Global Poker Review – California Online Poker Site

Visit: Global Poker

California lags behind many other US states when it comes to online gambling. In the absence of legal online poker options, the sweepstakes poker site, Global Poker, represents a refuge for California poker lovers.

At Global Poker, players can enjoy casual poker games on a stable website with the possibility of eventually earning some cash prizes. Below, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about playing Global Poker in California.

Who Should Try Global Poker?

Global Poker is a sweepstakes poker site that’s legal everywhere in the US except in Washington state. It offers most major poker game variations as well as daily and weekly tournaments. Players are typically at the beginner or intermediate skill level, so it’s mostly a site for casual poker play rather than serious competition between experts.

It’s a great online poker alternative if your state, like California, doesn’t allow regular online poker at all.

On the downside, you might notice a lack of variety in the available games. The website also doesn’t come with a dedicated mobile app. However, with a stable player base, it’s perhaps the best choice for poker hobbyists. 

What Are The Purchase Bonuses At Global Poker In California?

In order to entice new players to join, Global Poker provides a few opening bonus offers, including:

  • A $40 Gold Coin package for just $20, which includes 20,000 Gold Coins and 40 Sweeps Coins (on your first purchase)
  • A $20 Gold Coin package upon account verification

The great thing about this opening bonus is that you don’t need a promo code and it doesn’t come with strings attached. To get the second bonus, all you have to do is verify your Global Poker account via SMS.

Notably, you do need to spend $20 on your first purchase to receive the first bonus. If you spend less, you won’t get the bonus. However, you can also spend more and still take advantage of the bonus if you want to purchase tons of Gold Coins for future playing.

Quick Guide To Sweepstakes Poker In California

How Does Sweepstakes Poker Work In California?

Global Poker is legal and operates within California and other US states with the same legality as other sweepstakes casinos and sites. In a nutshell, a sweepstakes website doesn’t allow players to put real money on the line. Instead, Global Poker offers two digital currencies:

  • Gold Coins, which are purchasable in bundles. For instance, you can spend $20 on a Gold Coin bundle to acquire Gold Coins. You use this currency to play in Gold Coins poker games in place of real money.
  • Sweeps Coins. Unlike Gold Coins, Sweeps Coins cannot be purchased directly. They are awarded as bonuses when you purchase Gold Coins. You can also sometimes win additional Sweeps Coins through promotions or bonuses. You use Sweeps Coins as the currency for Sweeps Coin games in place of real money.

Because both of these digital currencies do not have real-world value, playing poker with them does not violate anti-gambling legislation in California. Imagine it as similar to playing with tickets at an arcade that you later trade-in for a prize.

However, although Gold Coins aren’t worth anything, you can trade in Sweeps Coins for cash prizes from Global Poker. You accumulate Sweeps Coins by winning Sweeps Coin poker games.

For so-called “cash” games (where poker enthusiasts play with Sweeps Coins), games can run from 0.05/0.10 Sweeps Coins up to around 10/20 Sweeps Coins. You cannot combine different currencies. The Gold Coins poker games only allow you to play with Gold Coins while cash games only allow you to play with Sweeps Coins.

How Do Purchases Work At Global Poker In California?

You cannot purchase Sweeps Coins directly at Global Poker for any other sweepstakes site that legally operates in the US. Instead, players can purchase Gold Coin packages, which include bonus Sweeps Coins, for anywhere between $20 to over $40.

After players sign up for Global Poker, they have a few options for payment. The site once offered PayPal but discontinued in 2018. Currently, Global Poker allows purchases through either Visa or MasterCard credit/debit cards.

Players can also use a direct bank transfer to Global Poker, although the balance won’t be available until the next business day. The Skrill e-wallet is another accepted method of payment.

How Does Entry By Mail Work At Global Poker?

Players can also receive Sweeps Coins if they send in a request by regular mail. The procedure for this is simple and straightforward:

  1. Use a standard and unfolded 4” x 6” postcard or a stamped number 10 envelope (with a white piece of paper that you will enclose)
  2. Handwrite the following address on the envelope or postcard: VGW Games Limited Global Poker Sweepstakes Department, PO Box #8486, Portsmouth, NH 03801
  3. Handwrite the return address with the words “Sweepstakes Credits” clearly legible.
  4. The white paper inside of the envelope should contain the player’s full name, the email address associated with their Global Poker account, and the following statement: 

“I wish to receive Sweeps Coins to participate in the sweepstakes promotions offered by Global Poker. By submitting this request, I hereby declare that I have read, understood, and agree to be bound by Global Poker’s terms and conditions and sweeps rules.”

    Once mailed, Global Poker will credit the Sweeps Coins to your account over the following few business days. The exact time when you’ll get your Sweeps Coins depends on postal speed and your location.

    How Do You Win Cash Prizes By Playing Poker?

