Play poker online with our award-winning software
Alongside our commitment to excellent customer service and game integrity, our industry-leading software has made us the world’s largest and most popular online poker room.
Simple. Intuitive. Plenty of personalization and customization options. Our desktop and mobile clients offer an easy way to find any kind of poker you may want to play. We have more games running, more players, more tournaments and more fun varieties of poker than any other site in the world. And there’s always a seat open.
Read on to take a look at our poker software in detail, or download it now to get started straight away.
Once you’ve downloaded the desktop client and/or mobile app, you’ll need to create a Stars Account. This includes the screen name that will be displayed when you play, so choose carefully. You’ll be prompted to create your account the first time you launch the software, so simply follow the on-screen instructions to set up your account.
You don’t need to deposit any money to create an account, and will be able to play a huge range of free-to-play poker games using Play Money Chips. If you’re ready to play for real money, don’t forget to check out our great first deposit offers.
The Poker Table
You can personalize your playing experience in any number of ways (see the ‘Features’ menu below for more), but all poker table layouts contain the same features. In addition to a virtual table where cards are dealt and chips placed, buttons and sliders allow you to easily select the actions you wish to take (e.g. ‘check’, ‘call’, ‘fold’) or how much you wish to raise.
Click the ‘All Games’ tab to explore the Lobby and find the exact game you want to play, any time of day or night. Tools, Settings and more can be found along the right-hand side, while the tabs along the top help you find the type of poker game you want to play.
This gives you easy access to our most popular games without having to spend time choosing which table to play at. Simply click the Quick Seat tab and select the style of poker you want to play. Pick your buy-in and then you’ll go directly to a table with an available seat.
Play for free
You can download the game software and start playing Texas Hold’em and other games for free right now. We have more free-to-play tables than any other site, so you can try out everything we have to offer for free. To start playing now, download the game software and select the ‘Play Money’ option.
Funding Your Account
Visit the Cashier in either the desktop software or the mobile app to deposit or withdraw funds from your Stars Account. You can also buy Play Money Chips, manage currencies, view your transaction history and more from within the Cashier.
Click here to learn the rules of poker, as well as the hierarchy of poker hands that applies to most forms of poker. You’ll also find tips to improve your strategy and details of our free Poker School, giving you an even bigger edge on the competition.
Cash games, also known as ring games, are available in many different poker variations, from Texas Hold ’em to Omaha, Stud, Draw and many more. Join any time. Play as long as you like. Leave at any point. Different tables have different minimum/maximum buy-in amounts, depending on the size of the blinds.
This fast-paced format – available in ring games and tournaments – is the quickest online poker experience anywhere online. When you play Zoom poker, you’ll join a pool of players, each switching between tables after every hand. Don’t like your cards? Just click ‘Fast Fold’ and you’ll be dealt another straight away, at a different table with different players.
Unlike Cash Games, in a tournament each player buys in for a set amount of money and plays until they are eliminated from the tournament. The players who last the longest end up with the biggest prizes, with the winner usually scooping the biggest prize of all.
Other Tournament Types
We offer a huge range of different tournament types.
Sit & Go’s begin as soon as the required number of players have registered, whether that’s 6, 9, 18, 100 or more, rather than at a scheduled time.
Spin & Go’s are fast, winner-take-all, three-player Sit & Go’s. With a randomized prize pool, you can win anything from 2-10,000 times your buy-in.
KO Poker tournaments have a regular prize pool as well as a bounty on each player’s head, which can only be won by knocking them out.
Explore our client to find even more fun ways to play. Whatever you’re in the mood for, our huge player base and wide choice of tournament types means you won’t be waiting long for a great tournament to start.
Who’s the best poker player among your friends and family? Set up your own private poker club with Home Games and find out. Free-to-use and available for both play chips and real money, Home Games lets you create your own tournament schedules, set up cash games, and challenge those closest to you on customizable Leader Boards.
Playing on multiple tables is easy with our software (explore ‘Options, Features and Customization’ below for tips on multi-tabling screen layouts). However, players who do so are expected to limit the amount of tables they play to a number at which they can reliably act in a reasonable period of time. While some poker decisions take longer than others, as a matter of courtesy it is inappropriate to frequently keep others waiting due to attention being focused elsewhere.
