PokerStars Blackjack

Blackjack Software PokerStars

PokerStars has held the top spot in online poker for years. But they've recently launched other verticals too, including a casino.

Opening a casino is part of Amaya Gaming's mission to expand PokerStars' horizons beyond just poker. And so far, the plan is working out because PokerStars Casino is gaining popularity.

This means that more and more people are playing their blackjack variations. But is it worth your time to join these blackjack players?

Let's find out by looking at their blackjack variants, graphics, table layout, betting options, and RTP. We'll also discuss PokerStars in depth and offer a recommendation on whether or not you should play here.

General Aspects of PokerStars Blackjack

Large Game Variety

Before getting started, please note that we're reviewing PokerStars blackjack from the US and can't access their international casino. Instead, we're reviewing PokerStars New Jersey, which allows free play to US residents.

PokerStars Casino NJ features a large selection of blackjack variations, including classic, European, Atlantic City, double deck, Premium Blackjack, Premium Atlantic City, and double deck Atlantic City.

Download Software

What's annoying about PokerStars NJ is that they don't offer an instant play client like most casinos. Instead, you need to download the software and install it, which took over 15 minutes in our case.

You must also create an account, and we found it irritating that they forced us to provide the source where we heard about PokerStars.

Given Stars' prominence in the gaming world, we're surprised that they don't offer players more convenience than this.

One more notable aspect is that you must click the small Play Money button in the upper right-hand corner of the lobby. Otherwise, you'll be opening real money tables and won't be allowed to play.

Graphics

The graphics on PokerStars' blackjack tables are nothing special. The felt is a dark green color that makes it feel like you're playing in a dated casino.

Graphics on the black table trim, chip trays, and cards are average.

Table Layout

The tables feature a basic layout that's void of the frills seen with many other blackjack providers.

Both your chips and betting options are found in the lower right-hand corner. The lower portion of the table features 5 betting circles, allowing you to play multiple hands per turn.

You'll also see a placard at the top of the table that shows the table's minimum and maximum bets.

PokerStars' blackjack tables are designed for usability above all, which will please players who don't care about fancy table decorations.

How to Play

All of PokerStars' blackjack variations have the same playing process. That said, we'll describe the general process here and mention any nuances in individual game sections.

You start by selecting one of the available chip denominations in the lower left-hand corner. Then you choose one or more of the 5 available betting spaces to place your chips.

When satisfied with your wager, you can click Deal to receive your first two cards. If you'd like to take back your bet, choose Clear to start over.

You then receive your cards and will have different options to pick from, depending upon the specific game and rules. These options include: hit, stand, double down, split, and surrender.

At the conclusion of every round, you have three options:

  • Re-Bet & Deal - Make the same wager(s) and deal the cards immediately afterward.
  • Re-Bet - Make the same bet(s), but choose when you want the cards to be dealt.
  • New Bets - You can manually lay out new chips, then click Deal when you're ready.
Betting

Stars allows you to choose the stakes range you want for some of the tables. Here are examples of the stake ranges:

  • Atlantic City blackjack - $1 to $1.00; and $25 to $2,500
  • European blackjack - $1 to $1.00; and $25 to $2,500
  • Double Deck Atlantic City - $10 to $200; $50 to $1,000; and $100 to $2,500

Classic blackjack allows you to play for as little as $0.10 per hand, which are the cheapest stakes you'll find anywhere.

Music & Sound Effects

PokerStars' blackjack tables doesn't feature any music, but they do have a female voice that announces the action. This is helpful when you're playing on a smartphone and can't always see the card totals.

Multi-Player Versions

Note that some PokerStars blackjack games allow you to choose between single-player and multi-player versions.

When you hover over certain games in the lobby, they'll feature single-head and multiple-head icons. Choose the latter if you want to play with other people.

Return to Player RTP

Here are the RTPs for each Pokers blackjack game in descending order:

  • Double Deck Blackjack = 99.77%
  • Double Deck Atlantic City Blackjack = 99.77%
  • Premium Atlantic City Blackjack = 99.69%
  • Premium Blackjack = 99.67%
  • European Blackjack = 99.65%
  • Atlantic City Blackjack = 99.55%
  • Classic Blackjack = 99.39%

Most of the blackjack games at PokerStars rate from good to excellent in terms of RTP. Few providers offer 99.77% RTP or higher for their games, meaning Stars offers you a great chance to win.

The only catch with double deck Atlantic city, though, is that you must bet $10 to play.