    Cash prizes are redeemable as soon as you have at least 50 Sweeps Coins in your bankroll. Once you reach this amount, you can request a redemption from Global Poker. You can receive your cash prizes via linking a bank account to your Global Poker wallet.

    Furthermore, Global Poker requires that confirm some personal information when you order your first redemption of Sweeps Coins. You’ll need to submit scans of both a driver’s license or another government-issued ID and proof of your residential address. In the latter case, a recent bill is normally acceptable.

    Global Poker: Player Experience

    As with all online poker websites and apps, your experience on the site will depend on traffic levels and your specific game preferences.

    Global Poker doesn’t provide a very wide variety of poker games, but this is actually a plus as it funnels traffic toward a few key game types. This theoretically keeps game populations from becoming too low and makes it easier to find a game no matter the hour.

    Site Traffic

    In reality, you can normally find anywhere between 300 to 1,000 active players during the day on most days of the week. As you might expect, traffic tends to spike toward the evening in the Western Hemisphere and remains higher during the weekend. Additionally, traffic was anecdotally higher for ourselves and according to other reviews of the site during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

    The big thing to take away from this is that Global Poker has a pretty consistent player base, and finding a new game is never too difficult. There are definitely better times than others for playing. For example, your game selection may be limited if you try to find some poker action on a Monday in the middle of the workday.

    However, if you want to join a game during evenings, the weekends, or during a tournament, you shouldn’t have much trouble.

    Player Skill Level And Tournaments

    In terms of skill level, you’ll mostly find beginners rather than intermediate players or experts. While it’s not uncommon to run into a very lucky or very skilled player from time to time, most of your opponents will only have a little understanding of the game. Casuals dominate the player pool by far.

    During tournaments, expect the challenge to increase a bit, as there are cash prizes at stake. Many of the Sit-N-Go tournaments have beginner players that are easier for poker enthusiasts to beat. These players are likely trying out Global Poker for the first time.

    Final Grade: 5.0/5.0

    Global Poker: Types Of Games Available At Global Poker In California

    You can find three types of poker on Global Poker: No-Limit and Fixed-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em and Pot-Limit Omaha. Basically, the staple poker variations you can find at virtually any brick-and-mortar casino are included, while some of the more niche “Cal” game varieties are not.

    Global Poker provides tables with seats for between six and nine players. Game stakes range from as low as 0.02/0.04 GC/SC (Gold Coins/Sweeps Coins) to 10/20 GC/SC. Some of the cash prizes can be pretty large.

    We did notice that the low stakes games are usually more popular and are filled much more quickly. This is likely because most people play Global Poker for their love of poker rather than for their love of money. For that reason, they target the low stakes games for more laid-back action.


    Global Poker also offers both “Sit’N’Go” and multi-table poker tournaments. The former are available for No-Limit Hold ‘Em and Pot-Limit Omaha. The Sit’N’Gos here are available at three tables that seat six to nine players. You can usually buy into these for as low as 0.5 SC, and the tournaments tend to start pretty quickly so you won’t be sitting around for too long.

    However, high-stakes Sit’N’Gos tend to take some time to fill appropriately. Between the two, the Hold ‘Em Sit’N’Gos seem to be more popular than their Omaha counterparts.

    The multi-table tournaments are usually offered daily, barring technical issues (which are exceedingly rare). They’re available for all three types of poker and have buy-ins ranging from 0.11 SC to 33 SC.

    Furthermore, Global Poker provides Sunday tournaments:

    • Sunday Scrimmage, with 218 SC buy-ins and 50,000 SC guaranteed prizes
    • Sunday Tease, with 110 SC buy-ins and 20,000 SC guaranteed prizes

    There are also several satellite tournaments that run throughout the week to direct attention to these big Sunday events. The great news for any poker enthusiast is that the skill level of these tournaments tends to be relatively low. Players with some skill and plenty of luck have a good chance of consistency winning the above prizes.

    Final Grade: 4.0/5.0

    Global Poker: Deposit And Redemption Options

    Ever since Global Poker changed its payment methods to allow for debit cards and bank account linking, payment has never been easier. You can now use Visa, MasterCard, Skrill e-wallet, or bank transfer depending on your preferences.

    However, you can only redeem your Sweeps Coins by linking a bank account. Fortunately, the process required to verify your identity is fairly simple and normally takes less than a day for your cash prize to be sent on its way.

    The requirement that you have at least 50 SC before redemption is fairly commonplace among sweepstakes sites. It’s a bit of a bummer if you want to cash out a smaller prize, but it’s not a dealbreaker in our eyes. If Global Poker lowered this amount to around 20 or 30 SC, it would be an even better experience.