Players who take significantly longer on average to act may receive a request to speed up their play. If slow play continues, they may be limited to playing fewer tables concurrently. Table limits may be increased again by acting sufficiently faster over a month-long period.
Conversely, players who frequently play the maximum allowed tables and act significantly faster than average may be allowed to play more tables concurrently.
All reductions and increases in these table limits are enacted based on statistics that calculate a player’s average time to act over a month-long period. Table limits are not increased due to player requests.
Easily manage all your tables at once with our Session Options. You will see a small icon on each of your tables that gives you easy access to the ‘Session Options’ menu. From there you can make decisions that impact all open tables at once. For example, you can sit out, sit out the next big blind, resume play, or even to end your session gracefully by sitting out the next big blind on all tables, then closing them.
This feature aims to decrease table breaking and discourage players from moving too many times, allowing players to focus on playing poker rather than on continuously finding new tables and opponents.
Most players will never be directly affected by buy-in obligations. These are aimed at a small percentage of ring game and Zoom players who frequently a) buy in for less than the maximum, b) play some hands, c) leave the table with a larger stack than they brought to the table, and d) sit down at a similar table with a smaller stack than they had when they left their previous table.
Players who repeat this behavior more than eight times in a 20-hour period (four times in Zoom games) will be required to buy in for a higher minimum – generally the stack they had when they left their previous table. When your minimum buy-in is modified by an obligation for a Zoom pool, you will only be allowed to buy in to one entry at a time, but you will be able to buy-in as many times as you normally would.
This is no way restricts players from buying in for the minimum buy-in on as many tables as they wish when they have no active obligations. The obligations will also never require you to buy in for more than the default maximum buy-in for the table you are joining.
Options, Features and Customization
Use filters in our software to instantly find exactly what you’re looking for. Cash Games. Zoom. Tournaments. All these can be filtered by game type or buy-in/stakes, while tournaments may also be filtered by game speed or variant (such as rebuy, satellite, etc). You can search all tournaments by typing keywords into a search box. You can also ‘Hide Full Tables’ to only view games with seats open, or preface a keyword with a minus (-) sign to hide them from search results. For example, to hide Turbo events, simply type ‘-Turbo’.
Filters can be saved in our desktop software, so your preferences will be remembered next time you log-in.
Customize Your Layout
Create your perfect online poker environment with our customizable layouts. In the desktop client, visit the ‘Settings’ menu to choose between filter/tab controls, adjust the font and font size of text in the client, and even set your own color-coding for tournament types.
The ‘Settings’ menus in the desktop software also allow for fine tuning of your gaming experience. Tweak everything from the overall table theme (there are 17 from which to choose) to backgrounds, card backs, animations, seat preferences, hotkeys and bet slider options. Right-click on the table itself to change the felt color. You can change your settings whenever you like, so feel free to experiment and find your ideal set-up. You can also choose a player avatar within the ‘Settings’ menus. Pick an image from the image gallery, or upload your own through the ‘Custom Image’ option.
To re-size a table window in the desktop client, simply click-and-drag the edge of the window as you would any other window on your screen. The maximum size of the table window is 1.6 times the default size for that theme, while the smallest size is dictated by the limitations of graphics to keep information such as player names, chips, etc, readable on-screen.
When playing on multiple tables you may choose how your tables are arranged, as follows:
Tile Tables: tiles all open tables at the maximum possible size without any overlap (unless there are more tables open than your monitor can support without overlap).
Cascade Tables: cascades all open tables at an offset equivalent to the Windows title bar (usually 32 pixels).
Stack Tables: stacks all open tables on top of one another, with no overlap.
Go to ‘Settings’ in the desktop software to customize and save your table display settings.
Create your own shortcuts and make multi-tabling an easier experience with Hotkeys. You can configure your mouse or keyboard to make split-second decisions, such as fold, check and raise, via the ‘Settings’ menus in the desktop lobby. You can even change the borders of each table to highlight which one you need to act on next.
You may track your statistics in scheduled tournaments, cash games and Sit & Go’s. Use the ‘Stats’ tab in the table’s chat box to see real-time statistics for that table, including the number of times you’ve been dealt in, how many times you’ve played your hand in various positions, and the number of pots won with or without a showdown.
