buy-in, leaving as soon as they’ve won, and then resuming playing with the minimum at other tables. For more information on this feature, see here, or email

* Heads up Sit & Go rematch dialogs have been improved for ease of use.

* .FR and .ES now support Flighted tournaments.

* Many bug fixes and small improvements.

January 2014

* To speed up the time it takes from being seated to being dealt cards, all play money games will default to posting the big blind out of position. Players can change this back to the old behaviour in the ‘Options’ menu.

* Many bug fixes.

December 2013

The November and December client updates feature many small improvements and miscellaneous bug fixes.

October 2013

Mac Performance Improvements - We have optimized the Cocoa Mac client’s performance to prevent any client lag issues.

New Default Card Backs - we have changed the default card backs to be one of the recently added variants. If your card backs have changed and you want to go back to the previous design, please right-click on the table background or felt and select ‘Table Themes’, and adjust your card back design from there.

Auto-Centering when Automatically Seated - we have added the option to always be automatically centered in the bottom center seat (or the one closest to bottom center) when a player is automatically seated at a table, for example via ‘Seat me’ or ‘Find Me A Seat’.

August 2013

Extra Bet Slider Button

The desktop client will now have four configurable buttons that control betting amounts. We have also turned the bet slider shortcut buttons on for everyone, though you can still switch them off if you prefer. If you have already customized the bet slider shortcuts, go to ‘Options’ > ‘Bet Slider Options’ to configure the extra button.

Mac Cocoa API

The new Cocoa client will be updated and deployed to all remaining licenses (including .COM). The Cocoa client has initial Retina support for text and native OS controls.

July 2013

Re-entry tournaments (Beta)

We are introducing re-entry tournaments to the PokerStars tournaments offering. In re-entry tournaments, when you bust during late registration, you are given the option to re-enter the tournament. Unlike in a rebuy, you will not keep your seat (and there is no add-on period); instead, you are given a completely new tournament entry. Initially we will start with a small Beta offering of those tournaments until we verify that everything is functioning properly.

New card decks (Beta)

We've introduced two new card decks. They are accessible via Table Themes.

June 2013

Mac Cocoa support

This month, we are converting our client into the new Mac Cocoa API. This is a prerequisite for adding Retina support and many other large Mac improvements. As a first step, the Mac client now supports emoticons and the ability to re-order different columns in the lobby list.

New Sounds

We are releasing a new set of beta sounds for the client and have made improvements to the way sounds are played in the client to improve the overall experience. To try the new Beta sounds, simply check ‘Enable beta sounds’ in the ‘Options’ > ‘Sounds’ menu. We will be looking to make those the default sounds for the client after the Beta period.

In addition to the sounds being updated, we have also added a unique sound for Raise actions.

We would love to hear how you like the new sounds – please email your feedback to

May 2013

Installation and First Time Signup Process changes

 In order to test our changes and ultimately make the new user experience better, a percentage of clients will now install with the new Group View mode on by default. To change it back to the original view, go to the View options on the left side of the main lobby and move the red button from the third setting to the first.

April 2013

Further Improvements for Rebuy Tournaments

Whenever you are eligible for a rebuy, a rebuy button will show directly on the table. The location of this button on the table will vary based on the theme you are using. Once the Add-on period starts, the button will change accordingly.

Improvements to First Time Deposit Process

We are making improvements to the deposit process by enhancing the user experience at the first step, where we collect and verify important personal information about the player.

For now, this change will be for the French client only. We will then roll it out to other clients as well. While this is not something that will be visible as a major change to many players, it continues our goal towards making the initial experience more streamlined for recreational players.

March 2013

New Game Types: 5 Card Omaha & Courchevel

We have deployed two new game types: 5 Card Omaha and Courchevel. Both will be rolled out in Hi and Hi/Lo variants, and you can find Ring Games under the ‘Omaha’ > ‘5 Card Omaha’ tabs.

In case you are not familiar with those variants, 5 Card Omaha is played just like regular Omaha, but with five hole cards. Courchevel is a variation of 5 Card Omaha where the first flop card is dealt face up at the beginning of the hand.

Font Options and Changes to Default Font Setup for List Of Games

In order to improve readability of the list of games, we are adding three pixels to the height of the rows in the main lobby game lists.

We also have added options to change the font used in the main lobby game lists. To access these options go to ‘View’ > ‘Game List Font Options’.

