PokerStars vs 888 poker - what to choose?
The majority of online poker fans, who like to play for real money, have a poker room (rarely tow of them) they like to play at the most. For some players the role of such a poker room is implemented by their first web site they’ve registered and started playing at (as statistics show, in most cases this room is PokerStars), and for others the choice of this poker room takes a long time to make thoughtful and wise choice. Fortunately, the selection of poker rooms to choose from is quite wide at the moment, so you will be able to find the one that will provide you with comfortable, interesting and safe gaming experience.
In order to find a good (worthwhile) online poker room that would become a reliable place for real money online poker play, you have to play attention to many details, like the number of games, number of their kinds, number of freerolls (if you are a newbie), whether the room has a license etc.
If you study all the possible ratings and ask regulars of poker forums or read the reviews, you will realize that at the moment leading poker rooms are PokerStars, 888poker, PartyPoker and may be Americas Cardroom. They offer a large number of tournaments, a wide range of buy-ins and the most safe conditions for playing poker alongside with quality service. But which poker room is better? One is able to figure it out out by analyzing each of the poker rooms on several criteria. This is what we’re going to do in this article.
In this article we compare two of the most popular online poker rooms: PokerStars and 888poker.
Play at PokerStars and 888poker without making a deposit
One of the major factors many beginners pay attention to while choosing the poker room is an opportunity to play poker with no need to make a deposit, i.e. for real money for free. Currently several poker rooms offer their players such an opportunity.
For instance, at PokerStars you can start your free education at PokerSchoolOnline. After you pass the course and study poker tutorials you will be offered to pass a test on knowledge of the material. Upon successful passing the test, You will receive free tickets for playing real money cash games and tournaments. Thus, you will be able to play at PokerStars for real money without making a deposit.
Poker room 888poker also offers new user playing poker for free, and uses another approach to its users, more interesting to them: anyone who’s willing to register an account and receive 888 poker no deposit sign up bonus in the amount of $88, i.e. without making a deposit just for creating a new real money account. This bonus includes the tickets to cash tables and MTT tournaments, which are credited to the players in equal parts as they accumulate special points of the room.
In order to receive a no deposit bonus of $88 from 888 Poker, one has to simply open an account in this poker room. The first part of the bonus ($1 in cash and $7 in tickets) will be credited to you right after the registration. The remaining $80 will be divided into 10 equal parts and credited to the account after the required number of points will be accumulated - you will earn $8 to your account for every 250 points accumulated.
That way, both rooms are perfectly fine for starting playing poker free for real money. At the same time:
We recommend you to claim 888 poker no deposit bonus as it has much more advantages in comparison with similar offer by PokerStars.
What’s with other aspects?
Game selection and their numbers at PokerStars and 888poker
We should begin the comparison of two poker giants of our time with the number of games and their variations. It is obvious, that poker sites have to attract players not only with the help of profitable promotions, nice tournaments schedule with different buy-ins and guaranteed prize pools, but also with a wide variety of games (disciplines and kinds/variations of poker).
For starters, let’s talk about the number of poker disciplines in general. if you log in to PokerStars of 888Poker client, you will find out both of the poker sites allow playing in many varieties of games.
PokerStars vs 888 poker - cash tables
Cash tables game selection at PokerStars is really grand. Consider: one is able to play classic Fixed-limit, No-limit, Pot-limit Hold'em and Omaha and 5-cards draw poker games, several kinds of Stud and more than five kinds of draw poker, 5-card Omaha, mixed games, like HORSE, 8 games and Hold'em/Omaha games.
Stakes at cash tables depend on the kind of poker you choose and are from $0.01/$0.02 to $200/$400. Besides, there is an opportunity to choose from 2max (since the beginning of 2016 are available at ZOOM only), 6max and 10max tables.
Poker room 888poker has a little narrower selection of cash games tables as less kinds of poker are presented here - one is only able to play Hold'em, Omaha and Stud poker variations here. There are three kinds of Hold'em: No-limit, Pot-limit, Fixed-limit, while Omaha and Stud only have traditional kinds of Hi and Hi-Lo.