Detailed cash game statistics can be requested to be sent to your email address.
Tournament statistics (where available) are maintained separately from cash game statistics. During tournament play you may also track your progress via the dynamic Chip Graph in the Tournament Lobby of the desktop software. Stats for up to the last 2,000 hands may also be requested via the ‘Tools’ menu in the desktop software.
Please note, we do not archive play money or freeroll poker tournament hand histories, and statistics for these games are unavailable.
Keep track of other players’ tendencies and playing styles when playing on the desktop client by choosing the ‘Notes’ tab in the table’s chat box. Double-click on a player’s avatar to bring up a text field where you may make notes.
You can also select a player by clicking on the arrow at the top right of the chat box. This will drop down a list of all the players at the table.
The next time you are at a table with the same player, all you need to do is select the ‘Notes’ tab, double-click on the player, and all your previous observations will be shown right in the dialog box. These notes are stored only on your computer, so no one else will have access to them, and will be available to you every time you play this opponent.
Hand Replayer and Instant Hand History
The ‘Hand Replayer’ allows you to instantly watch past hands by clicking on the replay icon next to the hand ID number at any poker table. You can also view your hand histories from the current session in text form in the ‘Instant Hand History’ dialog, which you can open by clicking the hand ID number on the table, or by pressing Ctrl-I.
You can also share your baddest beats, biggest wins and most memorable hands instantly with BOOM! hand replayer. Upload any hand and share it online with just a click.
Auto Buy-in for Ring Games
Auto Buy-In allows you to instantly buy in after sitting at a ring game table. 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 options can be explored in the ‘Settings’ menu of the desktop client.
You can choose the number of ‘big bets’ you want to buy-in for 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. To manually choose your buy-in amount, simply right-click ‘Seat Open’ and the traditional buy-in dialog will appear.
Run It Twice
Running it twice is an option that can only occur in cash game pots where no more betting is possible. Players may choose to deal all remaining community cards over two separate boards; the total pot is split between the winners of each board, awarding the two halves of the pot separately according to each board’s result.
If all remaining players in the pot have activated this option, the two boards will be run automatically when the betting is complete before the river. To opt-in to Run It Twice, go to the ‘Settings’ > ‘Gameplay’ menu in the desktop lobby.
All-in Cash Out
This feature gives eligible cash game players the choice to reduce their risk and secure the value of their hand in an all-in situation, without playing the hand to its conclusion.
In an all-in situation with no more action pending, eligible players will be presented with an option to ‘cash out’ their hand and receive a risk-free amount*, or to resume the hand as normal.
When a player cashes out, the offered amount is added to their stack instantly, and they are no longer eligible to win the pot, or any side pots.
Players may choose not to cash out and to resume the hand as normal, with any remaining cards dealt to determine the winner in the usual way. In this case, they contend for the pot regardless of whether any of their opponents decided to cash out their hand.
To opt-out from All-in Cash Outs entirely, visit the ‘Settings’ menu.
All-in Cash Out is available in all No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit 6+ Hold’em (where available) cash games. It will be offered to eligible players in all-in situations who have a winning probability of over 0% and under 100%.
* Your cash out amount is calculated according to the probability of your cards winning the pot. When offering the cash out amount, a 1% fee is applied to the offered amount (not the entire pot). When that 1% equals less than $0.01, no fee will be applied.
Certain cash game and Zoom tables may be designated as Stealth Tables. Such tables will be clearly marked in the lobby with the Stealth Tables symbol.
All players at Stealth Tables are identified only by unique, system-generated aliases and generic avatars, including you (your Stars ID and avatar will be visible only to yourself). A new alias will be generated for each table or Zoom pool you join, which will persist for four hours after leaving the table; if you re-join a table within that four-hour period, you will display the same alias you had when you left.
Actual Stars IDs will be available to view in downloadable hand histories 24 hours after a Stealth Table hand has ended.
Find out how the different hands compare in Texas Hold'em, Omaha and other games.
View Poker Hand Rankings
The poker dictionary is your reference for poker jargon and the language of poker.
Check The Dictionary
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