As New Rewards Go Live, PokerStars is Finally Taking the Fight to GGPoker As New Rewards Go Live, PokerStars is Finally Taking the Fight to GGPoker

PokerStars has announced the launch of a new, completely revamped rewards program, addressing some core issues players had with the earlier setup and introducing some exciting new ideas. A more transparent, more straightforward, and, most importantly, more rewarding system signifies a major shift in the operator’s approach to online poker.

That PokerStars Rewards program goes live today across international markets, including the UK, Estonia, Bulgaria, Greece and Spain, and anyone on the “dot-com” or “dot-EU” international sites, which covers Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and much of the rest of the world.

Some regional and segregated markets, including the US and Ontario, are excluded from the program for now.

Last verified: April 2024
Special Signup Offer
100% deposit bonus up to $600!
  • Deposit $20 and get $30 worth of free play
  • One of the best mobile apps
  • Biggest MTT guarantees
Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, visit the National Council of Problem Gambling.

While PokerStars has always been one of the biggest names in this space, it is no secret the room lost some traction over recent years, allowing competitors — GGPoker in particular — to overtake them at the top.

Some of the more experienced players out there still remember the glory days of PokerStars and its old rewards system, which featured two prestigious tiers — Supernova and Supernova Elite. These were reserved for high-volume players and true grinders and served as a major motivator for these players to play on PokerStars.

After the controversial decision to do away with Supernova Elite, the operator has tried many different things, but one common denominator of these different systems was that they were often complicated, lacked transparency, and made it hard for the players to figure out their rewards.

The new PokerStars rewards system is set to change all that and finally take the fight to GGPoker. Offering a clear and transparent system with rakeback rewards going up to 60% and two new tiers for high-volume grinders, the room seems ready to go back to its proverbial roots.

PokerStars Rewards 2024: What You Need to Know

  • New Program Launch: PokerStars introduces today a new rewards program with more transparency and two new tiers for high-volume players for most international players.
  • Revamped System: The new system addresses previous issues with complexity and lack of transparency, offering up to 60% rakeback.
  • Select Tiers: Two new tiers, Select and Select+, are introduced for players who rake $50,000 or $100,000 in a year, offering 50% and 60% rakeback, respectively.
  • Rewards for Lower Tiers: Players not in top tiers can earn a maximum of 40% rakeback, with larger steps between each Chest unlock.
  • Cash Rewards: All rewards are now paid in cash, providing greater flexibility for players.
  • Comparison with GGPoker: GGPoker offers up to 60% rakeback but lacks transparency in earning Fish Points for GGPlatinum status.
  • Community Reactions: Mixed reactions from the community, with high-volume grinders finding it attractive, especially for Zoom and Spin & Go games.
  • Impact on Micro and Low-Stakes Players: Changes make earning rewards harder at lower levels, with larger steps between Chests.
  • Predictability and Transparency: The new system offers complete predictability and a clear path for rewards, improving transparency.

A Fairer System for Everyone

The new PokerStars rewards scheme strives to be fairer across the board. Serious players can now earn Select and Select+ statuses after raking $50,000 or $100,000 during a one-year rolling period. Achieving these tiers guarantees 50% rakeback paid daily, plus Select+ players will be getting 60% rakeback for all their play on Zoom tables and in Spin & Go games.

For those who don’t make it into one of the top two tiers, the maximum rakeback they can get will now be 40%. Earning Chests is also harder at these levels — there’s bigger steps between each unlock. PokerStars has removed Challenges, and all rewards are purely volume-based.

Finally, all rewards are paid in cash, giving players a lot more flexibility and freedom to use the funds earned through rakeback how they see fit.

GGPoker offers up to 60% rakeback for players who reach the highest status, GGPlatinum, and it applies across the board. However, the rate of earning Fish Points required to reach the status isn’t completely transparent, as it depends on factors that go beyond just the rake paid.

GGPoker players can earn up to 100 Fish Buffet points for every $1 paid in rake, and achieving GGPlatinum status requires 5,000,000 points. However, the total number of points is calculated accounting for factors such as game type, deposit history, and behavior of other players at the table.

Additionally, Fish Buffet still includes a certain degree of randomness, which makes planning in the short term more difficult.

Is the New PokerStars Rewards System a Game Changer?

So far, reactions from the community have been a mixed bag. As things stand, though, it does seem like an attractive option for high-volume grinders, especially those focusing on Zoom or grind Spin & Goes.

This is a significant shift in approach, which recognizes the value of those players who spend a lot of time (and money) on the platform, boosting the overall volume of games and tables running at any moment.

One major complaint from the community was the effect these changes would have on micro and low-stakes players. Beyond the free $0.50 Power Path ticket made available to everyone daily, PokerStars is making it harder to earn rewards at the lowest of levels.

Rakeback percentages are better for every tier, but the steps between each Chest are much larger. Chests are much more valuable — players aren’t spending time opening 50 cents or $1.50 chests; rather they work towards $3 or $10.50 Chests. But it means players risk partial completion at the end of the month, and so miss out on that value.

Looking at the numbers and player comments, it seems that new PokerStars rewards will be a better pick for high-volume grinders who can make Select and Select+, as they will get straight-up rakeback paid into their accounts in cash every day.

For recreational players and those grinding lower limits, there’s bigger steps in unlocking chests, which could result in lower rakeback at the end of the month if Chests are not completed. Also, players that completed personal challenges regularly will see a reduction in effective rakeback.

The upside is complete predictability and transparency — no more wondering if weekly challenges will become unachievable. All players also now have a clear path at moving up the rewards ladder for those looking at increasing their volume and loyalty at PokerStars.

No Solution Is Perfect

There is no doubt that the new PokerStars system is more transparent and easier to keep track of, but these aren’t the only concerns players have. It seems clear that high-volume players will be better off now but for those not able to make at least Select, these changes will have mixed effects.

Will we see an exodus of players from GGPoker transferring to PokerStars after January 22? It doesn’t seem likely, as although new PokerStars Rewards are more transparent, they don’t seem as enticing for players who won’t be making Select but who still care about rakeback (i.e., those grinding NL25 — 50 and similar games).

Pure recreational players are probably not overly fussed over rakeback anyways and care more about other promos and the overall experience (waiting times, speed of games, etc.).

As with almost any major change, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus. PokerStars remains adamant that the new system will improve things for a majority of players on the site, but many of the said players don’t seem to share the sentiment.

There doesn’t seem to be a perfect solution to the rakeback problem. Some players have long advocated for a very simple system that just pays back a certain percentage of rake back every day or week, but those days seem long gone.

PokerStars’ latest system is now perhaps the most transparency system online today that will predictably reward high volume players at 50%+ rakeback. Whether that’s enough to increase game liquidity — and thus, attract more casual, recreational players — remains to be seen.