Minimal cash games stakes limit at 888poker is the same as at PokerStars - NL2 (with blinds of $0,01/$0,02), maximal stakes depend on the kinds of poker. For instance, maximal stakes at push-fold tables at 888poker is NL100000 (blinds of $500/$1000). Regular tables are available at stakes up to NL5000.
The same goes for Omaha tables.
The games traffic leaves PokerStars without serious competition, but, as most poker forums users claim, the average skill level of opponents at PokerStars is much higher (in comparison with 888 Poker). Many players write they were “break even” at PokerStars and started showing positive win rate after switching to 888 Poker.
PokerStars vs 888 poker - fast poker
Fast poker at PokerStars is called ZOOM, while at 888Poker - SNAP. The essence of both variations is the same: they are designed to reduce waiting time as players are dealt new cards the instant they fold current ones. When playing fast poker variations, you will be automatically placed in a ‘Players Pool’ and randomly re-seated at a different table every time you fold. The speed of the gaming process increases vastly due to these actions.
PokerStars offers No Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo tables in this discipline. Minimal stakes are $0,01/$0,02, those who play at high stakes are able to enjoy the tables up to $50/$100, although all the action is running at NL/PL500. Table selection is presented not only with 6-max and 9-max tables, but also with heads-up tables.
888poker provides with worse game selection: PLO10 and NL2-NL200. Only the most popular stakes are presented here. A noteworthy detail is that this poker room has all the fast poker games running at 6-max tables.
As with regular tables, PokerStars easily beats 888poker in term of traffic here. For instance, ZOOM Poker NL2 has about 700 entries at 6-max tables and 360 entries at 9-max tables in the morning time. At the same time, 888 Poker Snap NL2 has 75 entries. Speaking objectively, it is important that in the pool was more than 20 entries for comfortable play without any delays, so it is not a big problem.
The higher the stakes, the less players/entries in the pool. For instance, at NL50 at 888poker Snap has 36 entries, while ZOOM PokerStars has 158 entries. By the way, it is important to realize a person can make up to 4 entries at each stakes. For instance, 100 regulars with 4 entries each make 400 entries. Unfortunately 888poker doesn’t allow knowing how many entries has one person made, while many players make 3-4 entries at PokerStars. In most cases, these players are regulars.
888 poker also offers users to play in Snap tournaments (in No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha).
PokerStars vs 888 poker - Sit&Go tournaments
Selection of these tournaments at PokerStars also amazing. As with cash tables, Sit&Gos provide with several versions of Hold'em, Omaha, Stud, 5-card Omaha, Draw Poker and Mixed Games.
Speaking of buy-ins, the lowest of them is merely $0,02. For this amount you will be able to participate in Sit-n-Go tournament with 990 participants. The cost of the buy-in of the most “expensive” Sit&Go tournaments is $5,000. Most of the action, though is in the tournaments with buy-in of up to $100. The game at higher stakes is mostly in Heads Up Sit-n-Go tournaments (with rare exceptions). Besides, one is able to play at PokerStars Sit&Go tournaments for free, using StarsCoins as a buy-in.
Also you can choose Sit&Go tournaments of different speed: slow, regular, turbo and hyper turbo, and the number of tables: heads-up tables, single-table and multi-table tournaments.
In addition to that, Sit-n-Go tournaments can be divided into regular ones and satellites. Sit-n-Go satellites (qualifiers) are meant to help players to win tournament tickets to the tournaments with bigger buy-ins for smaller amount of money.
Speaking of Sit&Go tournaments at poker room 888poker, it is worth noting that there are none the worse. These events can be divided into regular, turbo, super turbo, special, steps (satellites). Regular tournaments go non-stop and their buy-ins vary from $0,40 to $500. Turbo and super turbo are different to regular ones with blind levels time. You will find lots of events with buy-ins of $0,01 to $1,000.
PokerStars vs 888 poker - lottery tournaments
Lottery tournaments are the tournaments with random prize pools, which are defined right before the beginning of the tournament. Speaking more precise, these are Spin&Go tournaments at PokerStars and Blast tournaments at 888Poker.
