One great thing about video games as a “live service” is that they are constantly updated, tweaked, and patched to offer players better balance, new content, and a better gaming experience for years to come. Online poker is very much the same – poker rooms frequently change their software client to look better, feel better, modify features, and improve performance. Last week, PokerStars rolled out its latest changes. Many won’t be noticed by most players, especially by casual players who just login in and play for a while without messing much with the software, but we will take a look at what is new, nevertheless.

On the desktop client, meaning the software you use if you are using a regular computer, PokerStars saw that several settings were only used by a small percentage of players and thus removed them. That doesn’t mean the features they controlled are gone, it’s just that they are now either on or off by default.

On the table display, these features are now on by default: show time left to act, display bet amounts, show observer count, and show chances of winning when all-in. In cash games, the “auto-seat me after accepting a reserved seat” is also always on, as are color borders and large note icons in the player notes feature.

In cash games, several settings now default to always off: close table on big blind when choosing to sit out next blind (which makes sense – you might just need a bathroom break and want to stay at the table, might as well have this off), ask to post blinds when a new game starts, and ask to wait for the big blind in play money games.

In tournament and sit-and-go’s, “always decline rematch requests” defaults to always off, as does no automated unregistering for sit-and-go’s.

Also on the desktop client, the Spin & Go lobby has been redesigned for UK players and will go global next year. Ctrl + Z now works to undo (and redo) in the chat and notes edit fields. Emoji images are now bigger in chat bubbles and, more importantly (or is it?), when you collapse the Tournament Information Widget during a mixed game, the current game type stays displayed.

On the mobile poker client, there is now a new “i” icon that players can tap to see detailed tournament information, while text that PokerStars deemed “unnecessary” has been removed from the felt. Bet buttons have gotten improvements: the “fold to any bet” button is now above the “fold” button, to make things a little easier, and players can now define custom betting buttons for pre- and post-flop action.

With both the desktop and mobile clients, PLO antes will now count toward the pre-flop pot calculation, which affects the maximum bet that can be made.

Those are most meaningful software updates. A complete rundown can be found on the PokerStars blog.

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