Will PokerStars US Roll Out the New PokerStars Rewards Program? Will PokerStars US Roll Out the New PokerStars Rewards Program?

PokerStars recently updated its rewards system across the globe: It removed all random elements from Rewards Chests and now guarantees fixed cashback every month.

It brought big benefits to the highest volume players, with monthly rakeback up to 65% for the biggest grinders. It was naturally received warmly by many players. However, while the new system was deployed globally on October 1, one area of the world that left out of the update: the United States.

All PokerStars USA clients — that is, PokerStars NJ, PokerStars PA and PokerStars MI — still run the old rewards system. The question of when the new PokerStars Rewards program might roll out has come to the fore.

However, there is good reason to believe that the new PokerStars Rewards program will come to the three US jurisdictions as well in the near future.

New PokerStars Rewards Program: What US Players Might Expect

  • What will be the same: Tiers and Chests
    • The same Six VIP tiers of Blue through Black
    • Play still be rewarded across all products: PokerStars, Stars Casino and Fox Bet should all earn points on the same system.
    • Players earn points to unlock Chests containing cash prizes
    • Points earn rate at poker still fixed at 100 points per $1 paid in rake
  • What will likely change: Fixed rewards, likely from 15% to 25% rakeback a month
    • No personalization: Fixed target to earn each Chest and progress through tiers
    • No randomization: Value of chest the same every time
    • Rewards thus fixed to a specific rakeback amount based on volume played.
  • There could be extra Monthly Poker Challenges (MPC)
    • In the global market, these are given to everyone in the Silver tier and higher
    • Players get an MPC with a custom target
    • For most people, this can amount to up to 40% additional cashback
    • A small percentage of top players only receive challenges that give 10%
    • This system could be tweaked for the US markets.

Branding Changes Hint New Stars Rewards Could Come to the US Soon

While there is no official word from the operator on when — or indeed if — it plans to implement the new system for US customers, it seems likely this is the plan: There have been tantalizing hints that it is in the works, including a change to the US branding for the rewards system.

When asked directly, PokerStars would not comment officially on its plans, so any rollout is up in the air. However, it could be simply regulatory issues that are causing delays to its adoption.

Perhaps the biggest clue to the future plans comes from a change in the branding for the Rewards portion of the website for PokerStars PA: The banner for the Rewards page on the US online poker rooms was recently updated. This shows the new logo used on the global rewards system, despite the system itself still operating with the old rules.

That points to plans to implement the new system for PA clients sometime in the near future, but so far PokerStars brass has not been willing to comment publicly on its future plans for rewards in the US.

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What Can PokerStars US Customers Can Expect: The End of Randomization and Personalization

US players can get a good idea of what to expect from the way the global system is working. There are no assurances that the same system will be put into place in the US market, but it is likely to be very similar: PokerStars has tried to standardize the rewards systems across its various jurisdictions, with more than a dozen markets in Europe and the rest of the world adopting the new system.

What can players expect? By far the biggest difference with the new system is that rewards are consistent and easier to predict.

The current system across the US markets is based on randomized contents for the Rewards Chests, plus personalizing how many points are needed to unlock each chest. This means players are never sure what to expect with in a new Chest.

This is all gone under the new program.

The New PokerStars Rewards: Fixed, Predictable—and Very Rewarding

The new system has a far clearer structure, giving players a much more transparent look at what to expect from the rewards system as they play and pay rake.

The randomization is removed completely from the new system, meaning the value of rewards players can expect under the new system will be directly related to how much and how big they play. It is more predictable, and considered by many much fairer.

It is also much more generous for most players. We don’t know just how much rakeback players get under the current (old) system, but many high-volume players report single-digit returns on their rake paid.

The new system upends that. In fact, it tops out at 65% rakeback with the Monthly Poker Challenges. It comes very close to the storied old system when players who made Supernova Elite VIP status could get a maximum of 70% back on their rake.

Even without the MPC, players can predictably get 15% to 25% rakeback depending on their tier, which is a lot more generous than many get today.

PokerStars: New Chest Values on the Dot-com Market

Chest Level Chest Value Reward Value Monthly Poker Challenges Cashback Up to % Total Rewards When Combined % Reward Points Required Rake Required Number of Chests to Move Up
Blue $0.50 15.00% - 15% 333 $3.33 5
Bronze $1.50 16.00% - 16% 935 $9.35 5
Silver $5 17.5% 40% 57.50% 2850 $28.50 7
Gold $20 18.50% 40% 58.50% 10,800 $108.00 7
Diamond $75 20.0% 40% 60.0% 37,500 $375 10
Black $250 25.0% 40% 65.0% 100,000 $1,000 N/A

It seems reasonable to look to regulatory issues to explain the delay in the deployment of the new rewards system to the US ecosystem. The newer regulated market in the US is based on regulations unique to each state, so deployment may be slower in such a distributed regulatory environment.

PokerStars itself has not officially committed to a rollout schedule in the USA, but a change to the system in the US seems very likely given its efforts in all other markets. With the new branding on the PokerStars PA Rewards page, and a successful global rollout, the only real stumbling block to a US rollout would logically be regulatory issues.