Ohio Online Poker

While Ohio does have retail casinos and is set to legalize both in-person and mobile sports wagering sometime in the near future, poker is still left out. In fact, online poker is completely illegal in Ohio with no plans to legalize the activity over the next few months.

That being said, poker enthusiasts do have one option if they want to enjoy some online card games with fellow fans: Global Poker. 

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

The Best Sweepstakes Poker Site In Ohio

At the moment, Ohio residents only have one option if they want to enjoy 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 pretty good opening bonus for new account holders.

Once you sign up for the site, you’ll get a $20 gold coin package without having to do anything else. This bonus gives you enough gold coins to start playing poker right away. However, you’ll also get a $40 gold coin package including 200,000 gold coins once you purchase a $20 gold coin package. In addition, you’ll get 40 bonus sweeps coins as a bonus.

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

Five Minute Guide To Sweepstakes Poker In Ohio

Not sure how Global Poker or other sweepstakes poker sites work at all? This breakdown will explain why it’s legal in Ohio and most other states in the US.

How Does Ohio Sweepstakes Poker Work?

In brief, sweepstakes poker sites work via the sweepstakes model. In this model, you can never wager real cash on poker games or other gambling activities like casino games.

Instead, you can purchase valueless digital currency called gold coins in packages. The gold coins can then be used for poker games as digital chips. If you win a poker game, you’ll also get gold coins in return.

In addition, you can sometimes receive sweeps coins: another type of valueless digital currency. But you can eventually exchange the sweeps coins for cash prizes.

Note that you can never purchase sweeps coins directly. Instead, you can only get sweeps coins by doing one of the following:

  • Purchasing gold coin packages in which case sweeps coins are awarded to you as a bonus.
  • Winning certain poker tournaments, in which case you’ll get them as extra prizes.
  • Winning other promotions or entering mail-in promotions.

These restrictions keep Global Poker completely legal and allow Ohio residents to enjoy card games to their heart’s content.

How Do You Win Cash Prizes By Playing Poker?

You can’t, actually. Instead, you can only get sweeps coins by participating in and winning certain promotions or as bonuses for purchasing gold coins.

Once you accumulate enough sweeps coins, you can then exchange them for cash prizes. You can never technically win cash prizes by playing poker or even by participating in Global Poker’s regular tournaments.

However, some tournaments do include sweeps coins as promotional prizes. But this doesn’t technically count as winning cash since the real winnings are all gold coins.

How Do You Access 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.

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

At the moment, Global Poker allows you to make gold coin purchases through Worldpay, which is an electronic service that lets you connect Visa and MasterCard credit cards to your account. You can then make purchases through that portal.

You can alternatively use the electronic wallet, Skrill (PayPal is unfortunately not available), or use a direct bank transfer once you’ve linked an appropriate bank account. Note that any balance updates in your bank account will not be reflected until the next business day.

What Are The Sweepstakes Poker Deposit And Redemption Options?

As mentioned, you can use certain types of credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts to make purchases at Global Poker. These can be used to buy gold coin packages and nothing else.

If you want to redeem your sweeps coins, note that Global Poker requires you to build up 50 sweeps coins before you can do so. You can then redeem them through the same deposit or purchasing 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.

How Does Entry By Mail Work At Sweepstakes Poker Sites In Ohio?

Global Poker, like most other sweepstakes sites, allows you to get regular sweeps coins by participating in its mail-in promotion. To do this, you must complete the following steps:

  • Take a 4” x 6” piece of white paper and write the following message: “I wish to receive sweeps coins to participate in the sweepstakes promotion 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.”
  • Take the card and place it in a stamped number 10 envelope.
  • Handwrite the following address on the envelope and mail it:
    • VGW Games Limited
      Global Poker Sweepstakes Department
      PO Box #8486
      Portsmouth, NH 03801

Global Poker will then credit your account with some sweeps coins in a few business days. You can only send one request card at a time, and you have to wait up to a week before sending in another sweeps coin request.

The mail-in promotion is a great way to maximize your sweeps coins and regularly exchange them for cash prizes through Global Poker.

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

Sweepstakes poker sites like Global Poker are different from other legal online poker sites around the US in one big way: you can’t wager any real-world cash in poker games or tournaments.

Instead, you can only ever wager the gold coins as digital chips. You can’t even wager the sweeps coins in high-stakes tournaments, although some tournaments give you extra sweeps coins as bonus prizes.

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

Right now, online gambling in Ohio isn’t very expensive. Your only options are online horse race betting, at least until online sports wagering becomes a reality (2021 or 2022, hopefully).

Until online sports wagering launches and legislators have the opportunity to see how the industry performs, it’s unlikely that online poker will be legalized. However, if sports betting does well, online poker and casino games may follow over the next few years.

Is It Safe To Play Sweepstakes 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 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 Sweepstakes Poker Sites To Pay My Winnings?

Yes. Global Poker usually funds accounts within a couple of business days once requests have been made for 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 Sweepstakes 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 sweeps coin prizes of 50,000 and 20,000, 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 Sweepstakes Poker FAQs

How old do you have to be to use a 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 sweepstakes poker sites?

No. But you can win sweeps coins and then exchange those for cash prizes.

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

Not always. For example, Global Poker’s opening bonus allows you to jump into the action without making a purchase once you verify your identity after making an account.

When is the best time to play 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 sweepstakes poker?

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

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

Yes. Global Poker offers a few slot and table games, ranging from regular jackpot slots to blackjack and roulette. But these options are very minimal and you’ll have more variety at dedicated sweepstakes casino sites in Ohio. 

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.