These tournaments are just like Sit&Go with some peculiarities. The prize pool of each tournament is determined randomly before the game starts and directly depends on the buy-in of the tournament. At the time of writing of this article, on PokerStars at Spin&Go tab there were nine buy-ins: $0,25, $1, $3, $7, $10, $15, $30, $60 and $100 for Hold'em and $1, $3, $7, $15 for Omaha. Maximal prize pool in the most “expensive” tournament is $1,000,000. Thanks to that, Spin&Go tournaments allow participating newbies as well as pros in them.
888poker offers its users five varieties of buy-ins in Blast tournaments: $0,10, $1, $5, $15 and $30. The maximum win, when you play at the tourney with biggest buy-in, can be $300,000. Maximum multipliers are the same, but maximum buy-in is lower at 888poker. Blast tournaments are available in Texas Hold'em only.
In general it can be noted that 888poker has the most popular sizes of buy-ins among fans of fast poker variations. The traffic of the games here is a little slower than on PokerStars, but there is no discomfort and long waiting of the start of tournaments. At the same time, it is worth noting that the Blast tournaments more dynamic (compared with the Spin&Go tournaments from PokerStars).
PokerStars vs 888 poker - comparison of multi-table tournaments
PokerStars is an undisputed leader in offering multi-table tournaments. You will be able to finds regular tournaments, satellites to the bigger tournaments, various tournament series such as SCOOP, WCOOP, Micro Millions, numerous freerolls and much more.
We should notice that tournament selection is wide not only for experienced players but also for those who’ve just started playing poker and don’t have big bankroll to play with. One is able to register in some tournaments using StarsCoins or having a special ticket. If you want to play for real money, you will be able to easily find events with buy-ins of $1 or less.
There are many events with buy-ins of $100-$200 or even $1,000+ for high rollers.
Speaking of kinds of pokers, we should notice, that tournaments are held at most of them.
Poker room 888poker goes at it hammer and tongs to keep apace with the main competitor and offers its players a wide selection of MTT tournaments: regular ones, freerolls, satellites, others. The “cheapest” events start at $0,01 and the highest buy-ins reach $600-$700.
Most of the tournaments are on Hold'em, however it is fairly easy to find Omaha events. Unfortunately, other kinds of poker aren’t represented in multi-table tournaments section at this poker room.
Variety of MTT tournaments at PokerStars and 888Poker
Selection of Multi-Table tournaments is a very important factor people consider while selecting poker room as this discipline is one of the most popular, alongside with cash games. Both of the rooms described by us offer a wide selection of the tournaments, which would satisfy beginners as well as those who like to play it big and compete for big prizes.
After registering at PokerStars you will get an access to MTT tournaments at any time of day and night. All the events are divided into three categories:
- Big tournaments - take place on a regular basis, most often weekly. These events have big prize pools and gather big numbers of participants. As examples of these tournaments we can call Sunday Million, Sunday Billion, Sunday Warm Up, Women Sunday, Bounty Builders and others.
- Regular tournaments - take place usually on a daily basis. They can have big or not so big prize pools and are available in different formats: shoot-outs, heads-up, turbo, hyper turbo, re-buy tournaments, limited time tournaments, satellites, knockouts etc. The most popular regular tournaments at PokerStars are Bigs and Hots.
- The annual series - set of tournaments, combined as part of a major series like MicroMillions, WCOOP, SCOOP, TCOOP etc. Such series include the tournaments and satellites to them.
888Poker also offers its players a huge number of tournaments. The biggest of them are divided into three categories:
- The Mega - includes five tournaments with different buy-ins. You can play in knockout tournaments - The Mega Knockout, deep stack tournaments - The Mega Deep, micro buy-in tournaments - The Mega Micro etc.
- Fish’N Chips - consists of four tournaments with low buy-ins and big prize pools. Every day You can play in tournaments such as The Swordfish, The Goldfish, The Catfish and The Blowfish, competing for the solid prize pools with other 888poker clients.
- The Highrollers - includes 10 tournaments with high buy-ins for highrollers. Regular tournaments The Twister, The Typhoon, The Whale, as well as other events will allow you to compete with real professionals and fight for the big prizes.
