How to Switch From Play Money to Real Money on PokerStars

PokerStars real money mode

PokerStars is the most popular and well-known online room, with a great image and well-thought-out software. Variety of PokerStars online poker real money games is quite impressive – you’ll hardly find a poker platform offering so many disciplines.

There is also a free play mode, which allows you to place bets for fun or the so-called virtual credits. This option is best suitable for newbies, cause not everyone is willing to spend their savings at their career start. And you can switch to a real game at any time, as soon as you feel that you are ready for serious battles. 

We’ll tell you how to switch from play money to real funds in the poker room, as well as how to start your poker journey without investments.

PokerStars Real Money vs Free Play Action

Stars have several poker clients, and they differ in functionality. Besides, the operator offers separate applications for particular regions, for instance, PokerStars PA or PokerStars NJ. But we're interested in game modes, so here we’ll focus on this very aspect. There are two of them:

  • real – where you pay a certain amount of money for participating;
  • training – where you play free of charge (for virtual credits, also called play chips).

How do you play PokerStars play money? For this, you’ll need to enable the appropriate mode in the Stars software or download a free play games only app. Here’s where you can do it:

PlatformSoftware Functionality
.comThere’s no possibility of playing for real money, only for virtual credits. One can see advertisements for this very software type on TV.
.netHere you can download the international version of the client. Players have the choice of switching between real games and free ones. The mode can be changed at any time (top right).
Did you know?
Did you know?

You can go to and install software to play for fake funds even if you reside in a country that prohibits real-money online poker.

How to Switch Between Modes in the Client

To join real money action, you need to conduct PokerStars download process on your local version of ".com" and install software on your device. In the lobby, mark checkboxes based on how you want to run your poker session: for real funds or for fun. Here's how easy it is to switch from one mode to another right in the client.

Step 1
Step 1

Log in to your profile in the poker client. You can see tabs "Real Money" and "Play Money" in the upper right corner.

PokerStars real money games

Step 2
Step 2

Choose the desired one and play for your joy. 

Pokerstars play money mode

PokerStars Play Money Mode Explained

Well, Stars offer their users the opportunity to practice their skills for play chips (virtual currency) – they have no monetary value. This format is most suitable for novices seeking to understand the basic poker rules, try their hand at both tournaments and cash games, study the client program interface, as well as simply let off a little steam after a hard day’s work. When this knowledge is obtained, we recommend moving on to betting for real money as playing in demo mode people treat their chips in a frivolous way. Betting for real funds, things are a little different and users manage their stacks with much more care.

There are specific rules: a poker player cannot get countless chips. Each new user receives 1,000 play chips upon sign up. Every 4 hours, you can top up your account with 15,000. Simply go to your play money cashier and press "Collect".

Pokerstars play money mode

To check your virtual balance, visit the Cashier section or switch to the training mode and check it out in the main lobby (near the eye symbol). Note that one can run up to 6 cash tables and up to 3 SnGs at once. PokerStars rake is taken in the training mode as well to create the most realistic online poker experience – it ranges from 5.5% to 10%, just like in real-money counterparts.

Can I exchange play chips for real money?
Can I exchange play chips for real money?

No, it’s not possible. So even with several million chips in your account, you will only be a virtual wealthy.

How to Start Playing Real Money Games

Many novices wonder “Can I play PokerStars for real money?”. Of course, but there is no guest access to the poker client, so you will definitely need to create an account. Registration goes through the official website and takes only a few minutes; here you can download software. If you face any difficulties, write to PokerStars live chat – their support team responds promptly. Specialists will help you sign up and answer all your questions.

These are the following steps required to play real money games in the discussed poker room:

Step 1
Step 1

Log in to the client program and click Cahier to top up your account.

Step 2
Step 2

In the Deposit window, choose means of payment and how much you want to fund. Note that Pokerstars minimum deposit and the smallest amount to claim welcome bonuses differ.

Step 3
Step 3

Select a suitable cash table, SnG or tourney using helpful filters and enjoy the game. Holdem, Omaha, Stud, Draw and Mixed games of different betting structures are at your disposal. No other site has such a wide variety of disciplines to offer.

Poker Stars is one of the most attended poker platforms for obvious reasons. We note that new player bonuses here are really beneficial, and their software works perfectly on any device, be it a desktop or mobile.

Free online poker with real opponents

You can start earning funds on poker without investment. Almost every poker room has freerolls – tournaments of various types with no entry fee where players are able to win cash prizes or free tickets. And PS is no exception. That’s a great opportunity to start making money from scratch and test your level of play with real opponents.

Pokerstars real money freerolls

Should you be interested in free-to-play tournaments on other poker sites, you can find a schedule and current freeroll passwords in a dedicated section on Cardmates.

Final Thoughts

If you do not treat poker as a form of income but consider free games as a leisure activity, then Play Money mode is what you need. You shouldn't be afraid and worry about the invested funds, and your virtual balance will be updated every 4 hours.

And when you feel confident in your poker skills, we recommend that you switch to Real Money mode (join small stakes first and then climb the limits), as people play more carefully at real tables – they adhere to certain strategies and take into account poker odds and probabilities. Only this way you can see serious poker action and learn to play poker professionally.

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✨ Does PokerStars have play money?

Yes, this feature is available for all Stars users. Play chips allow you to battle with real opponents, improve your poker skills and not risk your hard-earned money at the same time. However, we do not recommend wasting chips. It is better to get used to reasonable behaviour and always analyse your opponents and situation.

💻 Where is play money on PokerStars?

There are two lobbies in the client program: for real games and for free-to-play games. One can select the desired lobby in the upper right corner (Real Money mode launches by default). It is there that you put a tick at which tables you want to play.

After choosing Play Money mode, you can try your hand at playing cash tables and/or tournaments. This helps newbies understand the principle of playing different poker types, determine action order at the table, and decide what format suits them better.  

💁‍♂️ Can you win real money with play money on PokerStars?

No, Play Money mode is designed to help novice players familiarize themselves with poker rules, and try their hand at tournaments and cash games. Play Chips are intended for entertainment, this is not a real money game, therefore they do not have a monetary value and thus cannot be withdrawn, sold or converted into real money.

This option is great for non-gamblers or for those who are just starting to take their first steps in this card game.

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