Poker Games Frequently Asked Questions
General PokerStars Questions:
Please read our PokerStars Online Poker Site Terms of Service.
No. Each player is only allowed one account. It is not permitted to close your account and open another one. Once you create an account, your UserID cannot be changed, so please choose carefully.
You can reset your password manually by going to the main software screen, clicking on ‘Login’ and then on ‘Forgot Password’. Enter your information and a new temporary password will be emailed to your registered PokerStars email address. If you do so, and receive an error message, please email support with your full name and address, as well as your PokerStars UserID, and we will help you get back in the game. Whenever possible, you should always email us using the email address which has been registered and validated on your PokerStars account. This allows us to access your account information and give you the most accurate response.
Password protection is your responsibility. Never reveal your PokerStars account information to anyone. We will never ask you to send your password to us, and the only place you will need to use it is when logging in to the PokerStars poker software. We recommend that you change your password regularly. We also offer an optional RSA Security Token which you can link to your PokerStars account to provide a strong extra layer of security. You can also enable the PokerStars PIN for even more security.
This may be a result of your email provider mislabeling your PokerStars emails as SPAM. If so, the problem is easily corrected. See the email page for instructions.
Yes, you can. PokerStars offers more than 25 software language preferences. To choose another language, visit ‘Language’ at the top of the main lobby, and then ‘Play In’. You will then be offered a menu of languages to choose from. Please note that some languages are currently only in Beta mode, so you may still see some messages in English.
Simply open the PokerStars software and log in. Then go to ‘Language’ and select ‘Email in', then choose your new language preference from the list.
No. The languages you select for using the software, for email, and for hand histories, are totally independent. To change your hand history language preference, click on either the hand history links at the top left of a table, or click on the chip rack, then click ‘Instant Hand History’. A new window - called Instant Hand History - will open. Click ‘Options’ then select your hand history language from the dropdown menu.
Yes. To download our Mac game client, please visit our Mac Download Page.
If you’re brand new to PokerStars, we suggest you visit our Virtual Tour page, and view the tutorial videos there, hosted by Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. Once you’ve downloaded the software and given it a try, you can visit our PokerStars Special Features page to read about lots of special features we offer, including Lobby and Table Themes, Filtering and Sorting Features and much more. You can also keep up to date on new features by regularly visiting our Software News page.
In 2012, the Rational Group, which owns and operates PokerStars, acquired the assets of Full Tilt Poker. The Full Tilt Poker site now operates independently of PokerStars, with different games and management. Players on Full Tilt Poker have separate player accounts as well.
Yes, you can, subject to the rules and regulations regarding each site, which may either restrict general site availability or individual accounts.
Yes, you can, once you establish a pairing link between your PokerStars account and your Full Tilt Poker account.
For more information on who can hold Full Tilt Poker accounts, as well as information on the account pairing process and transferring funds between the sites, please visit our PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker Player Accounts page.
Poker Game Play
It occasionally occurs that due to reasons beyond our players' control, they are unable to act on their poker hand in time. At PokerStars, a player in a ring (non-tournament) game is normally allotted 25 seconds to act on their hand if it is a fixed limit poker game, and 35 seconds in a pot limit or no limit poker game. A warning message is displayed in the chat box when there are 15 seconds left to act. If there was a disconnection and a player returned before the timeout, he or she receives at least 10 seconds to act. Less time to act is allocated at tables designated as ‘fast.’
If a player fails to act within the allotted time while being connected, the hand is folded by the system.
Additional time to act may be allocated in some games, depending on the situation. The amount of extra time may vary depending on the game, but the concept is the same throughout – when faced with a decision in a larger pot, more time is given to return due to a disconnection.
Note that tournaments do not allocate extra time due to disconnections, in most situations. For details on how disconnections are handled in tournaments, please see our Poker Tournament Rules page, in particular Rule 18 (Disconnects and Sitting Out).
In the unlikely event of a server crash which prevents completion of a hand, the hands in progress at every table (tournaments and cash games) will be restored by rolling back these hands as if they had not happened. Each player's chip count will be reset to the amount at the beginning of the hand.
If a poker game is full, you can put your name on the Waiting List for that game. When a seat in the game becomes available, the first person on the Waiting List will have the first right of refusal for that seat.