Auto Rebuy for Tournaments Improvements

We have introduced the ability for players to specify in more detail how they want Auto Rebuy to work in rebuy tournaments. You will now have three options to specify from the table of a rebuy tournament:

  • Whenever possible
  • 1x Rebuy when 0 chips
  • 2x Rebuy when 0 chips

In addition, we are adding the ability to set your default tournament Auto Rebuy preference so that you don’t need to specify your selection for each tournament. To do this, simply go to ‘Options’ > ‘Auto Rebuy (Tournaments)...’. Of course, you can also later change your choice via the table controls for each individual tournament.

Option to Register for a New Sit & Go from Elimination Dialog

We have added the ability to register for another Sit & Go of the same type in the dialog that shows once a tournament ends for you. This is simply a convenience feature to allow players to jump straight into another Sit & Go of the same type.

Zoom Observation Mode

This item was briefly mentioned last update, but we have now rolled out the ability to observe a Zoom group. Once you select a Zoom group you will notice an ‘Observe Game’ button. What actually happens is that observers see a selection of hands that have been recently played, to allow them to get a feel for Zoom. There are multiple factors that determine which hands are picked and shown to observers, but the goal is to pick the most interesting hands.

We also now have the ability to show Zoom groups in the main list of Ring Games, as some of you have already noticed.

Hall Of Fame Client Badges

We are introducing ‘Hall of Fame’ badges for players who are members of the VIP Club Hall of Fame. You can read more about the Hall of Fame here.

February 2013

Views for Ring Game Lobbies

After adding a few enhancements to functionality during the Beta stage, we are releasing new views for the list of available games in the ring game lobbies. After you next update the software, you will see a new control in the ring game lobbies that allows you to change the ‘View’, with these three options:

  • Table View - This is the usual standard view, i.e. one list with all tables that match your filter settings
  • Groups View - All tables of the same type are grouped together in one entry, and there is a ‘Find Me A Seat’ button. This button looks for an empty seat at a table of this type. If no seat is immediately available, you will be given the option to continue searching for a seat. In this instance, the system will automatically add you to waiting lists and check for available seats until you either cancel the search or a seat is found. In either eventuality, you are automatically removed from any waiting lists where the system has added you. Soon, the plan is to integrate this with Table Starters (see November 2012 update below), so that if one exists you will also be added to the Table Starter. 

    We have also added a new ‘Observe’ icon, which when clicked will open a table of this type that can be observed. Also, the number of tables now shows only tables which are dealing (for non-HU types), as opposed to also including empty or non-dealing tables.
  • Combo View - Here you can see groups, and once you select a group you will also see the specific tables within a group. It’s great for players who like to monitor multiple table types, but like to switch easily between them.

Graphical Preview for Ring Games

We have added a graphical preview of the selected ring game in the main lobby. You will see a new toggle icon above the list of players on a table in the main lobby, allowing you to switch between the standard list view and a new graphical view of the table. In the graphical view you will still see notes on opponents, but in addition you will also be shown sitting out players, and where the button is. You can also choose a specific seat directly from the lobby, if one is available.

Graphical Preview for Ring Games

Progressive Knockout Tournaments

We will be trialling a new type of a knockout tournament, currently given the working title ‘Progressive Knockouts’. In this variant, when you eliminate a player, you get a part of their bounty credited to your account, but another part goes towards your own bounty. This means you become more attractive to your opponents!

We are initially deploying only a few of these, to make sure everything is running smoothly before we deploy on a wider scale.

Ability to Change Order of Columns in Lobby

This update adds drag & drop functionality to the columns in the main lobby, so you can arrange them just the way you want. Simply drag the header of any column and drop it where you want. You can also click the Column Settings gear icon just above the scroll bar to further configure your lobby.

Auto-Seating Options (Ring Games)

This update merges the ‘Find Seat Options’ and ‘Table Starter Preferences’ into a new ‘Auto-Seating Options (Ring Games)’ dialog that is found under the ‘Options’ menu in the main lobby.

January 2013

Game List Font Options

We have added three new font set-ups. You can change the font set-up from ‘View’ > ‘Game List Font Options’. The new options are:

  • ‘Microsoft Sans Serif with Row Padding’ - this is the current font, with a few pixels of added row padding to aid readability.
  • ‘Utah’ - this is a set-up that uses the Utah font. Utah is a relatively new font that is designed to be narrow but at the same time very readable.
  • ‘Arial’ - this is a set-up with the Arial font.

For each of the set-ups you can change the font size to adjust the size up and down to your liking.

Preferred Seat Enhancements

We are enhancing the preferred seat functionality slightly. In addition to updating the graphics to the Nova theme, we are also adding two new options: ‘Auto-center me at ring game tables’ and ‘Auto-center me at tournament tables’. If checked, each option will automatically seat you in the bottom centre seat for the respective game type, unless you already have a preferred seat setting for a specific layout. For themes that don’t have a bottom centre seat, you will be seated in the seat on the right of the bottom centre of the table.

