Ohio Online Poker

While Ohio does have retail casinos and legal sports wagering — both in-person and mobile — poker is still left out. In fact, real-money online poker is completely illegal in Ohio with no plans to legalize the activity over the next few years.

That being said, poker enthusiasts do have one option if they want to enjoy some online card games with fellow fans and potentially redeem winnings for cash prizes: Global Poker. 

Global Poker is a social poker site legal in Ohio and throughout almost all of the US. Let’s take a look at Global Poker Ohio in detail so you know how and where you can play cards online.

The Best Social Poker Site In Ohio

At the moment, Ohio residents only have one option if they want to enjoy social or sweepstakes poker. Luckily, it’s a great one.

The site in question is called Global Poker, and it offers a variety of poker games and regular tournaments so both new and experienced poker players alike will find plenty to do here. It also has a great discount for your first purchase of Gold Coins, should you decided to make a purchase.

With Global Poker bonus code FLUSH, you get 150,000 Gold Coins for $10, plus 30 FREE Sweeps Coins.

All you have to do to take advantage of this offer is verify your account via SMS once you’ve signed up for Global Poker.

Five Minute Guide To Social Poker In Ohio

Not sure how Global Poker or other social and sweepstakes poker sites work? This breakdown will summarize what to expect and explain why such sites are legal in Ohio and most other states in the US.

How Does Ohio Social and Sweepstakes Poker Work?

In brief, social and sweepstakes poker sites have two modes of play. There is Standard mode (which in Global Poker is played with Gold Coins) and Promotional mode (played with Sweeps Coins.) Note that neither mode involves real money. Instead, you are playing with digital tokens. However, if you win with Sweeps Coins, you can redeem those winnings for cash prizes.

Note that you can never purchase Sweeps Coins directly. You can buy Gold Coins if you choose, and if you do so, you will often get FREE Sweeps Coins as well.  You also get FREE coins (both GC and SC) through the following:

  • Daily login bonuses
  • Social media contests/promotions
  • A mail-in offer
  • Winning them in the games you choose to play

The fact that you can play poker for free combined with the fact that you are not wagering real money keeps Global Poker completely legal and allows Ohio residents to enjoy card games to their heart’s content.

How Do You Win Cash Prizes By Playing Poker?

You never win cash prizes directly at Global Poker.  However, you can redeem Sweeps Coins you have won for cash prizes or gift cards.  

Once you accumulate enough Sweeps Coins, you can then exchange them for cash prizes. If you choose a gift card, you may be able to redeem one for as little as SC10. Deposits into bank accounts generally take a minimum of SC50.  Prizes are redeemable at a 1:1 ratio.  In other words, SC75 can be redeemed for a $75 deposit.

How Do You Access Social and Sweepstakes Poker Sites In Ohio?

Global Poker doesn’t have a mobile app, but mobile users can still access the desktop website. It has been optimized for mobile and desktop users.

Simply visit the Global Poker website, and you’ll be able to make an account and start participating in poker games and tournaments. Note that you will have to verify your identity before you can play and again before your first redemption.

How Do Purchases Work At Ohio’s Social and Sweepstakes Poker Sites?

At the moment, Global Poker allows you to make Gold Coin purchases through Trustly, which is an electronic service that lets you connect your bank account. You can also make purchases through credit cards or the electronic wallet Skrill (PayPal is unfortunately not available).

What Are The Social and Sweepstakes Poker Redemption Options?

If you want to redeem your Sweeps Coins, note that Global Poker requires you to build up 50SC before you can do so. You can then redeem them through the same methods mentioned above.

Once you make your first redemption, you have to confirm your personal identity by providing your ID or driver’s license number and proof of a residential address, like a utility bill. After the first redemption, you won’t have to repeat this information.

What Is The Difference Between Social or Sweepstakes Poker And Legal Online Poker Sites?

Social/sweepstakes poker sites like Global Poker are different from other legal online poker sites around the US in two big ways: you can’t wager any real-world cash in poker games or tournaments and you can always play for free.

At Global Poker, you only ever wager the digital coins from the game, Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins.  You can redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes, but you never win cash directly.  Also, you never have to make a purchase to play.  There are plenty of ways to get both Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins absolutely for free.

However, that’s the only real difference. Global Poker offers a variety of poker games and tournaments just like other legal online poker sites. Some poker sites in states besides Ohio may have a slightly higher variety of poker tournament options or even video poker, but not all.

