Those looking to play online poker from the United States do not really have many options available to them that are completely legal. With the exception of a few states, there are no “legal” online poker rooms in the states available to online poker players in the US – except for Global Poker.
Launched in 2016, Global Poker took it upon themselves to do what no one has done before. They built an online poker site that fully complies with current laws and regulations in the US and yet allows players to effectively play for real money. Currently, only those in the state of Washington are restricted from playing on the site.
To do this, the room has adopted the so-called sweepstakes model. Instead of making real money deposits, players can only purchase Gold Coins, which are effectively play money and have no real monetary value.
However, for every purchase, players are also rewarded with an amount of free Sweeps Coins equivalent to the dollar value of the purchase. These coins can be used for play on Sweeps tables and can be redeemed for monetary prizes. The loophole is that players never actually purchase these coins but these are instead given as a reward for purchasing Gold Coins.
If this sounds a bit complicated that is because it is. However, keep on reading and by the time you reach the end, all of your questions should be answered.
Does Global Poker Offer a Welcome Bonus?
Yes, new players can receive a Welcome Bonus from Global Poker!
Since Global Poker is not a traditional online poker room, its welcome bonus is somewhat different as well. To get the Global Poker welcome bonus, you do not need to make any real money transactions, but you will need to fully verify your account by uploading the required identification documents.
Once you have successfully completed the process, you will receive a $20 Gold Coins package, which includes 20 Sweeps Coins. The verification is a fairly simple process whereby you will need to provide Global Poker with your picture ID and proof of address.
Your documents will be reviewed and manually approved by the staff. It usually does not take very long for this to happen (as long as you sent correct documents and in a correct format). Once your account is verified, you will receive the welcome bonus.
Also, you can get an addition bonus of 40 Sweeps Coins when you purchase a $40 Gold Coin Package (for just $20) which includes 200,000 Gold Coins.
How Do I Create a New Account at Global Poker?
Opening a new account with Global Poker is quite easy. The whole process is very simple and straightforward and players have several different ways to get started:
- Logging in via Facebook
- Logging in via Google
- Register using an email address
The first two methods are self-explanatory. If you want to use your Facebook or Google login to register with Global Poker, you simply need to select the corresponding option. You will then be able to log in with the credentials you use for these accounts and you will be set up in a matter of minutes as you will just need to choose your nickname on the platform.
The third option is similar to the registration process used by other poker rooms out there. You will need to enter your email, desired username, password, and country of origin. After this, you will receive an email with the verification link that you will need to click before you will be able to sit down to play.
How Do I Complete the Account Verification Process on Global Poker?
As soon as the registration is complete, you will be able to access your Global Poker account and join the tables. You can also purchase Gold Coins and receive Sweeps Coins. However, until you have verified your account, there will be limitations in place.
The most important restriction for unverified accounts is the maximum purchase amount. You will be able to make only $3000 worth of purchases in the period of 30 days. After you verify your account, that limit will increase to $12,000 in the same period. Additionally, you will only be able to redeem your Sweeps Coins after the verification.
The verification process at Global Poker is pretty painless and it entails just two steps:
- Uploading your photo ID and your selfie directly to your account
- Emailing your proof of address to Global Poker support
As for the proof of address, the operator accepts a number of different documents, such as bank statements, government-issued letters, and utility bills (not older than six months) as well as current government-issued IDs showing the address.
What Payment Options are Available at Global Poker?
Purchasing Golden Coins at Global Poker can be done via your account section on the site. The room offers a variety of packages with varying amounts of Gold Coins. However, as mentioned, Gold Coins are really play money and have no value.
What is much more important is the amount of Sweeps Coins, which is usually equal to or slightly greater than the dollar value of the purchase. For example, when you purchase $100 worth of Gold Coins, you will also receive 100 Sweeps Coins (or even slightly more if there is a promotion going on).
These Sweeps Coins are where it is at. Sweeps Coins can be exchanged for real money whenever you want and cashed out, which we will explain in a moment.
As for the payment options supported by Global Poker, you will be able to make purchases using methods such as:
- American Express
Global Poker used to accept PayPal as well but this method is no longer supported.
How Do I Cash Out My Sweeps Coins at Global Poker?
Sweeps Coins that you receive as a bonus every time you make a real money purchase can be used at cash tables and various tournaments offered at Global Poker. Just like with real dollars, every time you win a prize in a tournament or have a winning cash game session, your balance will increase.
Whenever you want to cash out all or a part of your Sweeps Coins, you will be able to do so inside the Global Poker store. Inside the store, navigate to the “Redeem Prize” tab and select from one of two available options:
- Redeem your prize as a gift card
- Cash Prize Redemption
The second option is what you will choose if you want to receive your winnings in cash. Simply type in the amount of Sweeps Coins you want to cash out and they will be converted to real money at 1:1 ratio and the money sent to your bank account.
