PokerStars Ontario Online Poker Review

By Joss Wood
Fact Checked by Peter Mooney
 
The Home of Online Poker
New Customers Only. Please Gamble Responsibly. Full T&Cs apply.

Ontario became a completely regulated market for online gaming in 2022 and now features one of the biggest names in poker – PokerStars. Just as on the international Stars platform, the company offers a great software experience and plenty of action.

This PokerStars Ontario review explains all you need to know, how to create an account, what poker options are available, and how it compares to other rooms online.

PokerStars Ontario At a Glance

βœ… Where to Sign UpClick Here
πŸ“± Device Compatibility Computer software client, Mac iOS devices, Android devices
🎲 Available GamesTexas Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, 2-7 Triple Draw, 2-7 Single Draw, Razz, HORSE, Eight-Game Mix
πŸ’³ Minimum DepositC$10
πŸ•‘ Payout SpeedMost payouts within 24 hours
πŸ“… PokerStars Ontario Launch DateSeptember 30, 2022
πŸ“… Licensed ByPokerStars Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario
βœ… Last UpdatedApr 2024

 

How to Open a PokerStars Ontario Account

Getting started with an account on PokerStars in ON is a simple process and here is everything you need to know to get the cards in the air. However, it's important to note that you must actually be located within the province to actually play on the platform. To set up an account, follow these steps to get started:

  • Step 1 β€“ When signing up, first head to the PokerStars Ontario home page using the links on this page and lick on the "Join" icon.
  • Step 2 – You'll be taken to a registration screen to enter some quick information such as name, address, email, username, and other details. You should receive an email to confirm your address.
  • Step 3 – After confirming your address, you'll be ready to make that initial deposit and head to play poker – from cash game tables to major poker tournaments. The entire process should only take a few minutes.

This is a great moment to check out the responsible gaming tools. You can set deposit limits and other controls to make sure you continue to play within your comfort zone.

 
The Home of Online Poker
New Customers Only. Please Gamble Responsibly. Full T&Cs apply.

Overall PokerStars Software Review

Since the company's founding in 2001, Stars has been a leader in the online poker industry and that definitely includes software. Even since those early days, playing real money games has been a smooth and easy experience.

Online poker players will find one of the best platforms in the industry with an easy-to-navigate lobby, nice customization options, and so much more. That also goes for PokerStars Ontario, whether playing cash games or jumping in weekly tournaments featuring prize pool guarantees.

Software Customization & Player Options

PokerStars is a premier online poker site and it has all the features you could possibly need. You can easily customize the tournament lobby to fit with some of your favorite real money games and tournaments.

Cash stakes players can use lobby filters to quickly find the stakes that they prefer, with no need to continuously search through the entire list of games available, such as Texas Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, and more. Those who prefer multi-table tournaments can also easily filter the events that best suit their own bankroll, tournament buy-in, and personal tournament preferences.

You can even customize your own preferences during actual play including selecting from various table themes and colors. Ontario players have numerous options that players would also find on the international site.

Differences Between PokerStars Ontario App and Desktop

Playing on either the app or on the software client can both be a pleasing experience for those who enjoy some online gambling, including Ontario PokerStars. With either, players must be physically located within the province of Ontario.

On the software platform, players will find highly intuitive software at PokerStars that makes competing in cash games or tournaments an easy process. The real money poker table experience also offers visually appealing gameplay at PokerStars Ontario with simple betting, raising, and folding options. Players who like to multi-table can also take advantage of playing up to 24 tables at once.

The PokerStars mobile product is also an excellent choice for online poker players. The same poker options and tournaments one might play on the traditional software client are also available on the mobile app. Real money games are just a tap or two away on your mobile phone or tablet device. That includes Mac iOS phones and tablets as well as on Android phones or tablets.

The action is easy to follow on the app and players will also find smooth, fluid movements and actions. The icons for checking, raising, and folding are simple and easy to find. Gameplay is a bit more compact, but Stars has made subtle changes to function well for those who like to play poker on the go or simply enjoy playing on a phone or tablet rather than at their computer or on a laptop.

Another small difference is that players can only multi-table on up to four tables at once on an Android device and up to five tables at once on iPhones and iPads. Those who enjoy some other types of gaming can also easily transition to the PokerStars casino option as well, whether using the app or traditional software client.

If you're new to online gambling or online poker in general, it's important to note that PokerStars is a leader in site integrity. The company works hard to prevent collusion and cheating, making use of software to detect those who don't follow the terms of service.

