One of the leading online poker rooms has been busy tweaking its client software through 2023, with a string of release notes published in the last months. We decided to dive deeper into what this card room giant has been up to so far this year.
PokerStars is one of the longest standing online poker rooms on the planet and is continuing to innovate to provide a safe and secure environment for poker enthusiasts to play on desktop and mobile devices.
This platform has been in existence throughout the online poker boom. The most popular variant is Texas Hold’em and this site offers a wealth of games and tournaments under these rules, alongside other variants like Omaha, Razz and Stud Hi/Lo. Below, we explain the key updates from PokerStars’ latest release notes in June, July and August.
June 21, 2023 updates
Desktop players will note there is greater access to the Spin & Go lobby, which had previously been available exclusively to players based in the UK, Estonia, Belgium and Bulgaria. Players can also share notable hands in real time with friends and followers via social media.
The Home Games section has also been updated, making it easier to toggle between private and public Home Game communities. Mobile players on smartphone or tablet will have noticed improvements to readability, along with enhanced resolution for table graphics on Android devices.
PokerStars also announced it would cease support for its app on the Android 5.0 Lollipop & Android 6, iOS 12, Mac OS 10.12 and the Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra system. The June release notes also included tweaks within the software client, especially at the end of a Spin & Go tournament.
July 28, 2023 updates
A month after June’s release notes, July saw more fixes from the software client. Further developments were reported through the month, including fixes to ‘fold to any bet’ tick boxes which didn’t always play ball.
Undoubtedly the biggest software update in July for the PokerStars client was the revamped design for game filters in the lobby area. This has made the process of picking and entering tables and games much more intuitive for players. Given the continued rise in mobile users, PokerStars makes continuous visual enhancements to the look and feel of game data, this time it was the end-of-tournament dialogs which received special attention.
There was a further tweak to the Home Games functionality, which has grown in popularity immensely, allowing friends to enjoy playing together remotely. Private club managers now have the option to make clubs public in order to grow their communities if they wish.
August 9, 2023 updates
The third and final update so far this summer was released on August 9. One of the main talking points was the switch of 6+ Hold’em and Tempest Hold’em games from their own tabs in the desktop version of the client. PokerStars believe they belong in the core cash game category and have therefore moved them to under the ‘Cash’ tab.
There’s been another important alteration to the rake collected from heads-up Sit ‘n’ Go tables. The rake has been revised to 4% for high-stakes tables and 6% for micro-stakes tables. All table rakes are visibly displayed within the tournament lobby of each game upon registration. The revisions to the table rake for both games follows a thorough review of the marketplace.
The Tempest Hold’em games have attracted significant attention on the PokerStars software client, with a unique take on the classic game of Texas Hold’em. Available only at this poker room, Tempest Hold’em is a game with antes which increase until a hand showdown is reached. There’s also a further pre-flop blind and only two other decisions for players – to fold or go all-in.
Meanwhile 6+ Hold’em is one of the most popular short-deck poker formats. Essentially, it only uses a select number of cards from a standard 52-card deck. All cards lower than a six are removed from play.