PokerStars vs Party Poker
PokerStars allows players from around the world to join while Party Poker does not allow players from the United States on their site.
Let's break down the differences between these two popular sites to see which is best for you.
ROUND BY ROUND
ROUND 1 Bonuses & Promotions
PokerStars recently upgraded their bonus offer for first time players with a $600 deposit bonus. The bonus has a very long shelf life in your bonus account so you will have plenty of time to work it off before it expires. Party Poker also has a 100% bonus offer up to $500. The bonus at Party Poker is not quite as easy to unlock as the one at PokerStars but still is pretty simple to get to overall.
ROUND 1 WINNER:
ROUND 2 Software
Party Poker has had a few upgrades in 2009 to really improve the performance of the lobby and the table. Although the art design of the lobby at this poker room hasn't changed in five years, it's still straightforward and easy to use. PokerStars has a fantastic lobby software with no reports of lag time or crashes from the tables. There are plenty of table and card mods (modifications) available by default from the PokerStars software client (as well as 3rd party designers) and it also offers a bit better experience in the way of bet controls.
ROUND 2 WINNER:
ROUND 3 Traffic
According to industry reports, PokerStars is the number one poker site on the internet by almost double the second place competition. Party Poker comes in a respectable fourth place in the same reports, so the edge here quite clearly is enjoyed by PokerStars.
ROUND 3 WINNER:
ROUND 4 Tournaments
Party Poker has a few big tournaments a month with the return of the Party Million and the site does a good job promoting the event with tons of satellites. PokerStars, on the other hand, has the biggest weekly tournament on the internet with the Sunday Million and constantly has big guarantee tournaments running daily. For tournament players this one is not even close, especially when you consider the WCOOP and SCOOP tournament series on Stars.
ROUND 4 WINNER:
ROUND 5 Ring Games
The good news is that both sites have plenty of micro stakes action for beginners to get their feet wet at cash game play. There are so many fish at these levels a player should have no real problems building a nice solid bankroll. The player pool in general, and especially considering the regulars, is definitely fishier at Party Poker in the small and mid-stakes. PokerStars has what is generally described as the best small and mid-stakes players on the internet.
ROUND 5 WINNER:
ROUND 6 Games
Party Poker has just as good a variety of games with Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo and 7 Card Stud. PokerStars does offer more in terms of a variety of games including 5 Card Draw, Badugi, HORSE, HEROS, HOSE, Mixed Games, Razz, Single Draw Lowball 2-7 and Triple Draw Lowball 2-7. PokerStars does a better job incorporating these other poker games with tournaments, so they'll get the nod in this section.
ROUND 6 WINNER:
ROUND 7 Deposit/Withdrawal Options
Party Poker offers the ability to deposit via credit card, Neteller, Firepay and wire transfers such as Western Union. Withdrawals from Party Poker are typically done through Neteller without hassle. PokerStars does have Visa and Mastercard options, mainly for non-USA residents. There are also Western Union, Instant eCheck and Click2Pay available for anyone playing on the site.
ROUND 7 WINNER:
ROUND 8 VIP Program
Both sites have a pretty good VIP system based on "points" or VPPs that take players to a certain level that allow for better rewards and a multiplier for those player points. The points are rewarded when players play at real money tables and both sites allow for those points to be used for cash bonuses. Since Party Poker recently upgraded their VIP program to basically mimic the one at PokerStars, both sites are pretty equal.
ROUND 8 WINNER:
ROUND 9 Support
PokerStars generally is regarded as having the best customer service in the industry. They are only available via email, however, they generally return emails within a few hours at most. They are also pretty funny, which gives their players the sense that they are dealing with real people. Party Poker does have email and telephone support but they are generally known as not being super helpful.
ROUND 9 WINNER:
PokerStars VS Party Poker WHO WINS?
Clearly players in the USA will be playing on PokerStars since Party Poker won't have them. International players have a good choice on their hands, and those looking for the total poker experience should probably head the way of PokerStars. Those of you looking for a solid VIP program and a very fishy cash game player pool will want to check out Party Poker. Don't underestimate the extra $100 in bonus money as well as the superior customer service of PokerStars.
FINAL SCORE 6 2 1