Sweepstakes Online Poker Guide

Sweepstakes poker sites offer a legal online poker experience to players across the US.

The games at a sweepstakes poker site operate as mini sweepstakes games and are available to poker players in virtually every US state. In states without legalized real-money poker, sweepstakes sites like Global Poker are the best option available to US players.

The sweepstakes gaming model offers players the opportunity to play poker for cash prizes. Sweepstakes poker sites offer both play money games, as well as sweepstakes games, using a unique “Sweeps Coins” currency system.

Most Popular Sweepstakes Poker Site: Global Poker

Global Pokerglobal poker sweepstakes online poker stands at the front of the pack among US-facing sweepstakes poker sites. Launched in 2016, Global Poker operates under the banner of VGW Holdings. This is the same company that introduced sweepstakes casino sites like Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots.

Global Poker’s popularity is backed by a prominent presence on Facebook and other social media platforms. That social media presence powers Global Poker’s status as one of the highest-traffic online poker sites in the US.

Players can access the full gamut of online poker options at Global Poker. Ring games, multi-table tournaments, Sit N Gos, and Jackpot Sit N Gos all run around the clock at the biggest sweepstakes poker site in the US.

With the sweepstakes model in place, Global Poker is a great alternative to real money online sites. Global Poker legally operates in 49 states. This gives US players in just about every jurisdiction the opportunity to compete in the online poker realm.

The games at Global Poker are separated into two categories: play money games and sweepstakes games. Play money games, played with “Gold Coins” as currency, run on the social poker side of the site.

Global Poker’s sweepstakes poker games allow players to compete for “Sweeps Coins,” which are redeemable for cash prizes.

Can I Win Real Money Playing Sweepstakes Online Poker?

How Does The Currency System Work At Sweepstakes Poker Sites?

Global Poker operates as both a social gaming site and a sweepstakes poker platform.

The games at Global Poker are divided into “Gold Coins” games and “Sweeps Coins” games. The Gold Coins side of the site offers play money games, using Gold Coins as currency.

Gold Coins packages are available for purchase. With the purchase of a Gold Coins package, Global Poker also awards an amount of Sweeps Coins as a gift.

The Sweeps Coins can be used to play in the sweepstakes games, aka Sweeps Coins games. Sweeps Coins are used as the currency on that side of the site and can be used to play in ring games and tournaments.

Sweeps Coins carry no cash value but can be redeemed for cash prizes. As such, the Sweeps Coins games at Global Poker operate legally as mini sweepstakes games and give players across the US a chance to play poker for cash prizes.

Do I Need To Deposit Money To Play?

Sweeps Coins can be acquired without making a Gold Coins package purchase. Global Poker offers free Sweeps Coins through mail-in and social media offers, and these promotions are open to anyone 18 or over.

Global Poker regularly runs Facebook promotions that give away Sweeps Coins for free. These offers can be found on Global Poker’s Facebook page.

Mail-In Offers At Global Poker

In addition to social media offers, Global Poker also extends the opportunity to obtain free Sweeps Coins through mail-in offers. Any player 18 or over, and with a valid Global Poker account, can redeem this mail-in offer.

To qualify, players must send an envelope with name, address, and the phrase “Sweepstakes Credits” on the front, to the VGW Holdings Sweepstakes Department.

Once Global Poker verifies the details, the Sweeps Coins appear on the player’s Global Poker account.

More information on Global Poker’s free Sweeps Coins offers is found by navigating to the “Sweeps Rules” link under the “Help Center” menu at the bottom of the Global Poker homepage.

This information is also found by clicking the ‘Get Coins” link from the main lobby, and then clicking on the “Play For Free Tab” and navigating to the “Sweeps Rules” link.

Using these free offers, players can win cash prizes at Global Poker without making any kind of deposit.

How Do I Purchase At A Sweepstakes Poker Sites?

Sweepstakes poker sites don’t legally operate the same way as a real money poker site. There’s no way for players to deposit a USD amount of their choosing and play poker with those funds.

Sweeps Coins are available, however, as a gift that comes along with the purchase of a Gold Coins play money package.

For example, players can purchase a $100 USD package that comes with 500,000 Gold Coins for use in the play money games. That package also gives the player SC 103 as a gift. The SC 103 can then be used as currency in the sweepstakes poker games.

Purchase Methods

Gold Coins packages can be purchased using online banking, with players able to use an account from virtually every bank in the US to make a purchase. Debit and credit cards issued by Visa, MasterCard, and American Express can also be used.

Other purchase options include Skrill eWallet and Instant ACH. Instant ACH purchases require a valid Skrill account.