Status Of Online Gambling In Ohio

While online horse racing has been legal for a while, retail and online sports betting in Ohio launched on January 1, 2023. This is good news for anyone hoping to see online casinos and online poker. Most states begin with mobile sports betting. If that goes well, online casinos and online poker follow.

That said, there are no immediate plans on the horizon for legalizing real-money online casinos or real-money online poker in Ohio. For now, Ohio social and sweepstakes casinos are the best option in the Buckeye State.

Is It Safe To Play Social Poker In Ohio?

Yes. Global Poker has been in business for many years and already operates in a variety of other states. This essentially means that it has been vetted and investigated several times for any signs of corruption or poor digital security.

In fact, Global Poker uses SSL certification and other digital security methods to protect both itself and its users, particularly when it comes to personal information. You won’t need to worry about identity theft if you use Global Poker or provide them with your bank account information.

Is My Information Safe On Social and Sweepstakes Poker Apps In Ohio?

Yes, but only if you use Global Poker and similarly reviewed poker sites. You should never use offshore or illegal poker apps or websites, as these places are not regulated by any authoritative body, nor are they guaranteed to have good digital security.

As a result, your personal information may be placed at risk and any funds you give the app could be stolen at any time.

Can I Trust Social Poker Sites To Pay My Winnings?

Yes. Global Poker usually funds accounts within a couple of business days once requests have been made to redeem Sweeps Coins or if you request a refund (under certain circumstances). If you think that Global Poker owes you money and hasn’t paid up, you can always contact the Ohio Lottery or Casino Commission and pursue a resolution that way.

What Are The Types Of Games Available On Ohio’s Social Poker Site?

Global Poker offers a variety of poker games and tournaments.

Regular Ring Games

At Global Poker, you can find games like Pot-Limit Omaha and No-Limit or Fixed-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em for casual ring games. Stakes are typically quite low, although you can sometimes find well-populated tables with high-stakes. Table selection becomes more of a problem as you move up to serious games and tournaments.

Sit N’ Go Games

If you’d rather participate in so-called “Sit ‘N Go” games, you can find them for both No-Limit Hold ‘Em and Pot-Limit Omaha. Both of these can be played with up to six or nine players per table and up to three tables per game.

High-stakes games are few and far between unless you try to get in on the action on Friday evenings or on the weekends. Note that Pot-Limit Omaha games are only available in six-player max lobbies.

Multi-Table Poker Tournaments

Last but not least, Global Poker also offers multi-table tournaments for all three of the poker varieties mentioned above. These can have buy-in limits ranging from 0.11 Sweeps Coins to 33 Sweeps Coins. Attendance is usually quite low, so prize pools are not typically very high.

On the weekends, you’ll find more important tournaments including a Sunday Scrimmage and Teaser. These tournaments offer prizes of 50,000SC and 20,000SC, respectively, making them quite popular events and perfect ways to build up your Sweeps Coin wallet if you have enough skill and luck to win them regularly.

There are satellite tournaments for these events that run throughout the week, although these are not as populated as the major tournaments themselves.

Overall, you’ll find the most top-quality and populated lobbies on the weekends at Global Poker, which is when most people have time to enjoy online poker.

Ohio Social and Sweepstakes Poker FAQs

How old do you have to be to use a social or sweepstakes poker app in Ohio?

You have to be 18 years of age or older, which is the minimum age necessary to make an account.

Can you ever win real money on social and sweepstakes poker sites?

No. But you can win Sweeps Coins and then redeem those for cash prizes.

Do you have to make a purchase to play at social and sweepstakes poker sites?

No. You can always play for free, getting free coins as part of promotions or daily logins. However, you can purchase Gold Coins if you would like. If you choose to do so, you get quite a discount on your first purchase when you use the Global Poker bonus code FLUSH. You will get 150,000 Gold Coins for $10 and then get 30 FREE Sweeps Coins as well.

When is the best time to play social and sweepstakes poker in Ohio?

Evenings and weekends are the best times to play. This is typically when adults have free time and are able to check out Global Poker for tournaments or friendly games.

Will people who like online poker also like social and sweepstakes poker?

Most likely. Social sites like Global Poker offer an excellent online poker experience through and through.

Can you play casino games at social poker sites in Ohio?

Yes. Global Poker offers a few slot and table games. But these options are very minimal and you’ll have more variety at dedicated social casino sites in Ohio, such as Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, and Pulsz.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Executive Editor of OhioSharp.com. A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries including food, lifestyle, and sports sites.