There are a few ways to play online poker in New York. The easiest way is to play online sweepstakes poker for cash prizes. Another alternative is to play legal online poker over the border in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, where playing online poker for real money is perfectly legal, even for NY residents.

From Upstate to Downstate New York, anyone over 18 can legally play sweepstakes poker online. And sweepstakes does not mean entries to a giveaway, it means winning Sweeps Coins that can be directly redeemed for cash prizes or gift cards.

In New York, every form of traditional online gambling is against the law (except for horse racing and daily fantasy sports). That includes online sports betting, casino games, and poker sites for real money.

Thankfully, sweepstakes poker offers a comparable level of excitement, and it’s far more approachable for novice and intermediate poker players.

Best Sweepstakes Poker Site In New York

Global Poker is the best poker site for players in New York for two simple reasons: it’s the most popular, and it’s the most trusted. No other sweepstakes poker brand can compete with Global Poker’s stellar reputation or enormous player pool (user base).

Global Poker shares a parent company with Chumba Casino, which happens to be the best sweepstakes casino site for New Yorkers. Overall, this is a brand committed to this unique option for playing online poker.

At Global Poker, you receive 20 Sweeps Coins and thousands of Gold Coins just for verifying your account. You can also purchase an additional coin package that includes 20 Sweeps Coins for 50 percent off.

Remember, playing with Sweeps Coins means you could win more Sweeps Coins, and Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes and gift cards. And 20 Sweeps Coins without the need to make a purchase is one of the best bonuses you’ll find at a poker site, sweepstakes or otherwise.

Visit: Global Poker

Is Traditional Online Poker Legal In New York?

No, straightforward, real-money online poker is not legal in New York State. The only states with legalized online poker are New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and Delaware. Online poker is illegal everywhere else in the country.

However, that may soon change. Bill S18A is in committee at the time of writing this article, and lawmakers are expressing some optimism that it will pass (despite six similar bills failing over the years). Like with daily fantasy sports, S18A would classify poker as a game of skill rather than chance, effectively legalizing it in the state.

In the meantime, you can play in-person poker against other players in any New York casino. That includes the six commercial casinos (two in New York City, four in Upstate) as well as the many tribal casinos all over Upstate.

Another option is to travel to neighboring Pennsylvania or New Jersey, where online poker is legal and accessible to New Yorkers over 21 – so long as they’re physically located with NJ or PA state lines.

How You Can Legally Play Poker Online In New York

Play Sweepstakes Poker at Global Poker

There’s no good reason to discount sweepstakes poker, especially when it’s offered by a well-rated company like Global Poker.

Aside from the massive number of open seats every day and the range of buy-ins, the site gives you free Sweeps Coins just for verifying your identity, which only takes a few minutes. Once your ID is uploaded and approved, you can begin playing for Sweeps Coins and win enough to redeem for a cash prize without ever making a purchase.

The only downside to playing Global Poker in New York is that state law limits your max prize to $5,000 through a sweepstakes. While the same is true for Pennsylvania, they also legalized real-money online poker, so it’s doubtful that many are complaining.

Still, for a high-quality poker experience that you can play legally and for free from your computer or mobile device, a $5,000 maximum prize isn’t a deal-breaker for most.

Play Poker Online In New Jersey

Professional poker players in New York State have almost certainly traveled to Atlantic City, where they’ll find some of the best win potential in the country, second only to Vegas. While anyone could simply visit an in-state casino to play poker, the action in Atlantic City is the number one in the East Coast.

But another option is to play online poker in New Jersey. Because all NJ casinos are relegated to AC, most New Yorkers will find it more convenient to hop over the border to get in on the poker action from their mobile devices.

New Jersey law only requires that an online poker player be at least 21 years old and physically located in the state. That means you can be a New York resident and play in New Jersey without skirting any state’s laws.

New Jersey also shares its player pool with Nevada and Delaware, which means you can qualify for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) by playing online.

So, and it may be an obvious list, the best online poker sites in New Jersey are:

  • WSOP/888
  • PokerStars
  • PartyPoker

It’s likely not feasible to go to New Jersey every day to play online poker, but you can join the sites from New York, then travel to New Jersey to participate in choice tournaments.

Play Poker Online In Pennsylvania

New Yorkers also have the option to play online poker in Pennsylvania.

Just like with New Jersey, state law only dictates that the player by 21 or older and within state lines. And that’s just to start gambling with money too, so feel free to join the site and get all the verifications taken care of from New York. That way, you can dive right in when you arrive in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania does not share player pools with other states like New Jersey. However, the Keystone State boasts a larger population than New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware combined, so the action is comparable.

Plus, PA online poker sites include the best places to play. In fact, you can play at WSOP satellite tournaments and qualify for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas by playing online in Pennsylvania.

For both PA and NJ, it doesn’t matter where in the state you’re located, just so long as you’re within state lines. That means you can be just a few yards within the Pennsylvania border, and you’re legally allowed to bet real money and win real money.

You can then leave the money in your account for next time or cash out, your choice.

Beginner’s Guide To Playing Sweepstakes Poker In New York

The Sweepstakes Model, Explained

At first glance, Global Poker is set up like a standard online poker site. You can choose the game type, format, pot limit, and buy-in. You can opt-in to upcoming tournaments, and you can quickly view your hand history as well.

But where it stands apart is the site-specific currency. You can play using either Gold Coins (fun play) or Sweeps Coins (playing for a cash prize redemption), and both are given to you for free on sign up. However, the only coins you can directly purchase are Gold Coins, which can include Sweeps Coins.

To receive a cash prize, you need to play with Sweeps Coins, which are not redeemable until they’re used at the tables. Put another way, won Sweeps Coins are redeemable for cash prizes or gift cards, whereas free Sweeps Coins can only be used to play with.