PokerStars vs 888 poker - freerolls selection
One of the fundamental criteria for the beginners when choosing the poker room is whether a certain room has free tournaments - freerolls. In most cases their prize pools are pretty small, however considering the absence of buy-in, becomes an excellent option for beginners who have an opportunity to practice with other players and win some real money.
Freerolls is the section where 888poker beats cold PokerStars. The selection and range of freerolls at PokerStars in comparison with 888 poker is just funny and not serious for poker room that big despite all the claims of PokerStars management team that their marketing policy works to attract recreational players (newbies).
Most PokerStars freerolls have prize pools of $10 and $20 for users of free poker school. The average prize pool at such freerolls is $15,000... monthly... Very modest figures.
PokerStars also offers VIP freerolls, which are available to the players with a certain VIP status. For instance, by receiving VIP-status Chrome you will be able to participate in VIP: ChromeStar+ Weekly Freeroll with prize pool of $10,000. Each status has its own freerolls.
Poker room 888poker is not behind, it is way ahead of its direct competitor in terms of choice of freerolls. Basic freerolls are attached to some sort of promotions. As a rule, the management of 888 Poker spends about... $1.000.000 per month for these freerolls. Prize pools of regular freerolls at 888poker within these promos are $2,000 to $10,000. It is fairly easy to receive tickets to these freerolls. One just has to make a single deposit of $20 or more after the beginning of the promotion and you will receive free spins to spin in Wheel of fortune, which allows winning several of those tickers every day.
Also 888Poker hosts lots of free tournaments on daily basis for 888poker Club users (analogues of VIP freerolls by PokerStars). Each player depending on his level has an opportunity to play at certain freerolls. For instance, after reaching Level 30 you will be able to register in tournaments with the prize pool of $1,000 and all the freerolls available for the players with lower levels. The biggest freerolls have a prize pool of $10,000 and they are available to the players of Level 70 and higher. Some free tournaments of 888poker Club are daily, the others are weekly and the biggest are held once per month. Total prize pool of VIP club freerolls at 888poker is about $100,000 per month.
One is also able to play in special freerolls available for the first depositors - $1000 First Depositors Freeroll. There are also regular freerolls for depositors of the week - those who made a deposit within a week are able to participate in daily freerolls called $500 Depositors Freeroll.
PokerStars vs 888 poker - freerolls with passwords
Both poker rooms have private freerolls with passwords from different poker web sites (such as CasinoOrg, PokerSites, CardsChat), and passwords to them are available at our web site. Also PokerStars management makes freerolls for social networks users (usually for players from CIS and Baltic countries). But the most popular freerolls with passwords at PokerStars are PokerStars TV Freerolls with prize pools of $2000, the passwords to which are published during live broadcasts of PokerStars live tournaments. One is able to find passwords to them at our web site in section PokerStars freerolls passwords.
There are freerolls with passwords in 888poker as well. As a rule, these are freerolls for social networks: $800 Vkontakte Freeroll and $1000 Facebook Freeroll. These freerolls are held once a month. Passwords to them are published in official social networks of 888poker.
Since the end of 2016, poker room 888poker management also practices freerolls with passwords during live broadcasts of 888Live. Prize pools are a little bit smaller - of $500, but it is great as well. One is able to find passwords at our web site in section 888poker freerolls passwords.
PokerStars vs 888 poker - instead of conclusion
From the first look, PokerStars may seem way ahead of any of their competitors and in some aspects, it is an undeniable truth. If there is a room which is just a step behind of it, it is 888poker. Today 888 lose to PokerStars only in traffic, and that is the main problem of the poker room. The rest (tournaments, promotions, offers for new players) and these rooms aren’t that different.
So by choosing one of these rooms to play poker for real money, you may be certain you will be satisfied.
The best about poker
- How to get satisfaction from playing poker
The psychology of poker
- Five reasons why I've made money and continue doing this playing poker
The psychology of poker
- Poker table positions (positions in poker)
Fundamentals of poker
- The fundamental theorem of poker
- Slow play in poker
Fundamentals of poker
- The probabilities of getting specific starting hands on preflop