Responsible Gaming

At PokerStars we strive to assist and protect players who are at risk of the potential negative effects of gambling.

Through a number of means, including exclusion tools, guidance on responsible gaming, risk identification and player verification we are helping customers keep in control of their gaming so they can enjoy playing.

We believe in educating our players to empower them through knowledge, which is why we have a number of helpful tools to ensure that playing time is always enjoyable.

What we can do to help you

What you can do to help yourself

What we can do to help you

Age verification

Any underage player who has provided dishonest or inaccurate information regarding their true age may have all winnings forfeited and could face criminal prosecution.

  • Every person signing up for a new account must check a box that indicates that they are at least 18 years of age. This notifies everybody that we don’t accept players under 18.
  • When a player creates an account with us, we collect their name, address, birth date and request proof of identity to confirm that the player is at least 18 years old.
  • We do not target underage players with our marketing and advertising. It is neither good business nor consistent with our personal and corporate values to attract underage players.

If you have children or teenagers in your household, take extra care to secure your computer and mobile devices.

  • All Windows computers can be set up to have password control so that you must enter a password to get to the desktop, and mobile devices can be set up to require a passcode to unlock. In general, this is a good practice, but it’s even more important when there are children or teenagers in your household. Also, keep your username and password private. You can elect to have the software not remember your password each time you log-in. If you have any concern that somebody else might attempt to access your Stars Account, you should not allow the software to remember your password.
  • If you have children or teenagers in your household, use protection software that allows you to limit the websites to which they have access, prevent file sharing, and generally give you detailed control over how your children use the Internet. Here is a list of some of those programs:
  • If you are aware of an underage person using our platform, let us know. Simply visit our Help Center and we will get right on it. Our first step is to investigate, and if warranted, freeze the player’s account and request identification from that player. We take these reports seriously.
  • Be a responsible parent. In many ways, this is nothing more than keeping your eyes and ears open. If you hear your children talking about online gambling accounts, deposits, and withdrawals, start asking questions. If you see the software on your child's computer, uninstall it and ask more questions. A responsible parent is the best start to preventing underage gaming. You can find advice on how to talk to a young person about gambling here.

Exclusion from your Stars Account or from a particular game

OASIS – exclusion from all licensed gambling providers in Germany

OASIS is a National Exclusion Register, which will allow all residents to exclude themselves from playing for a specific period with any licensed gambling providers in Germany.

Self-exclude your Stars Account

You will be able to choose between the following break periods:

  • Short-term (3 months)
  • Long-term (1 year)

To request this, follow these instructions, depending on how you are accessing our services:

Desktop client: Select ‘Tools’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ > ‘Exclude Me From Playing’ i

Mobile App: Go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming Settings’ > ‘Take A Break From Playing’

Website: Login then go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ > ‘Take A Break From Playing’

For more details on exclusion options visit our Help Center.

24-hour self-exclusion

We also offer the option to set up a temporary self-exclusion that takes effect immediately and is also reported to the OASIS Player Exclusion System. The 24-hour temporary self-exclusion is activated by clicking on the ‘24 hour lockout’ button available on our website, in our desktop client and our mobile app. The temporary self-exclusion comes into effect immediately and is automatically lifted after the 24-hour period has expired. It is not reversible. If the temporary self-exclusion is activated, all active gaming sessions will be closed immediately and you will not be able to make any deposits, participate in any real money games, or receive any promotional material for 24 hours. However, during the temporary self-exclusion, you can withdraw real money balance already available in your account.

Gambling activity restrictions

We assess your gambling behaviour and make recommendations for safer gambling based on scientific research and algorithms, and in accordance with our licensing and regulatory obligations.

At the end of each 60 minutes of gambling activity, we will inform you of the elapsed time and make further participation in the relevant game conditional upon express confirmation of the notice. As regards virtual slot games you may only continue to play after a 5-minute break after acknowledging the notice (“Reality Check”).

After participating in a game of chance in one area (online poker or virtual slots), participation in another area is allowed at the earliest after 1 minute has elapsed. During this time, participation in play money games is also not possible. Before participating in another area, you will be informed about the risks of and prevention of gambling addiction as well as information about counselling services, which you must confirm before participating in the other area. Winnings from one area can only be used for gambling in other area after a waiting period of one hour.

If you wish to self-exclude from all online gambling activity, consider downloading gamban®, software that helps you by blocking access to all online gambling.

You may also wish to investigate GamBlock, a software application that limits a computer’s access to online gaming sites.

