After 18 months in beta, PokerStars Play – the social app from PokerStars – has announced its full launch. To celebrate, we thought we’d write up a review of the software to let potential players know that they can expect.

The Look

PokerStars Play has quite a sleek and modern look. It is not too flashy but it is interesting enough to get players involved. We’d say that it is one of the better-looking social casino apps. It is understated but effective.

The Games

The developer states that PokerStars Play is almost exactly like the downloadable real-money client. It is very similar, from the graphics to the sound effects. You wouldn’t even know that you’re not playing on the actual poker stars client if it weren’t for the fact that your Facebook friends are listed along the bottom of the screen.

Currently, there are only two games available: Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha cash games. You won’t find anything like Stud Poker on here; so, you may have to check out another app for more niche types of poker.

Players also have the option of playing Zoom Poker, which is a fast-fold alternative. After you’re dealt your cards, you can choose to play the hand or fold. Once you fold, you’re immediately moved to another table with a new hand. This is a pretty ideal form of poker for the social gaming market.

Tournaments

Players can take part in Hold ‘Em Sit & Gos and tournaments. At the moment, there are no Omaha tournaments, but the majority of social poker fans won’t miss that very much. As you win tournaments, you progress along the EPT path.

Special Features

One of the things that we like most about this app is that there are so many special features to choose from. For example, players can earn achievements for carrying out different tasks, such as winning tournaments or going all-in.

There is also a fun poker quiz that runs alongside cash games. You can earn chips by answering questions about poker correctly, and it is perfect when you’re at a table with players who like to take their time while making a decision. We think that the quiz should definitely be used at real-money poker sites.

Good For Learning?

Many people will state that playing poker at low stakes or on social gaming sites will help you learn the ins and outs of the game. We agree with them – to some extent.

You can learn quite a bit about the basics of poker, but you won’t get very far playing on an app like PokerStars Play. Eventually, you will have to progress up the ranks to real-play poker – and, the learning process will start all over again.

There is a big difference between free-play and low-stakes poker, and even more of a difference between low-stakes and mid-stakes.

So, PokerStars Play is a great place to start; however, if you’re in it to learn, you’ll have to move on shortly.