How Do I Win Real Money At These Sites?

Sweeps Coins can be used as currency to play Global Poker’s sweepstakes poker games. After meeting the site’s playthrough requirement, Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes.

Cash-out methods include direct deposit into a valid bank account or Skrill account. Sweeps Coins can also be converted into a USD gift card.

To cash out, players must provide proof of identity, age, and location.

Sweepstakes Poker: Blocked And Allowed States

Global Poker is by far the most widely available legal online poker option in the US. The sweepstakes platform operates in 49 states, as well as Washington DC.

Players in these jurisdictions can access, play, and redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes 24 hours a day at Global Poker. This availability to US players makes Global Poker one of the highest traffic online poker sites in the US.

The exception to this availability is Washington state. By state law, sweepstakes gaming sites are outlawed in Washington. Players in the state are unable to purchase Gold Coins packages or redeem Sweeps Coins.

Comparing Sweepstakes Poker Sites To Traditional Poker Sites

What’s The Same?

Global Poker offers US players the full online poker experience. The sweepstakes poker games come in many of the same formats offered at other legal poker sites.

Cash games can be found at a variety of Sweeps Coins stakes. Both six-max and full ring games run around the clock, at stakes from SC .02/SC .04 up to SC 5/SC 10. Ring game variants include both No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha.

Multi-Table Tournaments

Multi-table tournaments also run around the clock at Global Poker, giving players access to the biggest tournament player pool among US-facing poker sites.

Tournaments include both No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha, and run from the micro stakes up to high buy-ins like SC 110 and SC 218.

The centerpiece tournament on the Global Poker schedule is the weekly Sunday Scrimmage. The Sunday Scrimmage offers a prize pool of at least SC 50,000, and at times that guarantee has gone all the way up to SC 500,000.

Global Poker also runs special tournament series like the annual Rattlesnake Open, which offers a total prize pool of SC 1,000,000 across numerous events.

Sit N Gos and Jackpot Sit N Gos are also on the menu of games at Global Poker.

What Sets Sweepstakes Poker Apart?

With a wide array of tournaments and cash game options, Global Poker’s game selection is on par with any US-facing online poker site.

The availability of Global Poker across virtually the entire US, however, puts the site in a category of its own. While legal online poker is only available in a few states, Global Poker’s ability to operate in so many jurisdictions makes it a viable option for poker players around the country.

Accessibility To US Players

Global Poker’s legal status as a sweepstakes gaming site makes it possible for the platform to operate just about anywhere in the US.

The future looks bright for state-regulated, legal online poker in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Those states, along with a handful of others, have legislation in place allowing state casinos to legally offer online poker.

Most of the US, however, has yet to legalize online poker. For the majority of US poker players, Global Poker is the best legal option to enjoy online poker for cash prizes.

Global Poker also offers the easiest barrier to entry of any US-facing online poker site. With no download required, players can register for an account and play the sweepstakes poker games within minutes.

How Sweepstakes Games Work

The sweepstakes games on the Sweeps Coins side of Global Poker run around the clock. Starting with the smallest limits at SC .05/SC .10., players can find games at a variety of stakes.

Cash games for both No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha run from the micro stakes up to SC 5/SC 10. The No-Limit Hold’em games offer six-max and full ring formats.

Even during the slower traffic hours of the day, players can find multiple games running at all stakes. Like most poker sites, most of the full tables are micro and low stakes at and given time, but plenty of action awaits for mid-stakes players as well.

No-Limit Hold’em

There’s never a bad time to get into a No-Limit Hold’em cash game at Global Poker. Players looking for micro and low stakes game will always find plenty of games running.

Multiple tables for both six-max and full ring cash games run throughout the day at these stakes. From the micro stakes at SC .05/SC .10, up to SC .25/SC .50, No-Limit Hold’em players will have no trouble finding a seat.

The player pool at stakes from SC 1/SC 2 up to SC 2/SC 5 isn’t as large as the micro stakes pool, but players at those stakes can still find multiple games at most times. The highest-stakes cash games at Global Poker run at SC 5/SC 10, as well as short-stacked buy-in games at SC 10/SC 20.

Peak hours for traffic for Global Poker’s No-Limit Hold’em games occur from 5 pm to midnight eastern time on weekdays, and throughout most of the day on weekends.

Pot-Limit Omaha

Six-max cash games for Pot-Limit Omaha offer plenty of opportunity for PLO players at Global Poker. Games can usually be found running all day at stakes from SC .05/SC .10 up to SC 1/SC 2.