The other option you have is to take a seat at an empty table of that limit and game. Often, empty tables fill up quickly once a player takes a seat.
The minimum buy-in our poker room for Fixed Limit tables is ten times the small bet (the bet on the first two betting rounds). For example, on a $10/$20 table, the minimum buy-in would be $100.
For No Limit and Pot Limit poker games, PokerStars offers different buy-in amounts for different tables. Standard tables have a maximum buy-in of 100 big blinds and a minimum buy in of 20, 30, or 40 big blinds. Tables labelled ‘Short’ and ‘CAP’ allow buy-ins of between 20 and 50 big blinds. ‘Deep’ tables offer a buy-in range of 100-250 big blinds.
PokerStars is an internet poker room, not a casino. That means you never play poker against the house, only against other players. PokerStars receives compensation by taking a ‘rake’, a small amount from each ring game pot. This rake from the pot never exceeds $5. At the lower limits, PokerStars takes a smaller rake. Please see our Rake page for exact rake information.
No ‘per hand’ rake is taken in tournaments; there is only an initial fee to enter. Some tournaments do not charge a fee or a rake.
At any PokerStars table, the full amount of the pot, including all current bets, is always displayed numerically at the top of the table, above the dealer's tray or ‘Options’ button. Also, at the end of every betting round, all bets are collected in the middle of the table, and converted into higher denomination chips so you can easily see the pot's total value.
No, it doesn't. If you play your hand to the showdown and you hold the winning hand, it will always automatically be shown. This feature protects you from accidentally mucking a winner.
Click on the dealer tray and select ‘Request hand history’. You can request up to your last 200 hands, your hand histories for a period of time, all the hands you played in a tournament, or any specific single hand. Note however that we do not archive play money or freeroll tournament hand histories, and as such, these hands are not available to be requested.
You can also request a hand history from the PokerStars lobby. From the ‘Request’ menu, choose ‘Hand History’.
We also offer an ‘Instant Hand History’ (IHH) feature at all tables, which will allow you (even at play money tables and in freerolls) to review your most recent hands. To launch this feature, simply click on the hand numbers at the upper left of the table. A window will open where you can see text versions of your hands. In the IHH, click the ‘Options’ button to set the Instant Hand History to save your hands to a file. You can also launch the IHH by clicking the Dealer Chip Tray or ‘Options’ button at the top of the table, and selecting ‘Instant Hand History.’
You will find a ‘Visualize’ button in the IHH which you can use to replay a hand visually in a new window. You can also ‘replay’ the most recent hand by clicking the red button next to the hand numbers on the table.
At the table, click on the dealer tray or ‘Options’ and select ‘Request statistics’. You can request statistics for a number of your most recent hands
You can also request statistics from the PokerStars lobby. From the ‘Requests’ menu, choose ‘Statistics…’
Please note that statistics are not available for play money hands, which are not stored in the database.
Frequent Player Points (FPPs) are points you earn by playing raked hands on our poker site, or in tournaments with a cash fee. You can use FPPs to buy merchandise in the PokerStars VIP Store. They also are used in conjunction with our promotions and our VIP Club program. Promotions have in the past included opportunities to win prize packages to many live events, including the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), the European Poker Tour (EPT), and the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT), as well as to our online championships, such as the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP). PokerStars regularly runs tournaments and Sit & Go’s where you can win cash and tournament seats by using your FPPs to enter. See the PokerStars VIP Program - Earn page for more information on what FPPs are and how to earn them.
This indicates that you have made a note about this player in the past, and it is stored for your viewing. There are even customizable color codes available for your notes! For more information, please visit our Opponent Notes page.
Yes. PokerStars is happy for friends, relatives, and acquaintances to play at the same table as each other. However, when you do so, you are expected to play just as competitively against your friend as you would against any other player, and you must not share any information about the cards that you hold with them or make any playing agreements in secret (doing so is collusion, which is strictly prohibited).
If you have an agreement to share a bankroll, stake, or split profits with your friend, then in the interest of game integrity you must not play at the same cash game table or in the same Sit & Go tournament.