Players can also expect fair play with complex software used to determine how cards are dealt and revealed. The PokerStars software is definitely worth checking out for online poker players in Ontario. Stars also works to educate players and offers plenty of resources for those looking to learn how to play – from gameplay and hand rankings to how to use the actual software client and mobile app.

Downloading the PokerStars Desktop Software

Those looking to give the PokerStars Ontario poker site a test drive will find an easy download process to easily get started and even make a first deposit to play for some real money. Here's a quick guide to get started.

  • Step 1 – Click on the links on this page to go to the official PokerStars Ontario site and look for the "Download Now" icon. This then automatically initiates a download of the poker software app.
  • Step 2 – Once that download is complete simply run the file to start the process of installing the software client on your computer. PokerStars Ontario is available for both Windows and Apple Macintosh users.
  • Step 3 – Once installation is complete, simply launch the software and log in using your username and password that you've previously created.

PokerStars Ontario Mobile App Overview

PokerStars has become a mobile gaming authority since launching its first mobile product in January 2012. The PokerStars Ontario mobile lobby is easy to navigate, with handy tabs for filtering tournaments, cash games, sit & go's, Spin & Go's, and more. As also on the traditional poker software client, players can easily filter the cash stakes, tournament buy-ins, speed, and other options they desire.

Players looking to play in major online tournament series are also in luck with the PokerStars Ontario app. It's easy to jump in the action for events like ONSCOOP (Ontario Spring Championship of Online Poker). Those who enjoy other forms of online gambling, can also easily access casino and sports betting via Ontario PokerStars.

Positives of the App

  • Fully licensed by Ontario regulators
  • Simple to play with a single hand
  • Wide variety of games and tournaments including major online tournament series

Negatives of the App

  • No customer support team phone number
  • Ring-in online poker environment

Download PokerStars Ontario Mobile App

Downloading the PokerStars Ontario is a simple process. For iOS users, simply head to the App Store and search for "PokerStars ON". Android users will do the same at the Google Play Store. Once you found the platform, simply start the download process like you would for any other mobile app. Once that's complete, simply log in and you can then start to play online poker.

⭐️ Apple App Store Score3.8
⭐️ Google Play ScoreN/A
 
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PokerStars Poker Ontario Tournaments

Many of the poker games and tournament brands that Stars offers players in the international market have carried over to the PokerStars Ontario. Players will find a wide range of games and buy in levels.

The major tournament series offer a chance for players to win a prestigious event and score some bragging rights. You can also even play these events while on the go, right on the PokerStars Ontario app. Here's a look at a few tournament series and weekly events you may want to check out.

Ontario Championship of Online Poker (ONCOOP)

This is the ON version of the popular "COOP" series that can be seen in numerous other markets as well. Ontario players can look for numerous events, buy ins, and types of poker tournaments. Mixed games tournaments also regularly part of the mix as well with options like limit hold'em and Omaha often part of the action.

Bounty Builder Series

This is PokerStars Ontario's bounty series. The schedule features traditional bounty events as well as progressive knockout (PKO) events. In a traditional bounty tournament, half the prize pool goes to regular payouts and the other half toward a bounty on each player. When you knock out another player, you win that cash.

In a progressive bounty event, you'll only win a portion of that bounty. Instead, the other half is added to the bounty on your own head. This increases the value of each knockout throughout the tournament and makes for some fun decisions later in the tournament with some interesting risk versus rewards considerations.

In Ontario, PokerStars offers buy ins ranging from $10 to $500 range for the Bounty Builder Series as well as several formats including turbo, hyper turbo, and more. This is a fun series that players of all levels should check out.

Daily Tournaments

Those who enjoy battling it out in large fields of players rather than cash games have numerous daily tournaments to check out. There are buy in levels for all bankrolls and these events feature some nice guarantees as well. Here's a look at some of those major events

  • $100 Daily Kickoff – $2,000 guaranteed (Monday – Saturday)
  • $500 Daily Super High Roller – $10,000 guaranteed (Monday – Saturday)
  • $200 Daily Cooldown PKO – $2,500 guaranteed (Monday – Saturday)
  • Big $200 – $2,800 guaranteed (daily)
  • $100 Fast Friday – $2,500 guaranteed (Friday)
  • $20 Saturday Duel (Heads-Up, Zoom, PKO) – $1,000 guaranteed (Saturday)

Sunday Schedule

Sunday is usually the biggest day of the week in the world of online poker and often sees some of the largest fields and payouts when it comes to weekly tournaments. The big day is headlined by the $100 Sunday Special, which comes with a $35,000 guaranteed prize pool. That's the largest guarantee on the Ontario platform

All tournaments are also available on the PokerStars app as well in Ontario. Here's a look at the major events on tap each Sunday.