    Final Grade: 4.0/5.0

    Global Poker: Rake At California’s Global Poker 

    In order to make money, Global Poker has a 5 percent rake that applies to both digital currencies. The rake for the Gold Coins essentially acts as a kind of inflation reducer, preventing too many Gold Coins from being used at once and progressively requiring players to purchase more Gold Coins to keep using the site.

    Every game on Global Poker has its own rake cap, the amount of which is determined by how many players are seated at a given table. Caps begin at 1 SC and end at 5.50 SC.

    Compared to other online poker sites, this is a manageable rake amount. PokerStars, for example, uses a linear rake system of anywhere from 3.5 percent up to 4.5 percent depending on the game and the number of players. They also have a relatively high tournament rake between 6 and 10 percent of the total tournament buy-in.

    Meanwhile, PartyPoker has a rake system that’s proportional depending on the size of the pot. For instance, it might take $0.01 for a $.20 pot or $1 for a $100 pot. They also have a much higher tournament rake range of up to 20 percent of the buy-in limit.

    Seen in this light, Global Poker’s rake stays the same regardless of whether it’s a regular game or tournament. We like this for its simplicity.

    Final Grade: 4.0/5.0

    Global Poker: Mobile App 

    Unlike several other online poker sites and apps, Global Poker doesn’t use a mobile app. Instead, all players join into the browser-based site regardless of whether they visit on a desktop or a mobile device. As a result, mobile players have a slightly less fine-tuned experience compared to their desktop or laptop counterparts.

    That said, the Global Poker site is pretty smooth and is virtually bug-free. Lag time isn’t an issue. Furthermore, Global Poker can also be played from a mobile-specific browser. This eliminates some of the graphical issues you sometimes run into when visiting a desktop-designed site.

    The interface itself is intuitive. You can visit the different types of games using a few major tabs, and you can even sort through different games by stakes. Finding a game around your price range is easy. While there aren’t any particularly fancy graphics, this is actually a benefit for site consistency and loading time.

    Final Grade: 4.0/5.0

    Global Poker: Customer Service 

    Global Poker does offer support to its players – you can submit a ticket to [email protected]. The unfortunate part is that this is the only way to get in touch with their Customer Support team. There isn’t a chat room or anything similar for instantaneous assistance.

    Still, they promise to respond to every complaint within 12 hours. This may be a bit too long if you have an issue with a cash prize discrepancy or something similar. However, our experience submitting a test ticket showed a response within just a couple of hours, so it’s likely that most issues get dealt with before this deadline.

    Furthermore, new players will appreciate the tutorial “How to Play” section located conveniently on the site. This lays out the rules for all three types of poker offered on the site. It’s a great resource if you want to try out Global Poker’s relatively low-stakes games but don’t know where to start.

    Final Grade: 4.0/5.0

    Is It Safe To Play Global Poker In California?

    Are Sweepstakes Sites Legal In The US?

    Yes, completely. While many states in the US don’t allow online gambling, sweepstakes sites like Global Poker don’t actually offer gambling as defined by the law. In most states, and according to federal definition, gambling requires that players wager real money on a game of chance. Thus, games of skill and games of chance that don’t deal with real money are excluded from these regulations.

    Sweepstakes sites are the latter type. Because both digital currencies you can find on Global Poker aren’t equivalent to real-world cash, no laws are broken by playing with either type of coin.

    Can I Trust Global Poker To Pay My Winnings?

    Yes. Global Poker is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, one of the largest organizations for regulating sweepstakes promotions and prizes. As a result, they’re a convenient resource to contact if you ever suspect that there’s an issue with your Sweeps Coins or prizes.


    Global Poker FAQ

    Can I win real money at Global Poker?

    Technically, no. At Global Poker and other sweepstakes sites, you can win Sweeps Coins. You can then exchange these Sweeps Coins for cash prizes.

    How old do I have to be to play Global Poker in California?

    You need to be 18-years-old to play Global Poker in California.

    Do I have to make a purchase to play?

    Not immediately. As soon as you sign up for Global Poker, you get a number of free Gold Coins deposited in your account. You can use these to play on Global Poker until you run out, at which point you’ll need to buy a Gold Coin bundle.

    Will people who like online poker enjoy sweepstakes poker?

    Yes. Global Poker offers an easy-to-use interface and the main types of poker you’d expect. However, those who like online poker purely for the potential to win big will want to look elsewhere much of the time, as you can’t win real money consistently through the sweepstakes model.

    What is the best time to play Global Poker in CA?

    The ideal time is around 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm California time, as these hours are when the Western hemisphere, as a whole, is off work and relaxing at home. Weekend days also typically produce more players since more folks are off from work.

    Does Global Poker have an iOS or Android app?

    No. Global Poker doesn’t have an app, as all players must use the base site.

    About the Author

    Amber Hoffman

    Amber is the Managing Editor of California Casinos. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.