Players who live in the same household, whatever their relationship, must not play at the same cash game table or in the same Sit & Go tournament. In some cases, this restriction will be imposed automatically by the game software.
CAP is the newest form of betting limit offered at PokerStars. CAP games limit the amount each player can wager per hand. Once that limit is reached, the player is treated as all-in.
The betting cap is the same for every player, so all players who start the hand with stack sizes equal to or greater than the cap will end up all-in after wagering the same amount. Players who start the hand with a stack size smaller than the cap will be treated as all-in when they have wagered their entire stack.
Online Poker Chat:
Certain forms and topics of chat are not allowed on PokerStars. Players engaging in offensive chat will be subject to a chat warning or a suspension of their chat privileges, or any other penalty permitted by law and/or our Terms of Service. Use of the table Chat feature should be done at the player's discretion, and is subject to compliance with our chat rules and User Agreement.
Profanity/Abuse: We do not permit profane, vulgar, racist or abusive/insulting chat in our chat windows. We do have a feature by which certain profane or otherwise unacceptable words are asterisked out; a filtered word is one that has been deemed unacceptable on our poker site. Players attempting to bypass the filter may also be subject to a warning or suspension of chat privileges.
Begging/Solicitation: We do not permit players to beg or panhandle for chips, whether play money or real money. No solicitation is permitted in any poker game at any time. There are facilities in place to prevent many instances of solicitation.
Play Money Chip Sales: Players are not permitted to engage in any discussion regarding the sale of PokerStars play money chips within our chat facilities. Any such discussion, including the offer to buy or sell play money in PokerStars chat, is grounds for warning or revocation.
Flooding: The sending of multiple and frequent messages to the chat window in order to drown out legitimate chat is forbidden.
Non-English chat: We are aware that our players are from around the world, and that for many of them English is not their first language. However, at this time our policy on most tables is that English is the only language allowed to be used in PokerStars chat. On a small number of tables and in a small number of regional tournaments, chat may be allowed in a particular language and in English. These tables and tournaments will be clearly labeled. If you are not comfortable with non-English chat, please do not join these tables or tournaments.
Commercial Use: It is strictly prohibited for a User to use Chat for any commercial use whatsoever, including making any statements which promote any service or product of any party except PokerStars.
Malicious Behavior: It is strictly prohibited for a User to use Chat for any malicious or offensive behavior, including but not limited to collusion, fraud, spam, and/or harassment. Users shall not make statements about PokerStars that are untrue or would reasonably be considered to be derogatory or critical. Users should be generally aware of the feelings of other customers and PokerStars staff and Chat Moderators, and should act in a respectful manner.
We also encourage you to review our Card Room Rules.
PokerStars does not actively monitor chat at the tables, though we can review chat logs after the fact. Warnings or suspensions of chat privileges for a time period may be issued as a result of chat policy violations.
At all open PokerStars tables, you can page a Chat Moderator, who will come to the table and attempt to resolve the issue. To page a Chat Moderator, click on the Dealer Chip Tray or ‘Options’ button at the top of the table, and click the ’Call Moderator’ button. Please note that Chat Moderators can only help with chat problems; for other issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a ‘Call Moderator’ button is not available at your table, please report any of the above offenses to email@example.com.
We encourage players to help us be our eyes and ears. The cooperation of our players is a critical part of making PokerStars a fun experience for all. Please do not engage in retaliatory chat; as this will likely result in both users’ chat being suspended.
You can block an individual player's messages from coming to you by right-clicking on the player's icon and selecting ‘Block Chat’.
Chat rules are generally not enforced in Home Games.
From the ‘Account’ menu of the PokerStars lobby, select ‘Select/Change Image’. Click on ‘Select Image’, and pick an image for use from your hard drive. Obscene or inappropriate images are not permitted, nor are images that contain URLs. Images are therefore subject to review’ and once submitted may not appear on your account for several days. For more information about images, and to find out how to take a picture from the internet to use as your PokerStars image, visit our Images page.
From the ‘Options’ menu of the PokerStars lobby, unselect ‘Show Player Images’. This will turn off images the next time you join or watch a poker game. You can turn images back on at any time by selecting ‘Options’ again and ensuring a check mark is placed beside ‘Show Player Images’ in that menu.