PokerStars Blackjack Games

Classic Blackjack
Rules

Although called classic blackjack, this game plays more like European blackjack because the dealer doesn't receive a hole card. Other than this, it's a standard game with a couple more house-friendly rules.

  • Natural blackjack (21 on first two cards) pays 3:2.
  • Dealer hits on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 8 decks.
  • Dealer doesn't receive a hole card (no peeking for blackjack).
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • You can split up to three times.
  • No re-splitting aces.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for classic blackjack is 99.39%, or a house edge of 0.61%. This is PokerStars' worst-paying game, and it's below-average payback for the industry.

Some of the rules that drag down the house edge include: 8 decks; dealer hitting a soft 17; dealer not receiving a hole card; and no re-splitting aces.

Obviously this isn't as good as PokerStars' other games in terms of house edge. But the 10-cent minimum bets still make this variant perfect for low rollers.

How to Play

Refer to the general aspects section for the basics of playing classic blackjack.

One additional note is that this version allows you to select whether you want to play single or multi-player blackjack.

The multi-player table gives you a seat alongside other players, whom you can chat with. Keep in mind that these tables feature a timer to ensure that nobody holds up the action.

Strategy

We can't find any specific strategy charts for PokerStars blackjack. This being the case, our guides are based on common online strategy and PokerStars' rule nuances:

  • Your total is 5 to 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: hit when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 3 to 6.
  • Your total is 10 to 11: double down when the dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 12: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Stand when their card is 4 to 6.
  • Your total is 13 to 16: stand when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A3: double down when dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A4 to A5: double down when dealer's up card is 4 to 6. Hit when their card 2 to 3 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A6: double down when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A7: stand when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to 8. Stand when their card 9 to A.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's or 3's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: split when dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card 2 to 4 is 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 6 and 8 to 9. Stand when their card is 7 and 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 10's: always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 10. Hit when their card is A.
European Blackjack

The classic and European blackjack games are similar because the dealer doesn't receive a hole card.

But PokerStars' European blackjack differs in that you can surrender hands, and there are 6 decks (instead of 8). These rules give European blackjack a better RTP than the classic version.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer hits a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 6 decks.
  • Dealer doesn't receive a hole card.
  • Surrender is allowed.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • Re-split up to two times.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for European blackjack is 99.65%, which ranks in the lower half of PokerStars' blackjack games.

As mentioned earlier, this European blackjack game is aided by the fact that you can surrender. The lower number of decks also help your cause when compared to classic blackjack.

How to Play

This plays like the previously discussed games, except that you have the option to surrender.

After your first two cards are dealt, you'll see surrender pop up among your other hand options. If you choose to surrender, you give up half your bet and a new hand begins.

Strategy

The notable difference between PokerStars' European and classic variations is that you can surrender in the European game. For this reason, the European blackjack strategy guide has some notable differences:

  • Your total is 5 to 7: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 10. Surrender when their card is A.
  • Your total is 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: double down when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to A.
  • Your total is 10 to 11: double down when the dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 12: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to 10. Stand when their card is 4 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to 10. Surrender when their card is A.
  • Your total is 13 to 15: stand when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to 9. Surrender when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 16: stand when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to 8. Surrender when their card is 9+.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A3: double down when dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A4 to A5: double down when dealer's up card is 4 to 6. Hit when their card 2 to 3 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A6: double down when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A7: stand when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to 8. Stand when their card 9 to A.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's or 3's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: split when dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to 10. Surrender when their card is A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to 9. Surrender when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Surrender when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 6 and 8 to 9. Stand when their card is 7 and 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 10's: always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 10. Hit when their card is A.
Double Deck Blackjack

As the name implies, this game only features two decks. But like classic blackjack, this variant differs from many double deck games in that the dealer doesn't get a hole card.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 2 decks.
  • Dealer doesn't receive a hole card.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • No re-splitting.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for double deck blackjack is 99.77%, or a 0.23% house edge. This is among the highest RTP in the gaming industry.

While some of the rules are restrictive, double deck also includes player-friendly rules. These include 3:2 blackjack payouts; dealer standing on a soft 17; and doubling down on any two cards.

How to Play

Refer to the general aspects section for a general guide.

Strategy

This game plays like European double deck blackjack, which is reflected in the following strategy chart:

  • Your total is 5 to 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: double down when their card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • Your total is 10 to 11: double down when the dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 12: stand when dealer's up card is 4 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A.
  • Your total is 13 to 16: stand when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A3: double down when dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A4 to A5: double down when dealer's up card is 4 to 6. Hit when their card 2 to 3 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A6: double down when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to A.
  • Your cards are A7: stand when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to 8. Stand when their card 9 to A.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's or 3's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: split when dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 8. Hit when their card is 9 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 6 and 8 to 9. Stand when their card is 7 and 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 10's: always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 10. Hit when their card is A.
Premium Blackjack

This game plays similar to PokerStars' double deck game since Premium Blackjack doesn't see the dealer take a hole card.