We will also make the option for tournaments switched on by default, while the one for ring games will be off by default.

Speed Filter Changes (Ring Games)

In line with the changes to table speed, the ring game filters will not have a Speed box anymore. Same applies to Easy Seat.

December 2012

Zoom Tournaments

Zoom tournaments are tournaments that play in a ‘Zoom’ style, i.e. once you fold you are moved to another table with different players from the same tournament that, like you, have finished their hands. Once the tournament nears the final table, it will switch to a regular playing style till the end of the tournament. There is also support for hand-for-hand while in Zoom mode of the tournament. During hand-for-hand, each hand will be synchronized so that once all tables have finished players will be re-seated and the next hand will be dealt. This way, we keep the spirit of Zoom game play, while disincentivizing stalling on the bubble.

VIP Club 2013 Changes

This update lays the groundwork for the new VIP Level, ChromeStar, which is being introduced from the start of 2013.

Variable Level Length in Tournaments

We are planning to start a beta test of Zoom tournaments on the main clients. We will initially start quite slowly, with a small selection of tournaments, until we make sure that everything is running smoothly.Tournaments will support variable time for different levels with this update. This would allow, for example, a tournament to have shorter initial levels, while having longer late-stage levels. This will be tested and then gradually added to some tournament structures.

VIP Store Localization

The VIP Store will support multiple languages after this update. It will take time to populate the language data, but this should be a great improvement for non-English speakers.

Run It Twice for Zoom

After this update we will be able to deploy Run It Twice (RIT) on Zoom groups. The exact timing of when RIT will be enabled for Zoom is not clear just yet, but we will update you once deployed. It might take some time after the client update.

Nova Becoming the Default Theme

Nova will become the default table theme at PokerStars. Players who have never changed their theme on their current install will be prompted to change to the Nova theme, and new installations will have Nova by default.

‘Waiting On Tables’ Dialog Improvements

The ‘Waiting on Tables’ dialog will now allow you to remove yourself from individual waiting lists, in addition to leaving all waiting lists.

Showing Number of Knockouts in Knockout Tournaments

In knockout tournaments, we will show in the Tourney Lobby the number of players someone has knocked out as an additional statistic.

November 2012

Zoom Shorthanded Dealing (Beta)

This update will allow a Zoom player pool to begin shorthanded. When the Zoom group has a low number of players we can set the system to start dealing hands even if a table won’t be full.

Table Starters (Beta)

Table Starters acts like an interest list for specific ring game table types. They will appear in the lobby as another table and will be identified with a special icon at the start. Players can sign up on the Table Starter through the lobby by clicking “Join Table Starter”. Once enough players have signed up, a new table is created with the players on the Table Starter list.

Here is how a table will specifically be started: Buy-in amount will be asked at the time of joining the table starter. At this point funds are not reserved, but players pre-approve to be bought in for that amount once the table starts. Once enough players join the Table Starter who have the pre-approved funds available, the new table will open and players will be bought in for the amounts they previously specified. Then blinds will then be posted but the dealing of cards will not actually start for a few seconds to allow all players to notice the new table starting. Once this short wait elapses, dealing will begin, and from then on everything will behave like a normal table. There will also be a “Play Now” button that if clicked by everyone who is seated will start the dealing immediately.

Every player can choose how many players they want to start a table with. Once a match is found a table will start. You can customize your own settings for when a table should start by going to ‘Options’ > ‘Table Starter Preferences...’ So if four players have specified they are OK for the table to start four-handed join the Table Starter, a new table will be formed and those players will be able to play while the remaining seats stay open for other players.

Various features in PokerStars will automatically sign up players for Table Starters if they cannot be seated immediately. For example, when using “Easy Seat” or clicking “Play Now” in group mode, the system will first try to seat you at an existing table as requested, and if unavailable you will be added to the Table Starters list.

To avoid abuse, there will be a timer that will block players from using Table Starters should they be seated at a new table and then leave soon after the start of dealing. We also have automatic monitoring for abusive behaviours and reserve the right to sanction players who attempt to use Table Starters for purposes other than to play at the newly created tables. More specifically, trying to avoid paying your fair share of blinds, or using Table Starters to find favorable opponents, is not allowed.

We will be rolling Table Starters out slowly at first, but if all works as expected they may be utilized as the only way to start new tables of certain types

Flighted Tournaments

We will slowly introduce a system that will protect players who are registered in Sit & Go tournaments should they become disconnected before the Sit & Go starts. In essence, the system will unregister players from specific Sit & Go’s if the players are disconnected for longer than a specified amount of time. The time you will need to be disconnected will depend on the specific Sit & Go and will be configured per tournament. The purpose of this feature is to help prevent players who register but then get disconnected from being blinded out of an event which starts when they are no longer able to connect and play.

