Pokerstars restricts the use of seating scripts and other third party tools.
Created on January 26th, 2019
Effective from the 1st of March this year, PokerStars is going to change their 3rd-Party Tools and Services Policy. In a 40-page document which they sent me via email, they have outlined the upcoming changes that will effect some utility tools, HUDs and of course seating scripts. In this article, I'll give a brief overview on the changes with regards to seat scripting and automated table-selection.
Update (April 11th, 2019): PokerStars unexpectedly decided to ban seating sripts altogether. Please read the article for more information
New rules to the game.
To cut a long story short, any software that simplifies the user's table-selection, based on data about individual players at the table, will be prohibited. This not only includes tools that automate the seating process, but also those that sort or open tables based on individual player criteria. Some examples of seating tools that will be prohibited in the future include:
- Software that automatically seats or notifies the user, as soon as a player with a specific label sits down at a table.
- A tool, that scans the PokerStars lobby and automatically opens tables based on the individual players who are seated at them.
It's time to adapt!
Of course, these changes also affect NEED4SEAT's current seating mechanics. It is a priority to keep NEED4SEAT compliant with the new terms, which is why I'll be updating it prior to the 1st of March. There are still many possible solutions to facilitate table selection on PokerStars, most of which depend on the fact that highstakes regs rarely join tables at which other regulars are sitting. For NEED4SEAT, users will get a choice between two seating modes:
- Basic Seating: This is similar to how seating works on PartyPoker. The user automatically gets seated or notified as soon as a table is joined by a new player. This can optionally be configured to only trigger if at least a certain number of players are seated at the table.
- Intelligent Seating: This mode automatically seats or notifies the user when a table suddenly starts to fill up quickly. It will use advanced heuristics, but no info about individual players.
Because the NEED4SEAT lobby scanner only utilizes the PokerStars lobby filters to select which tables to open, it will remain unaffected by the new terms. I've discussed the seating features above with the PokerStars Game Integrity team and they've approved both of them. Of course, I am also open for more suggestions, so please send me an email if you have any other ideas for modifications.
What about Seat Me?
About a year ago, PokerStars started to roll out the Seat Me feature on several of it's smaller, local clients. Seat Me eliminates the possibility to join individual tables and instead only let's the players select a game variant and stakes - similar to how Zoom works. Of course, this prevents any kind of table selection. A large part of the online poker community expected PokerStars to release that feature to all PokerStars clients at the end of last year.
I've asked PokerStars if the updated terms imply that Seat Me will not be rolled out globally. Their answer was that "there is no imminent plan to change the lobby, however it is possible to happen at any future date. There won’t be a change related to this specific change in policy". So if it is going to happen, then my guess is that it's not any time soon.