The highest-stakes Pot-Limit Omaha games at Global Poker run at SC 2/SC 5 up to SC 10/SC 20. Games at these stakes run multiple tables at peak hours, which are generally on weekday evenings and throughout the weekend.

How Sweepstakes Tournaments Work

The multi-table tournament schedule at Global Poker presents one of the largest selections of poker tournaments available to US players.

More than 100 different tournaments run daily. This includes traditional structure tournaments, as well as rebuy, bounty, and satellites. Deep stack, regular, turbo, and hyper-turbo tournaments can be found throughout the day.

From buy-ins as low as SC 1 up to the highest-stakes events at SC 218, the tournament menu at Global Poker offers plenty of options for players at a variety of levels. No-Limit Hold’em tournaments make up most of the schedule, with a few Pot Limit Omaha events offered as well.

All of Global Poker’s tournaments run with guaranteed prize pools. The biggest guarantee on the schedule is the weekly Sunday Scrimmage, with a guarantee of at least SC 50,000.

Global Poker often raises the guarantee on the Sunday Scrimmage, sometimes as high as SC 500,000. Special tournament series events, like the annual Rattlesnake Open, attract big player numbers as well.

How Do Bonuses Work At Sweepstakes Poker Sites?

Global Poker offers a free sign-up bonus for new players upon submission of verification documents. This free SC 20 is easy to collect and requires no purchase.

New players can register an account at Global Poker by simply signing in with an existing Facebook or Google account. If neither of these options is used, the sign-up process requires a simple fill out of first and last name details, and a valid email address.

Once registered, players can immediately begin the steps to earn the free sign-up bonus.

How To Get The Global Poker Sign-Up Bonus

To earn the SC 20 sign-up bonus, new players must provide documentation of age, address, and identity to the Global Poker support team. The verification process is rapid, and the SC 20 becomes available in the player’s account with 24 hours.

To verify a new account, players must click on the menu icon at the top left of the main lobby. From there, clicking on “Account” brings up the account verification menu.

The “Identity Verification” section of this menu needs to be completed to obtain the bonus. Clicking on that section will prompt the site to ask for an upload of a valid identification document, as well as a photo for facial recognition.

Once these documents are verified, the SC 20 bonus becomes available by clicking on the “Get Coins” button at the top right of the main lobby. The free SC 20 will appear in that menu.

How Does Rake Work At Sweepstakes Poker Sites?

The rake structure for cash games and tournaments at Global Poker is comparable to some of the world’s biggest legal online poker sites.

Multi-table tournaments are generally offered at around 10% rake per buy-in. For example, the SC 11 buy-in tournaments put SC 10 toward the prize pool and SC 1 toward rake. Rake as a percentage of buy-in goes down as the buy-ins increase.

Global Poker Cash Game Rake

The rake structure for cash games varies at different limits, becoming more player-friendly as the stakes go up. At all stakes, pots that go past the preflop betting round are raked at 5%.

Each stake level has a cap on the maximum amount of rake Global Poker takes in from the pot. The cap is based on the stake level and how many players are in the pot.

The rake structure for Global Poker’s cash games is as follows:

StakesRake
Percentage
2
Players
Cap
3+
Player
Cap
5+
Player
Cap
SC .05/SC .105%SC 0.75SC 1.00SC 1.50
SC .10/SC .205%SC 1.00SC 1.50SC 2.00
SC .20/SC .40 (20BB)5%SC 1.00SC 1.50SC 2.00
SC .25/SC.505%SC 1.00SC 2.00SC 3.00
SC .50/SC 15%SC 1.00SC 2.00SC 3.00
SC .80/SC 1.60 (20BB)5%SC 1.00SC 2.00SC 3.00
SC 1/SC 25%SC 1.00SC 2.00SC 3.00
SC 2.50/SC 55%SC 1.25SC 2.25SC 3.50
SC 4/SC 8 (20BB)5%SC 1.25SC 2.25SC 3.50
SC 5/SC 105%SC 1.50SC 2.50SC 3.50
SC 10/SC 20 (20BB)5%SC 1.50SC 2.50SC 3.50

Online Sweepstakes Poker FAQ

Does PokerStars offer a sweepstakes poker site?

No. PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world, operates real money games around the world on its primary PokerStars.com client. PokerStars also operates legal, state-regulated platforms in select US states.

None of PokerStars’ platforms operate as sweepstakes poker sites. PokerStars.net is a play money site open to most of the US, but is strictly a social gaming site. Players on PokerStars.net cannot win real money prizes.

How old do I need to be to play sweepstakes poker online?