  • $22 Double Deuce – $1,500 guaranteed (Saturdays and Sundays)
  • $50 Sunday Marathon – $2,000 guaranteed
  • $100 Sunday Starter – $3,000 guaranteed
  • $100 Sunday Warm-Up – $5,000 guaranteed
  • $200 Sunday Cooldown PKO – $3,800 guaranteed
  • $100 Sunday Special – $35,000 guaranteed

The Bigs & The Hots

PokerStars Ontario features two types of tournament structures, known as "Bigs" and "Hots." When you play a Big, expect larger starting chip stacks and a more drawn out tournament time as well. Hot tournaments move quicker and wrap in less time.

Both types of events feature a generally broad range of buy in – from $2.20 to $109. Look for plenty of these including while jumping on the PokerStars Ontario app.

Tournament Rake

"Rake" is the amount that the house, casino, or online operator take to fund the casino, pay wages, etc. This is how the operator makes money and all players pay these fees as part of a cash game or tournament.

When playing a cash format, the house usually takes a small portion of each pot. In a tournament, the casino or online operator usually charges a fee on top of the tournament fee or buy in. At PokerStars Ontario, the tournament fee is generally in the 10% range for each tournament buy in.

So for a $2.20 tournament, you can expect $2 to go into the event's prize pool and $0.20 to the operator as the fee to play. For a $109 tournament, $100 goes into the prize pool and $9 goes to the house as a fee.

Cash Games at PokerStars ON

If cash games are more your style and PokerStars Ontario offers plenty of games and stakes options. Playing cash allows you to jump in the middle of the action and play for real money without the time constraints needed for tournament play.

 
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Poker Selection at PokerStar Ontario

Poker is generally a family of games featuring several variants, stakes options, and game formats. Here's a look at what cash options are available.

Popular Cash Games

While PokerStars may not have all the poker games available as on the international platform, Ontario PokerStars does offer several game variations for cash game players. It's quick and easy to find a game or exit your current game and head to a new table. Here's a look at a few of those.

No Limit Hold 'em

This is the most popular form of poker and the game most players probably recognize from televised events like at the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour. There are plenty of options at PokerStars from micro stakes all the way up to the highest stakes available on the site. No Limit Hold'em is a great game with plenty of strategy considerations. Knowing the hand rankings and how to play is critical.

Pot Limit Omaha

This is another popular poker game in which players receive four cards, using two and only two cards to build their highest hand along with the community cards of the flop, turn, and river. Look for plenty of PLO action in Ontario.

6+ Hold 'em (Short Deck Hold'em)

This is a version of Hold'em that has gained traction in recent years and players will find some action in Ontario as well. The game removes all 2s through 5s from the deck, meaning players use only 36 cards and see plenty of action and big hands.

Online Poker Game Variations

Most of those listed above are some of the more popular games found on the Ontario site. However, mixed game formats are also available at times and may feature even more such as Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, and more. These additional variants may also be found in some tournaments as well during major tournament series.

When heading to the tables, however, doing some strategy studying can make for a more successful outing. Knowing the rules, hand rankings, and game format can go a long way for making the experience better.

You can also choose from several format options as well including heads-up, six-max tables, and full ring games. This may not be the international Stars site, but there is plenty to keep most players interested.

Multi-Table Games

Tournaments usually feature multiple tables, but smaller single table "sit & go" tournaments are also fun, yet quick, options. These can be six-handed or nine-handed tables in normal and turbo formats. Heads-up tables are also available and sit & go's feature all levels of buy in.

Spin & Go's are another fun option for even faster plays. These winner-take-all events are three-handed and start with a random prize determined. This is usually twice the buy-in but can also go as high as 10,000 times the buy-in, depending on the Spin & Go level. These are entertaining events for those short on time and are also perfect for playing on the mobile app.

Home Games

PokerStars Home Games is a fun option not available on many other sites. These allow players to start their own poker clubs and compete with friends online either in cash games or tournaments. Playing with friends online is easy via PokerStars and players can customize everything.

 
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  • NETELLER
  • Skrill
  • VISA
  • PayPal
  • MuchBetter
  • Interac
  • Bank Transfer
  • Apple Pay
  • MasterCard

Online Banking Options at PokerStars

Whether you're looking to jump in a hot Omaha game or take a shot in a big tournament, setting up and funding an account at Stars is a simple process. Players simply have to provide some quick information and then confirm an email. You can then deposit using safe and secure options similar to those at other regulated online poker sites.

