What Is Global Poker & How Does It Work?

Global Poker functions as one of the biggest U.S.-facing online poker sites. The platform’s status as a sweepstakes gaming site allows Global Poker to offer games to poker players in the U.S.

You can’t directly buy-in to any of the poker games on Global Poker. The site presents its games as “Gold Coins” (play money) and “Sweeps Coins” (sweepstakes games), with each set of games on separate sides of the Global Poker platform.

The way Global Poker operates can certainly be confusing. Let’s dive into the question – what is Global Poker and how does it work?

Global Poker: Sweepstakes Poker Site

Since launching in the mid-2010s, Global Poker has emerged as one of the more prominent online poker rooms available to U.S. players. The sign-up process, payment setup, and operating system behind Global Poker are unlike anything else in the industry, however.

You can sign up for Global Poker with one click through an existing Google or Facebook account. After registering for a new account, the Gold Coins (play money) main lobby appears on the screen.

You can immediately begin playing in the Gold Coins game if you wish, as the site starts you off with a balance of play money credits. To play real money poker (aka poker for “cash prizes”), you’ll need to click on the “Get Coins” link at the top right of the lobby.

After clicking on that link, look for the “Buy Gold Coins” tab at the top left of the menu that appears. You’ll see various Gold Coins package amounts on the left, with a corresponding purchase price on the right.

What is Global Poker & How Does It Work?

Each of those packages costs the real money amount on the right. With each Gold Coins purchase, you also get a corresponding amount of “free sweeps coins” that you can use in the sweepstakes games at Global Poker.

For example, the 100,000 Gold Coins package is available for $20. That purchase puts the 100,000 in play money credit into your account, as well as a “bonus” of 20 Sweeps Coins.

Sweeps Coins can be cashed out later, and one SC is equivalent to $1 USD. SC 20, for example, equates to $20.

Global Poker is owned and operated by VGW Holdings, and is available to players in most of the U.S. and Canada. Only Washington state in the U.S. doesn’t permit cashouts from the sweepstakes games at Global Poker.

Poker Games Available at Global Poker

The Sweeps Coins games available at Global Poker include ring games (cash games), multi-table tournaments, sit’n’gos, jackpot sit’n’gos, and Surge (fast-fold cash games).

You can find all of the game options listed above at a variety of Sweeps Coins Stakes.

Global Poker Cash Games

Like most online poker sites, the majority of the cash games running at Global Poker are Texas Hold’em games.

Both six-max and full ring games are available at stakes beginning at SC 0.05/SC 0.10 (equivalent to $0.05/$0.10) up to SC 10/SC 20). You can find at least one game running at stakes up to SC 1/SC 2 at most times of day.

Peak hours (around 5pm-11pm Eastern time) can offer several full tables at most stakes.

In addition to Texas Hold’em, players can also find a solid selection of Pot-Limit Omaha cash games, and a few PLO Hi-Lo games as well.

The Global Poker game menu also includes Surge, the site’s version of fast-fold No-Limit Hold’em cash games. Crazy Pineapple is listed on Global’s game menu, but it might be tough to find a game running.

What is Global Poker & How Does It Work?

Tournaments at Global Poker

Global Poker’s status as a U.S.-facing online poker site translates into fairly high player turnout for daily and weekly tournaments.

The site’s daily multi-table tournament schedule includes buy-ins ranging from SC 0.11 up to SC 110. Guarantees for the daily tournaments reach up to five figures, particularly for the higher buy-in events.

The site offers a flagship weekly tournament known as the Sunday Scrimmage. The Sunday afternoon event comes at an SC 218 buy-in, and typically offers an SC 50,000 guaranteed prize pool.

Global Poker frequently raises the guarantee on the Sunday Scrimmage, however, with the number going into six-figure territory at times.

The platform also regularly offers special seasonal series of poker tournaments. Tournament players can find some kind of seasonal collection of poker championships running at Global Poker almost year-round.