October 2012

Run It Twice (Beta)

We have been working on Run It Twice, and are now ready to deploy it as a Beta feature in the main clients. To recap for players who might not yet be familiar with the feature, Run It Twice allows players to have the remaining board cards dealt twice once everyone is all in. The pot is split in two and awarded for each ‘board’ separately. Players must ‘opt in’ to always use Run It Twice when the opportunity arises.

You can configure Run It Twice settings from ‘Options’ > ‘Run It Twice (Beta)’, and select the following choices:

  • Never (default)
  • Always
  • By Table (default On)
  • By Table (default Off)

Everyone remaining in a hand when action is completed needs to have elected to Run It Twice in order for it to actually happen. If any of the participants in the hand have not turned on this feature in advance, the board will run out normally, one time, for all players.

We will not charge extra rake for Run It Twice hands.

New Deck (Beta)

We are releasing the new Quasar deck to the main clients. We have both new front cards and new back cards which are independent of each other, so you can mix them with current fronts and backs.

Quasar deck

System to Unregister from Sit & Go’s when Disconnected (Beta)

We will slowly roll out a system that will protect players who are registered in Sit & Go tournaments should they become disconnected before the Sit & Go starts. In essence, the system will unregister players from specific Sit & Go’s if the players are disconnected for longer than a specified amount of time. The time you will need to be disconnected will depend on the specific Sit & Go and will be configured per tournament. The purpose of this feature is to help prevent players who register but then get disconnected from being blinded out of an event which starts when they are no longer able to connect and play.

There is an option to opt out of this protection via ‘Options’ > ‘Advanced Multi-Table Options’ > ‘No Automated Unregistering for Sit & Go tournaments’.

Round To Nearest Blind

Players who use the bet slider shortcuts or hotkeys to ‘bet % of pot’ will have their bet rounded to the nearest small or big blind. Whether the rounding is to the small or to the big blind will depend on the bet slider increment you have chosen in ‘Options’ > ‘Bet Slider Options’ (default is Big blind).

We have also added the ability for players to opt out and use the old logic by selecting ‘Set/Bet % of pot: Don’t round to nearest blind’ in ‘Options’ > ‘Advanced Multi-Table Options’.

Preserved Chat on Zoom Tables

Zoom tables will now preserve the chat from the last few hands. This will hopefully make it more social in smaller Zoom pools, where it is likely that you will have similar opponents on the next hand, and will also allow Zoom players to BOOM! their hands more easily.

3 New Emoticons

We have added three new emoticons – fish, donkey, and shark.

August 2012

Chat Emoticons

We have added chat emoticons to the chat area to improve your chatting experience.

July 2012


We have recently enabled BOOM! on the .com client. As some of you have already seen, BOOM! allows you to share your poker hands in the format of a video, and view and discuss hands shared by other players and Pros. You can share hands either directly to Twitter or VKontakte from the client or to, where you can watch, upload, or discuss hands. Visit the BOOM! page for more info.

June 2012

Custom Time Zones

We are adding a ‘Custom’ entry in the time zones dialog that allows you to specify a custom UTC offset in case your time zone or the Daylight Saving Time specific to your region is not currently supported.

May 2012

Table Themes Customization (Beta)

We are adding improvements to the ability to customize the look of the tables. We are bringing all customization options into one dialog, that is directly accessible from the table:

Table Theme Customization

This dialog replaces the previous ‘Table Themes’ dialog. Changes:

  • All themes now support multiple felt color and background options.
  • Custom felt color. Don’t like the colors we have pre-selected? No problem, pick your own!
  • More visibility on changing the front deck and back deck.
  • The back deck is not tied to the front deck anymore, so you can now mix and match.
  • The dialog has a preview area on the table for quick feedback on the changes.
  • We have added two new profiles: ‘All Sit & Go Tables’ and ‘All Zoom Tables’. So now you can have a different felt color, background or theme based on the type of game. Just select a different profile from the ‘Apply To’ drop-down and apply your changes to that profile.
  • An option to apply the changes via the right-click table menu to the current table only. This is accessed from the lobby via ‘View’ > ‘Right-Click: Apply Changes to This Table Only’.

Table Groups (Beta v2)

This feature was already released, but changes have been made to both interface and functionality in an ongoing process to find the optimal implementation for this innovative feature.

Table Groups

The biggest change is that the ‘Play Now’ button (previously ‘Seat Me’) will now keep looking for an available seat if an empty seat does not currently exist. The player will also be progressively added to waiting lists.

