PokerStars USA, one of the leading licensed online poker operators in regulated US markets, has improved the odds of players getting the average value every time they open one of operators’ trademark rewards Chests.
In practice, this means that a player opening a chest on any level will have a much higher chance of receiving at least the average value for that particular rewards’ level. According to the operator, odds have been bumped from 20% to 58%, which is quite a significant increase.
For blue chests, the average value has also increased, from 50 cents to 60 cents. While that looks small, it does mean a 20% bump to rewards for those on that intro level. For the other levels, their average worth is the same, but there are more payouts clumped around the middle values.
What Does the New Chests Setup Look Like?
To implement the change, the operator has implemented some minor changes across all levels, bumping up the some of the lowest and highest values across all six levels. The below table shows how the new program compares to the old one.
|Reward level||Old values||New values|
|Level 1: Blue Chest||$0.25 – $5.00||$0.36 – $6.00|
|Level 2: Bronze Chest||$0.60 – $12||$0.72 – $12|
|Level 3: Silver Chest||$1.50 – $30||$1.80 – $30|
|Level 4: Gold Chest||$5 – $100||$6- $100|
|Level 5: Diamond Chest||$12.50 – $250||$15 – $250|
|Level 6: Black Chest||$35 – $700||$42 – $700|
Most changes have been implemented on the lower side of the spectrum, increasing the smallest reward a player can expect to find in the respective chest. While the bump does not seem that big, it means the lowest prize is larger and more people will experience a chest value closer to the average.
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For this to work out, PokerStars had to also switch around frequencies for particular chest values in every range. For example, in the old system, players would get the biggest chest at any level 10 times out of 1000. With the new setup, the largest chest appears only once in 1000.
All other frequencies have been scaled down accordingly as well, except for the third-level prize, which now appears 530 times out of 1000. Before, this number was just 100 in 1000.
The average value that players will now see for individual levels is as follows:
- Blue: 60 cents (an increase from 50 cents before)
- Bronze: $1.20
- Silver: $3
- Gold: $10
- Diamond: $25
- Black: $70
It is important to note, with the exception on the Blue chests, the average value of chests has remained unchanged, so players are not getting a raw deal of any sort. In the long run, everyone’s expected value from the rewards will remain the same.
Aiming to Improve the Players’ Experience
According to PokerStars, the main reason for this change—which was implemented back in March without too much noise—is to increase the overall players’ satisfaction levels and boost the playing experience on the site.
In the old scheme, there was a higher chance of getting lucky and unlocking a big chest. However, that also meant that players would often end up with a very low value. Since the chest distribution is determined randomly, variance plays a big role in the process, so someone could easily open a few bad chests in a row.
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With the new system, players will receive the average value of the chest more than half of the time, providing them with a tangible reward for their level of play. So, it should be a net positive, especially for those who do not play a huge volume and do not get to open as many chests as professional players and dedicated grinders.
The possibility of stumbling upon a chest hiding a large reward is still there, of course, just with reduced odds. All in all, there should be no reason anyone to complain about the new prize distribution, and it definitely seems fairer for casual players.
PokerStars Rewards System in a Nutshell
PokerStars has had the same rewards’ program in place across the US market for a while now. Players earn reward points while playing on any of the available products (casino, poker, and sportsbook), filling the progress bar.
Every time the bar is filled, players get to open a new chest. After opening 10 chests, players move to the next level, where bigger prizes await.
Rewards are tailored to players’ general preferences. Poker players, for example, will find tournament tickets, cash bonuses, and more inside their chests, but prizes will be different for those who prefer casino gaming or sports betting.