Global Poker is one of the few online poker sites promising legal online poker to customers inside the US.
It does so by offering its own form of currency that can later be converted into cash, as well as offering sweepstakes.
Its own patented Sweepstakes Model has been approved by high profile companies including Facebook and Worldpay. Essentially, Global Poker offers players entry into its cash games and tournaments through sweepstakes.
Global Poker is owned and operated by VGW Holdings Limited. This Australian company first jumped in the online gambling sphere with the Chumba Casino social casino.
Global Poker first launched in December 2016 focusing on the US and Canadian markets, with plans to expand globally in the near future.
How does Global Poker work?
Let’s run through how this system works by breaking down the licensing and legality of Global Poker.
Firstly, players can use both Gold Coins and $weeps Cash to play at Global Poker’s tables. However, only $weeps can be exchanged for USD prizes – and players can’t purchase these outright.
Alternatively, Global Poker customers can purchase bundles of Gold Coins that come with free $weeps Cash.
Players who are willing to wait can also visit Global’s social media pages and enter competitions to win $weeps. Those who are the most patient can even send a snail-mail letter to VGW and receive $5 worth of $weeps credited to their account.
The upshot of all this is a system where real USD cash is never gambled on Global Poker’s tables – only $weepstakes prizes that cannot be purchased. VGW claims to have worked with top US attorneys to ensure their patented system is legally sound.
Today, VGW is licensed by the Maltese Gaming Authority, and they have been successfully running gaming sites using this framework since 2012.
Global Poker table types
A fancy system offering legal play is all well and good. However, any online Poker Room lives and dies by the quality of its games and the traffic it pulls in.
Global Poker does reasonably well by both those metrics. On average, there are around 120 tables open across Global Poker at any one time. This doesn’t include tournaments, of which there are usually three or four open at most times of a given day. Tables and tournaments cover:
- No-Limit or Fixed-Limit Hold ‘Em
- Pot-Limit Omaha
- Crazy Pineapple
Around a third of these tables is busy or full on a weekday morning. This rises to about half during peak periods on weekends. Global Poker may not be the busiest site, but there are always populated tables available for players of any level.
As for the quality of the tables, Swedish developer Cubeia has done a more-than-decent job.
Sure, Global won’t be offering customization and graphical flair to rival PokerStars anytime soon. However, their tables run smoothly in-browser on almost any device with no download required.
The tables are clearly labeled and easy to use, and the lobby is also simple and clean to navigate.
Global charges a flat-rate rake of 5% on all their tables, which is standard for an online Poker Room. Strangely, they even charge a rake on Gold Coins – which aren’t worth anything.
Players at Global Poker can choose to play at Gold Coin-only tables. This is great for practice but otherwise isn’t an attraction for most players. Even VGW admits that 80% or more of Global’s players use $weeps Cash to play.
Global Poker games
As with almost all poker rooms under the sun, No-Limit Hold ‘Em is by far the most popular poker variant at Global Poker.
The site usually hosts around 40 tables running this classic variant at any one time.
The other option available for Hold ‘Em fans is fixed limit games. These are far less popular, with ten or so tables running most of the time. Only about half of these are occupied, even during the busiest weekend hours.
Buy-ins start at $C0.01 and go as high as $10 for non-tournament tables. This is the same for No-Limit and Fixed-Limit games.
Pot-Limit Omaha is the second most popular poker variant across most Poker Rooms – and Global is no exception.
The site runs between 20 and 30 tables of this variant. However, a lot of them are empty during the week. Even at peak times, there are seated players at only a third to half of Omaha tables.
The lowest buy-ins go up to $C0.02 for Pot-Limit Omaha tables, but the maximum stays the same as for No-Limit Hold ‘Em at $C10.
The only other poker variety available at Royal Poker is Crazy Pineapple. In this variant, players are dealt three cards before the flop and must choose one to discard before the second round of bets.
Fans of Stud, Razz, or other niche poker variants may be disappointed. However, even at the biggest poker rooms, these tables are often unfilled. We can see why Global forewent catering to these smaller audiences.
Players looking for something different can still enjoy Crazy Pineapple – there are around ten tables of this lesser-known variety running at Royal Poker during most hours.
There are, on average, ten to 15 open tournaments on Global Poker every day. On weekends, there are usually half a dozen more, plus special entry tournaments for achievement winners.