The minimum age to redeem Sweeps Coins for real US dollars at Global Poker is 18. This age applies in all US states in which Global Poker legally operates.

To cash out on Global Poker, players must provide proof of age, identity, and location. Once these documents are verified, players can redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes.

Players unable to provide these documents will not be able to redeem cash prizes at Global Poker.

Can you also play casino games at sweepstakes poker sites?

No. Global Poker is a poker-only platform, with no other casino games available to play on the site. The parent company to Global Poker, VGW Holdings, does operate a pair of sweepstakes casino sites separate from Global Poker.

Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots are sister sites to Global Poker, operated by VGW Holdings. These are both sweepstakes casino platforms, with a variety of slots and other casino games.

Do sweepstakes poker sites have good software?

Yes. Global Poker’s software offers a simple, intuitive interface that online poker players will find familiar. New players will likely have no problems playing the games and following the action as well.

The software execution and presentation at Global Poker is comparable to other legal poker sites. Since debuting the product in 2016, Global Poker has continually updated the software to accommodate its growing player base.

Are sweepstakes poker sites legit?

Yes. Sweepstakes poker sites like Global Poker operate legally in 49 US states. The sweepstakes gaming model behind Global Poker has been used in the US for many years by other companies and promotions.

Global Poker is owned by VGW Holdings. VGW Holdings is a public company with a vested interest in providing legitimate sweepstakes poker games to US players.

How do I get paid by sweepstakes poker sites if I win?

The sweepstakes games at Global Poker use Sweeps Coins as currency. Sweeps Coins function as entry credits to the sweepstakes poker games at Global Poker.

Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes at a redemption rate. Redemption options at Global Poker include direct deposit to a bank account, Skrill eWallet, and conversion of Sweeps Coins into a USD gift card.

Can I play at sweepstakes poker rooms in California?

Yes. Global Poker is legal in California, as well as a total of 49 US states. The only US state outlawing sweepstakes poker and casino sites is Washington state.

In California, as well as other states without state-regulated online poker, Global Poker is the best option for playing poker for real-money prizes.

Does PokerStars offer a sweepstakes poker site?

No. PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world, operates real money games around the world on its primary PokerStars.com client. PokerStars also operates legal, state-regulated platforms in select US states.

None of PokerStars’ platforms operate as sweepstakes poker sites. PokerStars.net is a play money site open to most of the US, but is strictly a social gaming site. Players on PokerStars.net cannot win real money prizes.

How old do I need to be to play sweepstakes poker online?

The minimum age to redeem Sweeps Coins for real US dollars at Global Poker is 18. This age applies in all US states in which Global Poker legally operates.

To cash out on Global Poker, players must provide proof of age, identity, and location. Once these documents are verified, players can redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes.

Players unable to provide these documents will not be able to redeem cash prizes at Global Poker.

Can you also play casino games at sweepstakes poker sites?

No. Global Poker is a poker-only platform, with no other casino games available to play on the site. The parent company to Global Poker, VGW Holdings, does operate a pair of sweepstakes casino sites separate from Global Poker.

Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots are sister sites to Global Poker, operated by VGW Holdings. These are both sweepstakes casino platforms, with a variety of slots and other casino games.

Do sweepstakes poker sites have good software?

Yes. Global Poker’s software offers a simple, intuitive interface that online poker players will find familiar. New players will likely have no problems playing the games and following the action as well.

The software execution and presentation at Global Poker is comparable to other legal poker sites. Since debuting the product in 2016, Global Poker has continually updated the software to accommodate its growing player base.

Are sweepstakes poker sites legit?

Yes. Sweepstakes poker sites like Global Poker operate legally in 49 US states. The sweepstakes gaming model behind Global Poker has been used in the US for many years by other companies and promotions.

Global Poker is owned by VGW Holdings. VGW Holdings is a public company with a vested interest in providing legitimate sweepstakes poker games to US players.

How do I get paid by sweepstakes poker sites if I win?

The sweepstakes games at Global Poker use Sweeps Coins as currency. Sweeps Coins function as entry credits to the sweepstakes poker games at Global Poker.

Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes at a redemption rate. Redemption options at Global Poker include direct deposit to a bank account, Skrill eWallet, and conversion of Sweeps Coins into a USD gift card.

Can I play at sweepstakes online poker sites in California?

Yes. Global Poker is legal in California, as well as a total of 49 US states. The only US state outlawing sweepstakes poker and casino sites is Washington state.

In California, as well as other states without state-regulated online poker, Global Poker is the best option for playing poker for real-money prizes.

About the Author

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.