Deposit Options

Because PokerStars Ontario operates in a regulated market, the operator must follow numerous regulations and keep depositors' funds and information safe. You can use these trusted options when making that first deposit.

  • Visa MasterCard – credit or debit cards
  • Skrill, ecoPayz, and Neteller – Safe ewallets that makes transaction quick and easy.
  • PayPal – A trusted online payment solution.
  • Bank Transfer – Make a quick deposit right from your bank account. 
  • Interac – An e-transfer option available only in Canada.
  • MuchBetter– A Peer-to-Peer payment platform.
  • Instadebit – A bank-based payment method available only in Canada.
  • Paysafecard – A closed loop gift card from The Bancorp Bank available at numerous sales outlet.
  • Apple Pay – Trusted mobile payment method.

Withdrawal Options

Making a withdrawal is also a simple process and most methods allow for funds to head back to you account instantaneously or at least within 24-48 hours.

PokerStars Customer Support

Have a question or issue? Reaching out to the customer support team with an account concern or even a questions about poker games is an easy process. Here are two convenient options to get in contact with the team.

  • Phone: 1-866-531-2600
  • Twitter: @StarsSupport
 
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New Customers Only. Please Gamble Responsibly. Full T&Cs apply.

Responsible Gambling with PokerStars Poker

Responsible gaming has become more of an emphasis in the online gaming industry in recent years. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) have made sure that carries over to the province's regulated gaming market – including online poker.

Not only does PokerStars offer an award winning online poker software experience, but also works to make sure players participate in a safe gaming environment. The platform is fully licensed by the AGCO in Ontario and has several options for players to limit their risk. Some of those options include:

  • Age Verification – Players must be at least 19 years old to play online poker in Ontario and PokerStars works to make sure those who are underage aren't playing on the platform.
  • Deposit Limits – Those who have concerns about security or want to play responsibly without fear of overdoing it can also set up deposit limits create some gaming safeguards.
  • Geolocation – PokerStars makes use of geolocation software to make sure you are located within the province when playing.
  • Time & Loss Limits – Players can also set up limits on the amount of time and amount of losses allowed on their accounts per day. This encourages players to take a break from gaming and this a great way to make sure you're gambling responsibly.
  • Casino and Sports Betting Limits – Along with these safe gaming options, you can also set similar limits on the casino and sports side of the platform.

Beyond these options, the AGCO also offers their own problem gaming resources for those who think they may have a gambling problem. Some of those include:

My PlayBreak Self-exclusion – Allows gamblers to bar themselves from online platforms and live casinos.

Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) – Offers prevention and other services for problem gamblers.

Connex Ontario – Information and referral services focusing on mental health, addiction and problem gambling. Available via phone, email, or online chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Specializes in problem gambling treatment with self-help tools and information on how to help a family member or friend.

Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines (Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction) – Offers guidelines to help reduce the risk of harm from gaming.

Our Verdict

While players accustomed with the international Stars site may not be happy with a smaller poker environment, the Ontario option at least offers the great software experience and wide range of poker games, tournaments, formats, and promotions. This is a great option for players within the province to check out, Choosing PokerStars is very safe option.

PokerStars Ontario FAQ

Yes. Online Gaming is regulated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Players must be age 19 or over to play. All players must also be located within the province and players compete only against others within ON.

Yes, Stars Ontario must meet numerous gaming regulations to be fully licensed in the state. Play is based on a random number generator and you can expect a fair game. The site also uses advanced encryption to completely protect player funds, personal information, and communications. You can feel safe playing on the site.

No. Operators in Ontario must meet stringent regulations and the companies have no incentive to "rig" games. The operator's software offers a completely random experience as if a player were actually playing real poker in a live casino. Operators are also regularly audited to make sure their platforms are meeting all gaming requirements.

The Ontario site is owned by PokerStars, which is part of Flutter Entertainment. Flutter is one of the largest online gaming enterprises in the world and also boasts popular online gaming platforms like FanDuel, PaddyPower, Betfair, and numerous other trusted online gaming brands available around the world. Stars offers players an award winning experience.

Author

Joss Wood
Lead Casino Editor

Joss Wood has over a decade of experience reviewing and comparing the best Ontario online casinos to ensure players find their favorite place to play. He has followed the Ontario betting market even before it launched in April, staying up to date on legislation and news from the top Ontario sportsbooks and casinos.

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