PokerStars Starts Trials Of New Side Bets Feature
PokerStars is currently testing a new feature which would make it possible for players to make side bets on upcoming cards.
The online poker site has yet to issue an official announcement regarding the side bets, but a webpage has already been created showing details of the new feature.
Side betting is a common practice in live poker, with players usually getting involved in some extra action by making a bet on the flop in between hands. If the online trial being conducted by PokerStars will prove successful, the site will become the first major online operator to launch such feature.
Side bets are only currently available in selected markets, including PokerStars players in the UK and Europe. The bets are made against the house (PokerStars), and do not directly impact the play, as the money used in these side bets is not deducted from the player’s stake at the table, but from their PokerStars account balance. Side bet winnings are also directly added into their respective accounts.
The bets are also accessible via a separate tab which can be found in a similar area as the chat panel.
Almost 3% House Edge
While PokerStars has yet to announce the full details of the available side bets, it’s understood players would be allowed to bet on the flop being all one suite, or whether they’ll receive a pocket pair. The return-to-player (RTP) percentage is estimated to be around 97.12% and 97.29% for side bets on both flops and hole cards respectively, giving the house an edge of up to 2.88%, higher than the house edge in roulette and baccarat games.
Side bets are relative new in online poker and will certainly provide a new level of fun and excitement, especially for casual players who simply want to enjoy the game and find a new way to gamble. However, the new feature is not for everyone, especially for serious poker pros who are keen on protecting their bankroll and do not want to waste extra money.
Some players might even consider 2.88% in extra rake as being too much, given the existing rake already in place especially at the micro and lower stake levels. Therefore, it will come as no surprise if avid PokerStars players would eventually reject the idea.
Other online poker sites also appear to move towards a similar feature, with partypoker and a number of sites running on the GG Network now almost close to opening a blackjack or roulette table in cash games.
PokerStars’ new side bets feature is still in trial phase. We can expect more feedback from the poker community as soon as the new feature is rolled out across the platform