What you can do to help yourself

Identify and reduce the risks

If you choose to play online, there are some general guidelines that can help make your playing experience safer, and reduce the risk of problems occurring:

  1. Play for entertainment, and not as a way of making money.
  2. Play with money that you can afford to lose. Never use money that you need for important things such as food, rent, bills, or tuition.
  3. Set deposit limits and ensure you never deposit more than you can afford to lose.
  4. Never chase losses. If you lose money, don't play higher stakes to try and recoup your losses.
  5. Don't play when you are upset, tired, or depressed. It is difficult to make good decisions when you are feeling down.
  6. Balance your playing with other activities. Find other forms of entertainment so playing does not become too big a part of your life.

If you believe that playing games might be a hindrance to your life rather than a form of entertainment, we want to help you. First, please review the following questions:

  1. Have you ever taken time from your major daily obligations because of playing?
  2. Has playing caused you to neglect your own welfare or that of your family?
  3. Have you ever sold anything or borrowed money to finance your playing?
  4. Have you often played until your last cash was gone?
  5. Have you ever played longer than you had planned?
  6. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your playing?

If you answered “Yes” to several of these questions, we encourage you to visit Gamblers Anonymous.

You can take the test in its entirety at the following website:

There are risk factors that can contribute to the development of gambling issues and make it more difficult to stop gambling. Players can be more at risk if they:

  • Have easy access to their preferred form of gambling
  • Hold mistaken beliefs about the odds of winning (see “Common Myths about Compulsive Gambling” below)
  • Do not take precautions to monitor gambling wins and losses
  • Have an early big win (leading to false expectation of future wins)
  • Have had a recent loss or change in their personal life, such as divorce, job loss, retirement, or death of a loved one
  • Often feel bored or lonely, or have a history of risk-taking or impulsive behavior
  • Have financial problems
  • Have a history of mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety
  • Have a parent who also has (or has had) problems with gambling or other compulsive disorders
  • Have (or have had) problems with alcohol or other drugs, or overspending

The more factors that apply, the more likely a person is to develop a gambling problem.

If you are finding it hard to stop gambling, or if you’re already suffering from consequences related to your gambling behavior, it may be time to get help.

Setting limits

We offer you the option to set different Responsible Gaming limits to help you play responsibly. You can set these limits by following these instructions, depending on how you are accessing our services:

  • Website

Log in and go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’

  • Desktop Client

Log in and select ‘More’ > ‘Tools’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ i

  • Mobile App

After logging in go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming Settings’

Set limits on your real money deposits

We believe that you should be allowed to manage your own budget for playing online. We allow you to restrict your own daily, weekly and monthly real money deposit limits. Of course, those limits may be no higher than the ones we already have for your account.

Set limits on your losses

You can limit the net loss of funds you can incur per calendar day, week or month. Once the limit has been set up (daily, weekly or monthly) it will take all wagers made into consideration. When you've reached the limit, if you're playing in an active tournament, it won't be affected but you won't be able to register for new tournaments, to use add-ons/rebuys nor play any cash or Vegas games until the limit resets.

You can set/update your limits at any time in our desktop client by selecting Tools > Responsible Gaming > Restrict Accumulative Loss Limit i.

If you increase the limit, the changes will take effect after 7 days. If you decrease the limit, the new limit takes effect immediately.

Restricting withdrawal cancelation

You have the option to restrict yourself from cancelling your withdrawals once they have been requested. You can apply this by going to the main lobby in our desktop client and selecting ‘More’ > ‘Tools’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ > ‘Restrict Withdrawal Cancellation’ i.

If you activate this feature, you will disable your ability to cancel pending withdrawals on your account and we will not cancel your withdrawals at your request. This restriction is permanent and it will not be possible to restore your ability to cancel your withdrawals once you have activated it.

Set withdrawal cancellation restriction

And you can also login to your account through our website. From the ‘Account’ menu, you can access our responsible gaming tools.

If you want any restriction in place permanently or for a designated time, please visit our Help Center to find out ways to contact us with your request.

Be aware of common myths about compulsive gambling

We believe players should play for fun and entertainment. But some players who engage in recreational gambling do not believe they could become addicted, and sometimes hold onto false beliefs or myths about problem gambling that can lead to denial and other problems. Some of the more common myths are listed below. Click ‘More’ to read on.

Myth: A compulsive gambler gambles every day.
Fact: A problem gambler may gamble frequently or infrequently. If a person’s gambling is causing psychological, financial, emotional, marital, legal or other consequences for themselves and the people around them, then they could be displaying signs of a gambling problem.

Myth: A compulsive gambler will bet on anything and gamble at any opportunity on any form of gambling.
Fact: Most problem gamblers have a favorite form of gambling that causes them problems and are not likely to be tempted by betting on other things. For example, a gambler who makes weekly trips to the race track may not be tempted by lottery tickets or slot machines. Some compulsive gamblers also engage in secondary forms of gambling, but these are not usually as problematic.