In addition, we have introduced a simpler initial view with a new toggle to see the list of tables and players, and we have removed the expanding/collapsing functionality.

We are making this feature available to real money players, but it is disabled by default. To enable the feature please go to ‘Options’ > ‘Lobby Display Options’ > ‘Group Similar Tables’.

Once the feature is active you will see an On/Off toggle in the main lobby that will allow you to easily revert to the previous view.

Easy Seat Advanced Options

We are adding the ‘Filter’ advanced options to ‘Easy Seat’ that will allow you to specify additional criteria for the tables Easy Seat considers. For example, Min. Average Pot, Min. Average Stack, etc.

Beta Options Menu

We have added a lot of new functionality over the past few updates and decided to add a new ‘Beta Options’ menu that will allow players to easily see what the latest Beta features are. To access it simply go to ‘Options’ > ‘Beta options’.

April 2012

Auto-Buy-In and Rathole Restriction

We have added an option in the ‘Auto-Buy-In’ dialog to allow players to auto-buy-in for the rathole restriction amount when applicable, and not be prompted with the buy-in dialog. To activate this setting, simply check ‘Automatically return to table with same amount if required’ in the Auto-Buy-In dialog (‘Options’ > ‘Auto-Buy-In (Ring Games)’).

March 2012

Zoom Poker

Zoom is our fast-paced ring game format that allows you to play many more hands per hour, by constantly assigning players to new tables, with new opponents, as soon as they fold.

Zoom is a very customizable product, as players can pick three different animation styles, choose to ‘Sit Out Next Big Blind’, and even decide to fold a hand but still remain on the table and observe it, by clicking Ctrl+Fold Button.

New MTT Lobby

We have released an alternative layout for the main ‘Tourney’ lobby in the client. The aim is to re-group the information and make it more user-friendly to navigate through the tournament listings.

This alternative layout is turned off by default for now, but you can try it out by going to ‘Options’ > ‘Lobby Display Options’ > ‘Enable Alternative Tournament List Layout (Beta)’.

Bigger Fonts on Small Tables

We have released as Beta the option to use alternative, bigger fonts for tables at smaller sizes. To try the alternative fonts, enable them from ‘Options’ > ‘Table Display Options’ > ‘Larger Fonts on Small Tables (Beta)’.

Pre-Action Checkboxes Redesign

This is a small improvement to the design of the pre-action check boxes, to make them stand out more.

Pre-Action Checkboxes Redesign

Omaha Tab Redesign

The main Omaha games tab will get a slight redesign to allow players to find the games they want more easily. Play Money games will be split with their own tab, and there will also be Real Money sub-tabs for stake levels (All, High, Medium, Low, Micro).

February 2012

January 2012

Flighted Tournaments

We are now pleased to offer you Flighted Tournaments, which allows you to play the first levels of a large tournament at different times, and then join together with other players for the later stages. This format is similar to certain large live events, where there are days 1A and 1B, both of which send survivors to Day 2.

Highlight Active Player

We have released an alternate way of marking the active player, which uses a highlight effect rather than blinking. You can enable this setting via "Options" > "Table Display Options" > "Highlight Active Player ".

Highlight Active Player

Chat Bubble Improvements

We have made the following improvements to chat bubbles based on player feedback:

  • Bubbles will automatically be sized based on text length.
  • You can disable your own chat bubbles via the menu that drops down from your chat bubble.
  • Left-clicking a chat bubble instantly hides that particular chat bubble instance.

October 2011

Hotkeys (Beta)

This feature allows you to configure keyboard/mouse shortcuts for various game actions. You can configure your PokerStars hotkeys by going to 'Options' > 'Hotkey Settings'.

Hotkey actions include: Fold, Check, Bet / Raise, Set Bet amount to X% / BB / All in (with the option of whether to bet or just set the bet amount), Activate next / previous table and more. You can also control which table uses the hotkey, either the one that is active, or the one that is under the mouse pointer. You can even specify a custom color for a table border that highlights the table that is receiving the hotkey!

September 2011

Easy Seat

Easy Seat transforms the experience of starting a multi-tabling session. Once you set up your Easy Seat preferences you will be able to launch your sessions with just a single click from the main lobby! Taking your seat has never been this easy!

Once started, Easy Seat will automatically look for free seats at tables that match your criteria. If there aren't enough free seats; Easy Seat will add you to suitable waiting lists. For example, if you specify that you want to play 18 fast tables of $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em, the Easy Seat system will seat you at 18 tables as fast as possible.

Easy Seat can also help maintain your desired number of tables. If you enable 'Session Mode', when tables close Easy Seat will open new ones to keep you at your desired number.