But the small differences include 4 decks (instead of 2), and the ability to re-split hands twice. You can also choose the multi-player option, like with the classic blackjack variation.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 4 decks.
  • Dealer doesn't receive a hole card.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • You can re-split twice.
  • Aces can be re-split once.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for Premium Blackjack is 99.67%, or a house edge of 0.33%. While this is only average RTP for PokerStars, it's better than most blackjack games in the industry.

How to Play & Multi-Player Tables

Refer to the general aspects section for how to play. Refer to classic blackjack for info on multi-player tables.

Strategy

Refer to the double deck blackjack strategy chart, which will get you close to the 99.67% RTP. The only rule differences between these games include Premium Blackjack having 2 more decks, and lighter restrictions on re-splitting hands.

Premium Atlantic City Blackjack

The main difference between Premium Blackjack and Premium Atlantic City Blackjack is that the latter sees the dealer get a hole card. This means that it plays like a standard 4-deck blackjack game.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 4 decks.
  • Dealer receives a hole card and checks for blackjack.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • No re-splitting.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for Premium Atlantic City Blackjack is 99.69%, or a 0.31% house edge. This ranks in the middle of PokerStars' blackjack games.

The one downside to this solid RTP is the $10 minimum bet.

Considering that this isn't even a multi-player game, we don't know why you'd want to risk the same amount as many land-based casinos to play online blackjack.

How to Play

Refer to the general aspects section.

Strategy

Below is strategy for a 4-deck blackjack game, where the dealer stands on a soft 17 and there are no double-down restrictions:

  • Your total is 5 to 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: double down when dealer's up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 and 7 to A.
  • Your total is 10: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 11: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 10. Hit when their card is A.
  • Your total is 12: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Stand when dealer's card is 4 to 6.
  • Your total is 13 to 16: hit when dealer's up card is 7 to A. Stand when their card is 2 to 6.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A3: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 5 to 6.
  • Your cards are A4 to A5: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 4 to 6.
  • Your cards are A6: hit when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 3 to 6.
  • Your cards are A7: stand when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to 8. Double down when their card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 9 to A.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's or 3's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: split when the dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: always split.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6; 8 to 9; and A. Stand when their card is 7 and 10.
  • You have a pair of 10's: always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: always split.
Atlantic City Blackjack

This plays like a standard blackjack game, aside from the fact that you can take even-money insurance when you're dealt a blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 8 decks.
  • Even-money insurance: you can take insurance (1:1) payout if you're dealt a blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace. You automatically receive the 1:1 payout, but lose the chance at a 3:2 payout if the dealer doesn't have blackjack.
  • Dealer receives a hole card and checks for blackjack (after even-money insurance is offered).
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • No re-splitting.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for double deck Atlantic City blackjack is 99.55%, or a 0.45% house edge. This ranks in the bottom half of PokerStars variance, but it's above average in the industry.

As for the even-money insurance bet, you should avoid this because it's a sucker bet that raises the house edge.

How to Play

The main difference between Atlantic City blackjack and PokerStars' other variations is that you can place the even-money side wager. But as explained above, you should always decline this option.

Strategy

Refer to the Premium Atlantic City blackjack strategy guide because 4-deck and 8-deck games are the same strategy-wise. Furthermore, these games are the same in terms of their other rules.

Double Deck Atlantic City Blackjack

Double deck Atlantic City has an outstanding RTP, but it also features a $10 minimum bet, which

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 2 decks.
  • Dealer receives a hole card and checks for blackjack.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • No re-splitting.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for double deck Atlantic City blackjack is 99.7%, or a house edge of 0.23%. This is tied with double deck blackjack for the best-paying variation from PokerStars.

Again, the $10 minimum bet serves as a detractor for playing this game. But if you don't mind high stakes, then you'll definitely appreciate double deck Atlantic City's high RTP.

How to Play

Refer to the general aspects section.