For example, Global Poker’s summer 2022 special tournament series ran for three weeks in July and August. Titled the GOAT IV, the series Main Event ran at an SC 99 buy-in with an SC 200,000 prize pool.

Other tournament offerings include standard SNGs and Jackpot Sit’n’Gos, which run around the clock. The Jackpot Sit’n’Gos cap out at SC 10 for the buy-in, with a grand progressive jackpot of SC 2,000.

What is Global Poker & How Does It Work?

Buying Sweepstakes Credits at Global Poker

The sweepstakes model that allows Global Poker to operate in the U.S. is also probably the most confusing aspect for new players of how the site functions. Global Poker exists in somewhat of a gray area among U.S.-facing gambling sites.

You can’t directly deposit or withdraw money into a Global Poker account, but the site’s functionality essentially makes it a real-money online poker platform.

When you purchase any Gold Coins package, the Sweeps Coins “reward” amount that comes with that package will appear in your balance on the Sweeps Coins side of the site. You can toggle between the “SC” and “GC” sides of the platform at the top right of the main lobby.

For example, let’s say you wanted to put $500 on the site for the Sweeps Coins games. To begin that process, click on the “Get Coins” button at the top right of the main lobby.

Scroll down the menu that appears, and you’ll see various dollar amounts from $2 to $500, along with corresponding Gold Coins amounts. Click on the “$500” tab to purchase a package of 2.6 million Gold Goins, which comes with a “free” SC 515.

What is Global Poker & How Does It Work?

Once you’ve clicked on that, you can make your purchase using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit/debit cards. PayPal was a payment option at one time, but Global Poker now partners with WorldPay to facilitate credit/debit card purchases.

You can also buy Gold Coins/Sweeps Coins via online banking, which allows you to purchase with a direct draft from your bank account. Skrill is another option for purchasing credits at Global Poker.

Once your purchase goes through, you’ll have SC 515 to use in the Sweeps Coins games. Remember that SC and USD are equivalent, so you essentially have a $515 bankroll to use in the ring games and tournaments on the sweepstakes side of Global Poker.

You can contact customer support ([email protected]) if any issues arise with Sweeps Coins purchases.

Cashing Out 

To cash out from Global Poker, once again head to the “Get Coins” tab at the top right of the main lobby. Click on the “Redeem Prize” tab, which brings up two cashout options.

You can either redeem your Sweeps Coins as a gift card, or set up at direct transfer to your bank account. Once you’ve chosen a redemption method, it can take up to five days (or sometimes longer) for your redemption request to be processed.

Before you can cash out, however, you’ll have to go through Global Poker’s verification process. The site uses the Netverify service for verification.

You’ll need to upload a picture of your photo ID through Netverify, and after that customer support will inform you when you’re verified and able to cash out. In some cases, you might need to upload additional verification documents.

Pros and Cons 

The biggest positive about playing at Global Poker is the access for U.S. players. Unlike the PokerStars USA network. WSOP.com, or other regulated U.S.-facing poker sites, Global isn’t limited to states that have legalized real-money online poker.

Unless you’re located in Washington state, you’re always just a couple of clicks away from playing real-money online poker, albeit disguised as a “sweepstakes gaming” site. Cash games and MTT options await at a variety of Sweeps Coins stakes.

Perhaps the biggest negative about the platform involves the poker software. You can expect glitches, freezes, and an array of other software mishaps to happen on a regular basis while you play.

Global Poker doesn’t offer a dedicated Android or Apple iOS app. If you go to the Google Play store you’ll see a “Global Poker” app, but beware that this particular app is from a different company, and not the same as the platform discussed here.

The Malta Gaming Authority regulates the gameplay and RNG at Global Poker. So while Global is a U.S.-facing site, the site isn’t held accountable by any official U.S. gaming regulation agency.

After reading this Global Poker review, you hopefully have a better idea of what to expect if you decide to take a shot at the sweepstakes poker tables.

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