You can also block an individual player's image from showing to you by right-clicking on the player's icon and selecting ‘Block Image’.
Yes, you may change your image by selecting ‘Select/Change Image’ from the Account menu. However, you can only change your image once, so we recommend that you consider your choice carefully.
PokerStars does not use any house players or robots. We do not hire any individuals to play on our site.
No. Any PokerStars employee or contractor who has access to inside information (player records, hidden card hand histories, etc.) may not play on PokerStars. This is to prevent any possible abuse of that inside information. In fact, the immediate relatives of such people also may not play on PokerStars either.
Those people (and all members of Team PokerStars Pro) are contracted by PokerStars to be ambassadors of PokerStars at the live poker tournaments they play throughout the world. They are also playing at PokerStars, as many players asked us to provide them an opportunity to play poker against celebrity players. These players have absolutely no access to any more information than any PokerStars player. They are clearly identified, and you can decide whether you want to play at the same table as these players or not.
There is no requirement for these players to play any set number of hours at PokerStars, and their compensation does not depend on how much or how little they play on our site. Finally, when playing ring games and tournaments at PokerStars, members of Team PokerStars Pro play with their own money, with the exception of the weekly match challenge and other similar promotional events. PokerStars has no vested interest in whether they win or lose those matches.
You may view upcoming poker tournaments by selecting ‘Tourney’ in the PokerStars main lobby. You will see all poker tournaments in progress (‘Running’), recently completed poker tournaments (‘Completed’), and poker tournaments which begin soon (‘Registering’ or ‘Announced’). For more information, highlight any tournament by clicking on it, then select ‘Tournament Lobby’.
If a poker tournament is in the ‘Registering’ or ‘Late Reg’ state, highlight that tournament by clicking on it, then click on the ‘Tournament Lobby’ button. Once the Tournament Lobby screen opens, click on ‘Register’. You will need to log-in if you have not already done so for this session. Some tournaments may allow you to register directly from the main lobby once you have highlighted the event.
For more detailed instructions, see Playing PokerStars Tournaments.
Yes, you are welcome to play in multiple ring games and tournaments simultaneously. For some players, this is one of the greatest features of online poker. In the interest of fairness to all players, we ask that if you do play multiple tables, you act promptly when it is your turn in either poker game. PokerStars currently has a limit of 24 ring game tables at once, and you can also play an unlimited number of tournaments.
From the ‘Requests’ menu in the PokerStars lobby, choose ‘Tournament History’. You may select a number of recent tournaments in which you participated, or any specific poker tournament, by event number.
All tournament players are given a ‘Time Bank’ at the beginning of the tournament. If a player needs a longer than normal time to decide on an action, the player can withdraw from the Time Bank, which depletes as the player uses it in the poker game. To use the Time Bank you should click on the ‘TIME’ button which appears after you receive the first time warning in the chat window. Please note that once you expend your Time Bank, it cannot be replenished, either automatically or by PokerStars staff, so please use your Time Bank accordingly.
When a poker tournament needs to be cancelled because of a server crash or some other reason, players will be compensated according to PokerStars' poker tournament cancellation policy.
It depends on the type of event.
- If the target event is ‘ticket based,’ then you can unregister from that event and use the Ticket to play in another, similar event. You can see your tickets by clicking on ‘Requests’ in the main PokerStars lobby, and then ‘Tournament Tickets’. All tickets have an expiry date, and have zero value once the expiry date has passed. All tickets have an expiry date, and have zero value once the expiry date has passed.
Please note that some promotional events only have one target event, so if you qualify and cannot play, you will receive no compensation for missing the event. To be fair to others, we ask that you do not play in qualifying tournaments if you do not believe you will be able to play in the target event.
- If you qualified for a real money poker buy-in event, you can unregister and receive special PokerStars currency, T-Money (Tournament Money), which are credits you can use to buy into other similar PokerStars events. For more information about T-Money, and where they may be used, please see the About Tournaments page.
- If you qualify for a live tournament (like the PCA or EPT), in many cases you must play the tournament you qualify for. Please be sure to read the rules before you attempt to qualify.