Add to that weekly and monthly big-prize-pot tournaments, sometimes with multiple qualifying rounds, and you’ve got a fairly busy schedule of tourneys at Global Poker.
Buy-ins start at $C0.01, although only one of these low-stakes tourneys takes place each day. The top-tier prizes of $C200-plus are reserved for the biggest competitions with qualifying rounds.
These can reach as high as $C10,000 in their prize pool – although most daily tournaments don’t break $C1,000.
For fans of Omaha tables, there’s a lot less on offer – only about ten tournaments each month. The maximum prize pool you’ll see on one of those contests is around $C5,000.
Lastly, even Crazy Pineapple players can get in on the tournament action at Global Poker, with a few tournaments a month based on this niche poker variant.
Purchasing Gold Coins and cashing $weeps
As explained, Global Poker customers do not directly purchase $weeps Cash. Instead, the currency comes bundled for free with Gold Coin purchases:
- $5 = 25,000 Gold Coins plus $C5 free
- $10 = 50,000 GC + $C10
- $20 = 100,000 GC + $C20
- $50 = 250,000 GC + $C50
- $100 = 500,000 GC + $100
- $300 = 1,500,000 GC + $C100
- $500 = 2,500,000 GC + $C500
The only way to purchase these packages is through Skrill. This e-wallet is a reputable name in the business, but a little more variety wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Players can also obtain $C5 to be credited to their account by writing a handwritten letter requesting free $weeps to:
VGW RMG LIMITED
GLOBAL POKER SWEEPSTAKES DEPARTMENT
PO BOX #8486
PORTSMOUTH, NH 03801
Posting from Cali to New Hampshire may take a while, but free $weeps might be worth the wait for some.
Lastly, interested customers can also obtain $weeps through the regular competitions VGW runs on the Global Poker social media pages. More often than not, this means Facebook.
There’s a limit of $5,000 a month a player can spend on Gold Coins packages. Before Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, this is only $2,000.
KYC checks include a text to a registered US cell phone number and other verification such as proof of address and identity documents.
Cashing Out $weeps
Players must have at least $C50 available in their account before they can exchange $weeps for USD. The exchange rate is 1:1, which is superior to VGW’s casino sites.
There is no maximum withdrawal and no fees. This makes sense considering Global Poker’s system.
Global Poker offers customers an achievement-based reward system. Achievements include ‘Play 50 hands,’ ‘Get Dealt 100 cards,’ and other non-challenging situations that are bound to occur through the course of normal play. These give out small prizes such as:
- Gold Coins
- Free Roll Tourneys
- Entry into Special $weeps tournaments
Global Poker only offers email support via at [email protected].
They were reasonably quick to respond to our simple query (within an hour), but we haven’t encountered a more complex problem to test them with.
The lack of Live Chat support is a negative factor. VGW’s casino site, Chumba, offers a live chat ZenDesk option – so why they would choose not to use this handy feature here too is a mystery to us.
Still, Global’s FAQ help section should cover most player’s questions.
Global Poker – frequently asked questions
How does the Sweepstakes Model work?
Global Poker sells its own virtual currency called Gold Coins. These are virtual chips that players can accumulate and play with, but they are not redeemable for real money.
When a player buys Gold Coins, they are given bonus sweepstakes prizes in the form of $weeps Cash. The $weeps Cash can be used to buy into $weeps Cash tournaments and ring games. $weeps Cash can be cashed out through PayPal as real money.
What makes Global Poker different?
Outside of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, it isn’t necessarily legal for online poker sites to accept US players.
The Global Poker Sweepstakes Model allows it to do so.
Global Poker also works with the trusted money transfer site PayPal to offer US customers online poker with a recognizable and easily accessible banking option.
Who is Global Poker for?
The sweepstakes concept may confuse some. Recreational players who can get over that should enjoy playing on Global Poker, although they probably won’t be doing it for very high stakes.
Players also need to be accepting of the odd glitch until the site makes a major commitment to improving the software.
There are plans to expand globally. Increasing the size of the player pool and prize pools should make the site more attractive to the masses.
How long does it take to cash out on the site?
Global Poker requires ID verification and proof of address for all cash-out requests.
Once documentation is provided and it’s verified, Global Poker says it normally takes about five days for funds to be processed.
What forms can be used for ID verification and proof of address?
Documents that can be used for ID verification include a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued ID.
Those that can be used for proof of address include a utility bill, lease, or bank statement.