Strategy

Below you can see basic strategy for a double deck blackjack game:

  • Your total is 5 to 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • Your total is 10: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 11: always double down.
  • Your total is 12: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Stand when dealer's card is 4 to 6.
  • Your total is 13 to 16: hit when dealer's up card is 7 to A. Stand when their card is 2 to 6.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A3: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 5 to 6.
  • Your cards are A4 to A5: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 4 to 6.
  • Your cards are A6: hit when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 3 to 6.
  • Your cards are A7: stand when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to 8. Double down when their card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 9 to A.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's or 3's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: split when the dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 8. Hit when their card is 9 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: always split.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6; 8 to 9; and A. Stand when their card is 7 and 10.
  • You have a pair of 10's: always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: always split.

PokerStars History & Reputability

Online Poker History

You can't bring up PokerStars without also discussing their domination of the online poker market.

PokerStars was launched in 2001 and was at the forefront of the poker boom, which happened in the mid-2000s. During this period, Stars established themselves as the world's premier online poker site.

The good times were interrupted on April 15, 2011, when the U.S. Department of Justice indicted PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg and other poker site owners for bank fraud and money laundering.

At the time, all major poker sites were circumventing U.S. banking laws to process player deposits. But Stars was the only site that emerged from the mess, while Full Tilt Poker, UB Poker & Absolute Poker (both on Cereus network) went bankrupt.

PokerStars worked out a deal with the US DoJ, whereby they agreed to purchase Full Tilt and pay fines, all totaling $731 million. Buying Full Tilt was key because this site couldn't honor an estimated $400 million in player deposits after Black Friday.

Thanks to their deal with the DoJ, PokerStars avoided admitting any wrongdoing in the bank fraud & money laundering case. This also protected their reputation and allowed them to pursue US licensing.

In September 2016, PokerStars received licensing from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, marking their return to the American market.

Amaya Gaming History

In June 2014, Amaya Gaming purchased PokerStars for an unprecedented $4.9 billion. This was a shock to industry insiders because, until buying Stars, Amaya was a small software provider from Canada.

But then-CEO David Baazov convinced Wall Street bankers to invest in his vision and buy the world's largest poker site.

The move didn't seem logical to outsiders because online poker has been in decline since Black Friday. But as Baazov stressed back then, this investment was about PokerStars' massive customer base (60+ million), rather than trying to turn around internet poker.

Baazov stepped down from his role and exited the company in August 2016, amid insider trading allegations.

While he's no longer the CEO, the company has continued pursuing his vision, launching both an online casino and sportsbook (BetStars) in 2015. They've since transitioned into an all-around gaming destination, rather than solely focusing on poker.

Licensing

PokerStars' parent company, the Rational Group (Amaya), holds a large number of licenses across the world. Here's the full list of the countries/territories where they're licensed (in order of market entry):

  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • France
  • Estonia
  • Belgium
  • Malta
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Bulgaria
  • Greece
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Romania
  • New Jersey
  • Portugal
  • Czech Republic

As you can see, PokerStars has come a long way from

Testing Certification

Given that many of the licensing jurisdictions that PokerStars is involved in require software testing, their games have all been checked to ensure randomness and fair gaming.

Other PokerStars Games

Online Poker

PokerStars has been the world's largest poker site for years, and they offer the largest online tournaments and cash games.

According to PokerScout, their hourly cash game traffic is 13,500 players. This easily trumps the second-closest operator, Manila's IDNPlay, which has a 3,500-player average.

Some of PokerStars' featured events include the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) series, Sunday $1 million guaranteed, Micro Millions, and Spin & Go's.

Stars also offers a large number of satellites that allow players to win seats to both online and live tournaments for cheap.

Casino Games

PokerStars covers all of the major categories in their casino, including slots, table games, and video poker. Blackjack offers the best variety among the table games, but there are also several roulette games too.

BetStars & StarsDraft

Two more major categories that Stars covers include sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Unlike the casino, these verticals have been slow to take off. But we could easily see them getting big based on PokerStars' success up until this point.

Conclusion

While PokerStars is known as a poker destination first, they're gaining steam in the casino department.

We can see why too based on their blackjack, which offers you seven variations across a variety of stakes. We also love how you can choose a multi-player option on some of the tables.

Another likeable aspect of PokerStars blackjack is the RTP, which, outside of classic blackjack is 99.55% or above. Even classic blackjack has its merits because you can play for as little as 10 cents a hand.

What we don't like about PokerStars blackjack includes the high minimum bets with some games ($10), and how certain variations run together. The latter is especially true for the European-style games, which have slight rule differences.

Another drawback is that you have to download the software, which took us over 15 minutes.

Nevertheless, we still recommend PokerStars for the high RTP, ultra-low stakes in their classic game, and the fact that you can also enjoy poker and sports betting here.

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