Play Money Poker Games:
Absolutely! Install your free PokerStars poker software and start playing poker right away. Our simple and easy poker download will have you playing in just minutes!
You will be given 1,000 play money chips to start. However, if at any time you are below 100 chips, simply click the dealer tray and select ‘Add More Chips...’
This ‘rebuy’ feature is intended to replenish the stack of a player who has legitimately lost their entire stack while playing poker. The new 1,000 chips are for the use of that player only. Re-buys acquired for purposes other than this are subject to forfeiture.
Note that you may only replenish your play money chips up to three times per hour. This rule is intended to encourage more ‘serious’ play. If you use up your three rebuys, you will have to wait for the next hour to get more chips.
The play money poker tables can be identified by the tables beginning with the word 'Fun'. For Hold'em and Omaha, all play money tables are under the 'Play Money' tab. For other games, they are located at the bottom of the tables list, below the real money games. If you do not see any play money tables listed, it's possible that you have blocked them from showing. To check this, simply click on 'Options' > 'Lobby Display Options' in your main client lobby, and ensure that the 'Show Play Money Tables' option is selected.
Buying Play Money chips
Yes you can - providing Play Money purchases are available from your region! If you want to increase your Play Money balance to take part in high-stakes Play Money tournaments or ring games, you can purchase Play Money chips as follows:
Desktop: From the main menu, click on ‘Requests’ > ‘Buy Play Money Chips’ or click on the ‘Buy Play Chips’ button when at the table.
Android (software downloaded from the PokerStars website): From the home screen, click on the ‘More’ menu and select the ‘Account Status’ option. Look for the Play Money Balance section and tap on the ‘Buy Play Money Chips’ button.
Android app from the Google Play store or iOS app from the Apple store: Tap on the ‘Buy Chips’ button at the tables.
You can also purchase play money chips via our Facebook platform.
While Play Money chip purchases are designed to be used only for the player who purchases them, you are allowed to send one Play Money chip transfer per day to a friend as a gift.
Yes. Play Money transfers between players are limited to 1,000 chips. You may send one transfer every 24 hours, and receive ten transfers every 24 hours. In addition to this, if you receive a Play Money chip transfer from another player, you will only be able to send a transfer out again after 12 hours have passed.
We are legally required to keep a strict control of the Play Money economy. Restricting transfers is necessary to ensure chips cannot be exchanged for real money.
Play Money chips are designed for entertainment, as well as to help beginners and intermediate players get familiar with poker rules, tournaments and ring games. As the name implies, Play Money chips have no monetary value, and cannot be cashed out, sold or converted into real money.
Chips can only be purchased through the 'Buy Play Money Chips' option. Selling or buying Play Money chips from other players or sites is prohibited. Please refer to our PokerStars Online Poker Site Terms of Service for more details.
Sorry, no. We have a very strict no-return policy on all Play Money chips purchased.
We are pleased to offer a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, e-wallets and bank transfers. You will be able to see the payment methods available for your country once you have selected your Play Money chip bundle, and have proceeded to the checkout.
For assistance in purchasing Play Money chips from the desktop version or from a mobile application downloaded from our website, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Mobile Apps downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play store please contact your service provider directly.
Due to a change in Russian payments legislation additional information may be required before purchases can be made with these payment methods.
For Yandex.Money: if not already provided, the following information is now required: full name, number and date of issue of internal Russian passport and mobile phone number. Further information can be found on the Yandex.Money web-site.
For Qiwi Wallet: if not already provided, the following information is now required: full name, date of birth, number of internal Russian passport.
Purchases of Play Money chips will appear on your statement (where applicable) as ‘PokerStars PM’. In-App mobile purchases will appear as ‘Mediaplay Ltd’ for Android and as ‘Rational Social Projects Ltd’ for iOS.
To receive your Play Money purchase history, please email email@example.com with the subject line ‘Play Money Purchase History’.
Your purchase has been successful if your payment method has been debited, Play Money chips have been credited to your PokerStars account and you have received confirmation of successful purchase from firstname.lastname@example.org .
Check that you received a confirmation email from email@example.com. If you have received the email, please send proof of payment and transaction information to firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
Real Money Poker:
Of course! You are under no obligation to play for real money, but if you want to, we have a wide variety of games and tournaments available. The first step is to deposit some funds into your PokerStars account.