This procedure is what allows Global Poker to legally operate in the US. Sweeps Coins do not have any monetary value as such. It is only at the moment of redemption that you convert them into something of actual value, which is how other sweepstakes work – and sweepstakes are legal in most parts of the US.
What Promotions Are Available at Global Poker?
Although Global Poker can not offer promotions in terms of cash bonuses or rakeback because of its business model, the room still manages to come up with some interesting promos for the players. As of the moment of writing this, there are several offers going on, such as:
- Weekly SC 5,000 Bonanza – a weekly tournament for all players who have seen at least 500 flops during the week. The guaranteed prize pool is SC 5,000 and the buy-in is just SC 0.11. There are also daily SC 500 Bonanza tournaments for everyone who sees 50 flops in a day.
- Daily Hundo Tournaments – guaranteeing SC 100 and SC 500 for the winner with the buy-on of SC 1 and SC 5, respectively. To qualify, you will need to first play at least 25 Gold Coins hands.
- Gold Rush – awarding daily, weekly, and monthly Gold Coin prizes for those who prefer sticking to play money games.
What Poker Game Types Are Offered at Global Poker?
Global Poker offers two main types of games: Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. Gold Coins are play money and are available to everyone but there is no possibility of winning real prizes playing in these games.
Sweeps Coins (SC) games are only available to players from the United States (excluding Washington) and Canada (excluding Quebec) and any coins won in Sweeps Coins games can be exchanged for cash.
In the Sweeps Coins section, you will find four main lobbies:
- Ring Games
- Sit N Go
- Jackpot Sit N Go
In the cash game department, Global Poker offers Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em tables with blinds starting at 0.05/0.10 SC and going up to 10/20 SC.
The MTT schedule is quite decent with a solid selection of events of all buy-in levels and for all bankrolls, including several daily freerolls offering a chance to win some Sweeps Coins for free. At the high end of the spectrum are Blitz and Scrimmage tournaments with buy-ins of 218 and offering guaranteed prizes of up to 50,000 SC.
Global Poker also features its very own jackpot sit and go tournaments, which are pretty much identical to those found across almost all major rooms these days. At the start of a sit and go, the prize is determined at random and it can be anywhere between 2x and 10,000x the buy-in. Buy-ins start at 0.5 SC and go up to 20 SC.
What is the Rake at Global Poker?
While Global Poker does not offer traditional real money games, they still charge rake on their Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins tables alike. Of course, it is the rake in Sweeps games that is really important for the players, especially considering the fact Global Poker does not offer any rakeback deals or a VIP system.
The rake is capped at 5% across the board, from the smallest to the largest no limit and pot limit games. The cap is based on the number of players at the table and there are three different caps for each stake:
- For two players
- Three to five players
- More than five players
For games with five or more players, rake caps are as follows:
- SC 0.05/0.10 – SC 1.50
- SC 0.10/0.20 – SC 2
- From SC 0.25/0.50 to SC 1/2 – SC 3
- SC 2.50/5 – SC 3.50
- SC 5/10+ – SC 4
The rake is somewhat on the higher side when compared to other real money rooms, especially at higher stakes. Add to this the fact that you do not really get any kind of return on the rake produced, and it is clear that playing at Global Poker is not super cheap. On the other hand, it is the only officially legal option in much of the US, so maybe it is the price worth paying.
How Good is the Global Poker Software?
Global Poker features a web-based software that requires absolutely no download or installation. As soon as you open an account, you will be able to log in via a web browser and get started right away. This is quite handy as it makes it easier to play from different devices.
At the same time, the software is quite basic in terms of options and settings. You only have a few options available to you, such as the ability to open new tables in the new window and turn sounds on and off. You can also turn on the four-color deck, which makes playing much easier.
Although Global Poker stores hand histories on the server and you can review them, you can not use any third-party programs when playing on Global Poker. Various poker trackers simply do not work with Global Poker, so do not expect to have access to any stats or numbers when playing here.
It is important to note that Global Poker explicitly forbids use of any third-party software while playing, so even if you could get one of these programs to work, you would be breaking terms and conditions and putting your account at risk.
Tables themselves are pretty clean and nice to look at, allowing players to fire multiple games at once and keep up with them with no big issues.
Those wanting to play on their mobile devices can do so using various iOS and Android phones and tablets. There is no need to download a standalone app as the mobile version of Global Poker is also entirely web-based. Simply navigate to the site and jump straight into action.
How Can I Contact Customer Support at Global Poker?
To get in touch with the support team at Global Poker you can use one of several options. The most convenient one is via email as you can include any attachments or additional documents as required. The email address for Global Poker customer support is [email protected]
However, Global Poker representatives are also quite active on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you need immediate assistance, this might be a better way to go get through to someone.
At the moment, Global Poker does not offer a live chat functionality or phone support.