Easy Seat will initially be in a Beta stage and not shown by default in the main ring game lobby. To test out Easy Seat, go to 'Options' > 'Lobby Display Options' and select 'Show Easy Seat (Beta)'. For best results you should enable Auto-Buy-In to make the process as seamless as possible.

Time Tournaments

Time tournaments are perfect when you want to play a tournament but only have a limited amount of time. Time tournaments end after a pre-defined period. Once the time limit is reached, surviving players are paid out based wholly or partially on chip counts.

"Nova" Table Themes

There are four new themes, which include a new table design, and features that many players asked for, such as North/South seating, bigger fonts, more distinguishable cards of opponents etc. To use one of the new themes simply go to 'View' > 'Table Themes' and pick one of the Nova themes.

4-Max Final Table

4-Max tournaments will now go to the final table at 5 players. This means that you will be playing 5-handed in a '4-Max' tournament but this avoids the uneven situation of one table having to play heads-up while the other is 3-handed.

Show Full Hole Cards

If you enable this option (under 'Options' > 'Table Display Options') you will see the whole of both hole cards. This feature applies to Texas Hold'em only.

Show Large Opponent Cards

If you enable this option (under 'Options' > 'Table Display Options') the size of your opponents' hole cards is increased. This makes it easier to quickly see who is left in a hand.

Fold and Show/Show One Card

Players will now be given the ability to Fold and Show (rather than just fold) when last to act. Players will also be able to only show some of their cards rather than having to choose between showing all or none. You choose which card(s) you want to show by clicking on them.

Fold and Show does not work in draw games. As before, general preferences for whether to ever show are controlled in the 'Showing / Mucking Hands' section of the Options menu.

Ring Game Lobby Improvements

We have made improvements to the ring game lobby. There will be a new 'Type' column that will show game speed and buy-in structure, and an icon for table size. The table column will now only have the table name.

Animation Improvements

We have made improvements to some of the table animations in the client so they are smoother. This is part of a large project that will gradually improve animations in the client even more. To try these improvements, select 'Options' > 'Table Display Options' > 'Animation' > 'Full (Beta)'. We have renamed the previous animation method to 'Simplified', which will still be the default until further notice.

August 2011

Home Games Social Features

Home Games clubs will be more social in future.  We have added a wall feature to allow players to post and reply to messages in the club lobby.  We have also added an announcement/whiteboard feature for club administrators so they can share important messages with their members.

Deal Making Improvements

Over the last month we have added to all our guaranteed Multi-Table Tournaments (MTT's) a feature that allows players to pause a tournament manually when on the final table.  If you want to pause a tournament for deal discussions, simply go to the 'Info' tab on the table and select 'Discuss a deal'.  If all players on the final table select this, then the tournament will auto-pause and a Support representative will be called to the table to facilitate the deal.  We will be expanding this option to include more MTTs in coming weeks.

June 2011

Notes Improvements

We have made a number of improvements to how our notes system works:

  • You can now differentiate between a player who just has a colored label and a player who actually has a textual note. The presence of the 'N' icon would indicate that there is text, while the lack of it would indicate that you have just assigned a colored label.
  • Applying a color label is much quicker now. You can do this via the 'Label' right-click menu that has been added, or even quicker by enabling 'Left-click player to assign label' from 'Options' > 'Player Notes'. This will allow you to see the labels menu by just left-clicking a player - very handy for quick note taking!
  • You can now have more than eight labels, and there are also various other small improvements.

May 2011

Sit & Go Lobby Revamp

PokerStars has made changes to the Sit & Go lobby to make it easier to navigate and find the games you want. Also added are Hyper-Turbo cash Sit & Go's as part of the non-satellite Sit & Go offering.

Sit & Go Lobby Revamp

Sit Out Next Big Blind and Close Table

This new functionality lets you sit out the next big blind and close an individual table. 'Options' > 'Advanced Multi-Table Options' > 'Sit out next big blind' checkbox: Close table on big blind' enables this feature.

Activating this checkbox changes the behaviour when manually selecting 'Sit out next big blind' checkbox, closing the table once you are sitting out. Note that Session Options can still be used to sit out next big blind on all tables without closing tables.

Apply Active Layout

You will now be able to reapply a currently saved layout without having to switch it off and on again. The shortcut for this will be CTRL-3, or you can use 'Apply Active Layout' from the 'View' menu, also accessible directly from every table.

Rearrangement of Title bar for Tournament Tables

The title bar of tournament table windows will now have the most important information (Tournament name and blind information) appearing at the front.

