New changes are coming in for PokerStars cash game players. The online poker giant is set to ban automated seating scripts that use opponent profiling to find optimal seats for the user.
The restrictions form part of major changes to the website’s third-party tools policy which will include the prohibition of any tool or service that filters available games or uses gameplay statistics to select tables and seats. Seated scripts have different versions but they work in pretty much the same fashion through building opponent profiles and using it to select tables.
New Changes To Take Effect on March 1
While there has been no confirmation yet on when the new changes will take effect, some script providers said the new rules will come into force on March 1, as per email and notification sent to them by PokerStars.
On its website, script developer NEED4SEAT said there will be changes to HUD software, certain utility tools and seating scripts, as stated in a 40-page document it has received from the leading poker website. Any software that uses an automatic seating process by scanning player statistics will be banned.
Ensuring Fairness
While seating scripts are used by most players to simplify table selection, there are concerns some players are using them in an exploitative manner. Most of the time, the weaker players are placed at a disadvantage, often becoming a prey to stronger players. They quickly lose and walk away from the game without having that much fun.
Going forward, players will now have to adhere to a new set of rules in relation to third-party software which are aimed at giving them more protection and enhancing gameplay.
PokerStars have now started accepting proposals from script developers on adapting to the new changes. NEED4SEAT said its proposed changes have already been approved by the website’s Game Integrity team. In addition to that, the script provider is also in the process of developing a new tool that will eliminate automatic seating scripts.
Seating Scripts Pose Challenges
Online poker rooms have been implementing changes to make sure seating scripts will be rendered ineffective. Some of the methods adopted include anonymizing players or prohibiting players from selecting specific tables. The “Seat Me” feature, which is already up and running in other poker networks such as MPN and Unibet Poker, can eradicate seating scripts through website-integrated software that finds the next available seat for players instead of allowing them to select the seats themselves.
This system is also in place at PokerStars sites in Spain and Italy. The poker giant has no imminent plan yet to roll out the Seat Me feature across all of its sites at the moment, though there are unconfirmed reports that this will most likely take place very soon.
Speeding Up Gameplay
Aside from the planned changes to its third-party tools policy, PokerStars is also looking at speeding up its cash games by limiting the players’ time to act. Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operation at parent company the Stars Group, said trials are underway to see the kind of impact it will have on gameplay. Rasset said their main priority is to provide a safe and fair environment for players without taking away their freedom.
From 18 seconds, the pre-flop time will now be reduced to 10 seconds, while the amount of time for post-flop will now be lowered from 25 seconds to 15 seconds. Players will only have 1 minute maximum time bank, down from 10 minutes. During pre-flop situations, they will only get 30 seconds. The new rules will come into force on February 5.
For the past few years, PokerStars has been introducing changes to its cash game tables, some of which have only been implemented in certain markets. On its Italian site, PokerStars has also tested a new table cap concept which puts a limit on the number of cash games tables a player can play at the same time.
The main aim is to get rid of long delays in decision-making often experienced by players who play multiple tables simultaneously. Players are now only allowed to play a maximum of six cash game tables to make the game more enjoyable and sustainable.
The major changes mark PokerStars’ continuing effort to create a safer, more welcoming environment for all players, particularly the recreational and casual players.

Tight Poker Staff

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For nearly two decades, we’ve provided the best in class for poker site reviews, top online poker bonuses, strategy tips, poker news, and exclusive free poker content.  Consisting of a team of poker and gambling experts, we deliver the best online poker brand experience for players of all levels, from the fish to the sharks.
For nearly two decades, we’ve provided the best in class for poker site reviews, top online poker bonuses, strategy tips, poker news, and exclusive free poker content.  Consisting of a team of poker and gambling experts, we deliver the best online poker brand experience for players of all levels, from the fish to the sharks.