The methods available for depositing real money into your account vary depending on your location. For information on how to make a deposit, please visit our Playing With Real Money page. Please note that due to legal restrictions, real money play is not allowed from some locations.
Many banks are adopting a policy against playing poker on the internet, considering it too high risk. You may want to contact your bank regarding their policy on the matter.
We have many other secure deposit methods. Please visit our Playing with real money page for additional information. To ask for assistance in depositing, please email our Deposit Assistance Department at email@example.com. Please note that this service may not be available for all countries or languages.
PokerStars will never ask you to send credit card details by email. Customers should never send their credit card number or three-digit card security code via email.
Yes, you can. To transfer real poker money on PokerStars, click on ‘Requests’ and then ‘Transfer Funds’ in the main client window. Transfers are subject to Security department approval, and may be subject to delay. In some cases, other information or confirmation may be required. Players from some locations may not be able to transfer funds or receive transferred funds due to local laws.
PokerStars is proud that, under special banking arrangements, an amount covering the total of all players' account balances is held in segregated accounts, not used for any operational expenses. These segregated accounts are managed by one of Europe's leading financial services groups. These arrangements ensure that PokerStars can at all times fulfil its obligations towards its players, and provides further reassurance that players' funds are always secure with PokerStars.
Why I should play on PokerStars:
PokerStars is proud of everything we've done to make your poker playing experience as safe and enjoyable as possible. That means assembling the best team possible in every department, whether it's poker software and development, customer service, or integrity assurance. This commitment has made us the leading poker site in the world, with the largest selection of ring games and tournaments.
But don't take our word for it. Log on for one of our play money poker games. Join up for one of many freeroll poker tournaments where we give away thousands in poker prize money. And when you’re ready, maybe give our real money games a try. You'll find PokerStars is the place to play poker on the internet!
PokerStars Star Codes:
A Star Code is used as a way for you to opt in for promotions and receive bonuses, tournament tickets, special VIP rewards and more by entering a code in the PokerStars software.
A Star Code is offered to selected players for exclusive promotions. If you are eligible for a Star Code offer from PokerStars we will get in touch via email, SMS or pop-up message, within the PokerStars software.
If you have not 'opted in' to receive marketing messages then you may not receive communications containing a Star Code.
You need to be logged into your PokerStars account.
Desktop users: Click ‘Account’ > ‘Enter Star Code’ and a box will appear, where you can enter your code.
Mobile iOS users (iPhone©, iPad©, iPod touch©): Press the ‘More’ menu at the bottom of the app. Choose ‘Settings & Tools’ > ‘Account’ > ‘Enter Star Code’, and enter the relevant code.
Mobile Android™ users: Access the extended menu on your Android™ device, choose ‘Settings & Tools’ > ‘Account’ > ‘Enter Star Code’, and enter the relevant code.
You will receive a pop-up message within a few minutes, confirming that your Star Code entry has worked.
Some Star Code examples can be used in combination. If you are eligible for multiple offers, you will get different Star Codes, which will be explained in the accompanying communication from us.
Please be patient and do not enter the code again. When the system is particularly busy it may take slightly longer to process your Star Code entry. If more than 30 minutes have passed and you have not received any confirmation, or if you have any other problems using a Star Code, please contact Support (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will be happy to assist.
Note that you can check your Bonus history in the "Cashier -> Summary -> My Bonus Status" window. Your tournament tickets can be viewed in "Requests -> Tournament Tickets"
Normally a Star Code must be used in a specific timeframe. We will inform you about the validity period of a Star Code when we communicate it to you.
Have a question we haven't covered? Our customer service team is standing by, 24 hours a day. Email us at email@example.com.
We are committed to responsible gaming, and are dedicated to an enjoyable and positive gaming experience.
Our support team has assembled a list of questions that players often ask them, along with all the answers.
Poker Games FAQ
Frequently asked questions and answers about playing poker at PokerStars.
PokerStars has special offers running all year round, with cash prizes, seats to the best live events and much more.
How to Play Poker
You'll find the rules of poker, beginner tips and in-depth strategy in the PokerStars How to Play section.