Option not to Steal Focus when Typing in Chat or taking a Note

Following up on the update for Detached Chat in the last build, an option in 'Options' > 'Advanced Multi-Table Options' called 'Don't steal focus from chat and notes' has been added. When this checkbox is enabled and a new table pops to the front, the focus will remain on the table where you were typing.

Note that enabling this option might affect third party tools such as hotkeys, since the table which has keyboard focus is not the table that needs action, but the table where you are taking a note.

April 2011

Column Settings

The lobby's 'Column Settings' dialog box allows you to choose which lobby columns are displayed in the list of games. You can now also resize the width of individual columns. The 'Column Settings' dialog is accessible via a small icon to the right of the last column.

Column Settings

This means that if you want to, you can now remove the "H/hr" column or the "ID" tournament column and make your lobby simpler. Another part of this feature is the ability to lock the sort of the columns – so if you mis-click a header, you won't lose your advanced sort as a result.

Chat Bubbles

Chat Bubbles make it more obvious when players are talking, to tell who is talking. If you don't like this feature, you can turn it off at the table by mousing over a chat bubble and using the drop-down menu that will show in the right of the bubble. Alternatively, you can also disable Chat Bubbles in 'Options' > 'Table Display Options'.

Chat Bubbles

Easier Note Taking for Detached Chat

If you are using Detached Chat and are in 'Merge All Detached Chat Windows' mode, other tables will not interrupt your chat and note taking. If you are taking a note on one table and another requires action, the table will come to the front but the Detached Chat window will still retain the information about the previous table and the selected text area will stay focussed. So now you can finish your chat or note safely.

Show List of Registered Players in Lobby

You will now be able to see the list of players that have already registered for Heads-up and Single Table Tournaments directly from the main lobby.

Add Recipient's Avatar when Confirming a Transfer

After the City to Country change, players expressed concerns that displaying the recipient's country is not enough in order to be sure that you are transferring money to the right person.

We have now added the recipient's avatar in the confirmation screen as well.

Recurring Home Games Tournaments

If you run a game every Tuesday night (or whenever, the feature isn't limited to Tuesdays) at 21:00, this feature will make it much easier to run your club. Options will be available to run daily, weekly and monthly tournaments and are clearly accessible from the create a tournament dialog.

Hide Hole Cards (Ctrl+H)

If you want to see your hole cards face down, and only peek at them occasionally, now you can. This feature is mostly aimed at players in Home Games playing in the same room as their opponents, but you can use it outside of Home Games as well. To look at your hand, simply move your mouse cursor over it.

March 2011

Changes to the Update Rules to the Lobby Lists of Games

The biggest change in this update is that we have improved the update logic for the list of games in the lobby to provide a much smoother experience. 'Jumps' in the list of games has been a common complaint by many players, experienced and new alike.

The new update logic eliminates to a large degree the feeling of 'jumps'. As a result, finding the games you want should now be easier, even in the very busy and constantly updating PokerStars lobby.

Customize VIP Club Progress Bar: Daily VPP Goal Option

We have added a daily VPPs goal option to the Customizable VIP Club Progress Bar. To choose this option go to 'Options' > 'Customize VIP Club Progress Bar' and choose 'Daily' from the drop-down for 'VIP Player Point (VPP) Goal'.

February 2011

Displaying Country Instead of City

Whenever the location of a player needs to be displayed in the client, it now shows the player's Country rather than City.

Custom Layouts

This change affects players who are using custom layouts and have the 'Remember Table Positioning' option turned off. We changed the behaviour of where new tables would open after you close a table which you have manually moved out of the layout. Now, the new table would open in the next available spot in your layout and not at the location where the last table was closed. This should make the experience of using custom layouts smoother.

Home Games Improvements

  • Inviting Members to your Club: We've made it easier to let people know about your club through Facebook and Twitter. You'll see icons for sharing Home Game information with your friends in various places throughout the client.
  • Custom Lobby Message: You can now define the lobby message for your tournaments.
  • Observer Chat Restrictions: Observers are now allowed to chat in all club events.
  • 15% 9-Max pay structure: We added a tier to this pay structure with 2 players getting paid.
  • Other small improvements.

January 2011

Home Games

Home Games is a brand new featured section of the PokerStars game client, unlike anything else in online poker. It's designed to let you create and manage your own private Poker Club, where you play the ring games and tournaments you choose, with just your friends, at the time you want. All you need to do is visit the new 'Home Games' tab in the lobby and open your own club or join a club created by one of your poker buddies. Then you can schedule and play your very own online Home Games.

For more information, see the Home Games web page.