Myth: Gambling only becomes a problem when you lose every last penny. Compulsive gambling is just a financial problem.
Fact: How much money you win or lose does not determine if you have a gambling addiction. Compulsive gamblers may win big and then lose all their earnings the next day, or they may only bet a certain amount each time. Typically, those with gambling problems will incur enough debt that the financial consequences of their behavior begins impacting their lives, but that is not always the case.

Myth: It’s not possible to become addicted to something like gambling.
Fact: Certain activities, such as gambling, can be just as addictive as drinking or doing drugs. Gambling may produce a euphoria that encourages a compulsive gambler to keep repeating the behavior to achieve that effect. As with drugs and alcohol, a gambling addict may develop a tolerance for gambling and take bigger and bigger risks to achieve that euphoria. A compulsive gambler will give in to a craving for gambling by doing it more often, regardless of the negative consequences. As with any other addictions and compulsive behavior, pathological gamblers may also be in denial about their behavior, and may not believe they have a problem at all.

Myth: Only irresponsible people become addicted to gambling.
Fact: Many problem gamblers hold, or have held, responsible community positions. In addition, even people with a long history of responsible behavior are vulnerable to developing a gambling problem. It is common for people to believe that those suffering from addictions are weak-willed and irresponsible. But anybody can become addicted to gambling, no matter how responsible they are.

Myth: Compulsive gambling isn’t really a problem if the gambler can afford it.
Fact: Problems caused by excessive gambling are not just financial. If a person’s gambling is interfering with their ability to act in accordance with their values, then there is a problem. For example, too much time spent on gambling means less time to spend with family, friends and others. It can lead to relationship breakdown and loss of important friendships.

Myth: It’s easy to recognize a compulsive gambler.
Fact: Problem gambling has been called the hidden addiction. It is very easy to hide as it has few recognizable symptoms, unlike alcohol and drug use. Many problem gamblers themselves do not recognize they have a gambling problem. Problem gamblers often engage in self-denial.

Myth: If I keep gambling, my luck will change and I'll win back the money I've lost.
Fact: Each time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous bet. This means that the odds are no more in your favour on the tenth bet than they were on the first bet. Risking more, or playing longer, will not improve your chances of winning.

Myth: I have a feeling that today is my lucky day. I just know I’m going to win.
Fact: Hoping, wishing, or even needing to win money has absolutely no influence on the outcome of a game of chance.

If any of these myths are realities for you or a loved one, it may be necessary to consider seeking treatment for a gambling addiction. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, please contact one of the organizations that we recommend.

Need help, advice or counselling?

If you feel you might have a gambling problem, and seek further advice or counselling, you can visit these web sites:

German Centers (by State)

  • Berlin

Charité Berlin AG-Spielsucht

  • Bavaria

Landesstelle Glücksspielsucht in Bayern (LSG)

  • Lower Saxony

Niedersächsische Landesstelle für Suchtfragen (NLS)

  • Baden-Württemberg

Landesstelle für Suchtfragen in Baden-Württemberg (LSS)

  • Rhineland-Palatinate

Ambulanz für Spielsucht der Universitätsmedizin Mainz

  • Saxony

Suchtberatung der Arbeiterwohlfahrt Sachsen (AWO)

  • Thuringia

AWO Thüringen Suchtkrankenhilfe

  • Hessen

Hessische Landesstelle für Suchtfragen e.V. (HLS)

  • North Rhine-Westphalia

Ministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales

  • Saxony-Anhalt

Landesstelle für Suchtfragen im Land Sachsen-Anhalt

  • Brandenburg

Brandenburgische Landessteelle für Suchtfragen/Landeskoordinierung Glücksspielsucht

  • Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Landesfachstelle Glücksspielsucht MV

  • Hamburg

Die Boje Suchthilfezentrum

  • Schleswig-Holstein

Landesstelle für Suchtfragen Schleswig-Holstein e.V

  • Saarland

Landesfachstelle Glücksspielsucht Saarland

  • Bremen

Fachstellen Glücksspielsucht im Land Bremen

Other game related information

You can access other game related information (if applicable) such as costs incurred in connection with participation, the amount of winnings, when and where prizes are published, the percentage of winnings paid out from the stake (pay-out ratio), information on the probabilities of winning and losing, closing dates for participation, the method of determining winnings (including information on the random mechanism), the distribution of winnings and cut-off time for claiming winnings either in the relevant rules for the game, in your account, and/or on the gaming platform, app or website.

The player protection officer can be contacted at the following email:

Over 18 OnlyWorried about excessive play? Click here for help.

i if you don’t see the “Tool” menu, please, check under “More”