Home Games

Customizable VIP Club Progress Bar

We have rebranded the VIP Stellar Rewards progress bar as the 'VIP Club Progress Bar'. You can choose between Stellar Rewards and Milestones, VIP level, or monthly or yearly VPP targets. To access the customization menu, go to 'Options' > 'Customize VIP Club Progress Bar'.

Customize VIP Club Progress Bar

Automatic Seating when you Accept a Seat from Waiting List

When you accept a seat from a waiting list you will now be automatically seated and will immediately see the buy-in dialog. As a result, you won't have to click on a reserved seat anymore. If you have Auto Buy-In enabled, you will be instantly bought in as well, without needing to make any more clicks. We appreciate that some players might not like this, so we've added an option to keep the old behavior. If you still want to click on a specific reserved seat manually, please uncheck 'Options' > 'Advanced Multi-table Options' > 'Auto-Seat Me after accepting reserved seat'.


Seat Me

When you select a table that has empty seats in the ring game lobby, you will notice a 'Seat Me' button below the 'Go to Table' button. Clicking 'Seat Me' automatically opens the table for you and sits you in one of the empty seats on the table. If you have Auto Buy-In enabled, you will be automatically bought in for the desired amount; if not – the usual buy-in dialog will appear. In this way taking a seat can be a single-click process from the main lobby.

Seat Me

Find Seat

Building on top of "Seat Me" we are introducing "Find Seat". When you select a full ring game table or a table at which you are already seated, a "Find Seat" button will show where the "Seat Me" button is displayed. The "Find Seat" feature looks for an empty seat at another table of the exact same type as the currently selected one and reserves it for you.

Find Seat

We have also added this feature to the "Session Options" menu:

  • Seat Me at a Similar Table: We have also added this feature to the "Session Options" menu, so with two mouse clicks or by pressing Ctrl+S you can be seated at another identical table without even having to open the main lobby.
  • Register to Similar Tournament: Sit & Go's have a related change – the "Session Options" menu will have a new entry – "Register to Similar Tournament (Ctrl+S)" – this has the same effect as "Register to Any" from the lobby.

Bet Slider Options

A "Bet Slider Options" menu has been added:

  • The mouse wheel can now be used to move the bet slider without having to select the table first. Simply hover the mouse pointer over the bet slider and any scrolls will affect the bet slider beneath the pointer, regardless of which PokerStars table currently has focus.
  • There are several options that adjust the bet slider behavior. You can choose to increment in small blinds, to invert the mouse wheel behavior, and to jump the slider to the clicked position instead of incrementing by a small or a big blind.
  • Last, and most probably best, we have given you the ability to customize your own bet sizing shortcut buttons. Those are small buttons above the bet slider which have pre-set bet amounts, which you can choose. Those buttons are off by default since not every player wants them, but you can enable them by going to 'Options' > 'Bet Slider Options'. You can configure different buttons for pre- and for post-flop action. Pre-flop you can specify number of Big Blinds and post-flop you can specify % of the pot among other options, including betting the "Pot". You can have anything that will fit your playing style – it's all up to you to customize.
Bet Slider Options

Detached Chat

Moving this out of Beta, we have improved the design and also added several additional features. There is an option now to automatically detach the window for newly-opened tables. We have also implemented 'Merged' mode (by default) when you are playing at more than one table. In Merged mode there is only one detached chat window shared among all the tables that are currently open. As you switch tables, the visible chat changes too, in that one window.

Detached Chat

Auto Buy-In

Auto Buy-In allows you to instantly buy in after left-clicking Seat Open without any intermediate steps. Simply set up your buy-in preferences once, and the next time you sit at a table you will automatically buy-in. Auto Buy-In can be set up through 'Options' > 'Auto-Buy-In (Ring Games)...' or by clicking on the link in the traditional buy-in dialog. You can choose the number of "big bets" you want to buy-in on all Fixed Limit tables, and the number of "big blinds" to buy-in for on various types of No Limit, Pot Limit and Mixed Limit tables. Want to buy in as an exception for a different amount? Simply right-click on 'Seat Open' and the traditional buy-in dialog will show up.

Auto Buy-In

Session Options

With this release we introduce an integrated platform that easily allows you to manage your state during a session. When you are playing, you will see a small additional icon on each of your tables that gives you easy access to the Session Options menu. From there you can Sit Out on all tables, Sit out next big blind on all tables, Resume play on all tables that you are sitting out on, and end your session gracefully – Sit out next big blind on all tables and close them.

Session Options

For immediate feedback about the state of your session, the table icon will change from a green play sign when you are sitting in on all tables, to a yellow play/pause icon when you are sitting in on some and sitting out on other tables, to a red pause icon when you are sitting out on all tables.

Session Options Icons

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