How Do Cash Prizes Work At Sweepstakes Poker Sites In New York State?

To receive a cash prize, you play using Sweeps Coins. If you win the minimum number of Sweeps Coins for redemption, your prize is guaranteed. The minimum for a cash prize is 50, and the minimum for a gift card is 10.

However, gift cards are dependent on availability, and Global Poker usually doesn’t have any available for as low as 10 Sweeps Coins.

The chance of winning or losing all depends on your skill and luck at the poker tables. The good thing about Global Poker in that regard is the diversity of skill levels. Rather than the professional-level players you’ll often come across at the real-money poker sites, much of the competition is light and approachable, particularly in the low buy-in ring games.

As mentioned above, you’re not playing for entries in a prize drawing, you’re redeeming points directly for a cash prize. So playing with Sweeps Coins is very similar to playing at a more traditional poker site.

When you have the minimum number of cleared (won) Sweeps Coins, you can cash out or continue playing with them.

How Do You Access Global Poker From New York State?

Visit globalpoker.com to get started. Whether on your computer or the web browser on your mobile device, that’s the fastest and most reliable way to access Global Poker.

This sweepstakes poker site does not have an app for iOS or Android. It also does not have a Facebook app. There is a different Global Poker that’s app and Facebook specific, and it is no way related to the sweepstakes poker site Global Poker. In fact, the app does not have cash prizes.

Global Poker used to have an app. If it ends up releasing one again, it will be presented on its website. If there’s no mobile app links on globalpoker.com, there is no app.

How Do You Buy More Coins At New York Sweepstakes Poker Sites?

Global Poker’s purchasing setup is relatively straightforward despite being a unique model. You simply purchase Gold Coin packages, some of which include Sweeps Coins. The more expensive the package, the more Sweeps Coins are included.

Payment methods accepted at Global Poker include:

  • Debit and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover)
  • Online bank transfer (Chase, BoA, WF, PNC, TD Bank, and many more)
  • Skrill e-wallet

PayPal is no longer an accepted method of payment at Global Poker.

Global Poker utilizes a secure payment processor that partners directly with the payment method itself to additional security. For example, if you choose online banking as a purchase method, you need only log in to your bank account to safely transfer the funds.

How Do You Redeem Sweeps Coins At Global Poker?

When you have at least 50 Sweeps Coins that you’ve won by playing at Global Poker, click the button that says, “Buy Coins,” in the upper right corner of the site. There, you’re able to redeem for a cash prize.

However, the maximum cash prize in New York is $5,000 at sweepstakes sites.

The two options for cash prize redemption is Skrill wallet and direct bank transfer. You cannot redeem to your debit or credit card.

If you’d prefer to redeem for a gift card, it will be emailed to you instantly. Cash prize redemption will be subject to an approval period of 24 to 48 hours.

How Can You Receive Free Sweeps Coins?

Once you verify your identity and receive your 20 free Sweeps Coins, you have two more options for receiving free sweeps coins.

  • Entry by mail, which is where you send them a request through the post for five free Sweeps Coins. Carefully read all instructions presented on the site to make sure you’re requesting them correctly.
  • Participate in social media contests by following Global Poker on its official Facebook page (the one with the blue checkmark).

How Safe Is It To Play Sweepstakes Poker In New York State?

Sweepstakes Poker’s Legality In NYS

Sweepstakes poker is considered social gaming and is therefore legal in all 50 states and Canadian provinces except for the State of Washington and Quebec. It does not use real money, so it is a different classification of gaming separate from gambling.

That means New York’s legislation regarding online poker does not apply to or affect Global Poker in any way. If online poker gets classified as skill based rather than a game of chance, that will only serve to solidify Global Poker’s legality.

The only foreseeable issue would be if the difference in licensing requirements inspire online poker operators to petition lawmakers to better legislate Global Poker. But because states with legal online poker don’t really lose players to sweepstakes sites, that’s a fairly unlikely (and potentially insignificant) development.

How Personal Information Is Kept Safe At Global Poker

If you’re (understandably) concerned about your personal information, we highly recommend reading Global Poker’s full privacy policy. They detail everything you need to know about how your personal information is protected, how long they keep it in their system, and how it’s used for third-party services, such as payment processors.

But as an overview, Global Poker is committed to keeping all sensitive information safe and secure. This includes automatically logging you out if you’ve been idle on the site for more than 15 minutes or so. They use state-of-the-art SSL encryption to prevent security breaches. And everything is audited on a regular basis to ensure it’s the latest and greatest in security technology.

What Can You Play At New York’s Sweepstakes Poker Sites?

Global Poker offers a simple platform for each type of game, all of which are available in the following formats:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Omaha
  • Crazy Pineapple

You can also play all of the following games using either Sweeps Coins or Gold Coins.

While you can always find Texas Hold’em and Omaha games, Crazy Pineapple is usually relegated to scheduled tournaments.

Ring Games

Ring Games are where you can sit down at a table and leave at any time. They’re organized from micro buy-ins as low as 0.05/0.1 Sweeps Coins to high buy-ins with 5/10 Sweeps Coins.

Ring Games are a good way to get acquainted with Global Poker. Where Tournaments and Sit ‘n’ Go games charge an entry fee, micro Ring Games don’t need to cost you more than 0.1 Sweeps Coins for the big blind.

You also have the option to play Ring Games for Gold Coins, which is a fun-play way to get a handle on the mechanics of Global Poker.

Multi-Table Tournaments

The biggest cash prize potential can be found in the tournaments section. Even average weekdays outside of peak hours can host tournaments with pools over 5,000 Sweeps Coins. The further you progress from table to table, the more you win.

These types of tournaments register players several hours before the first hand is dealt. You can register up to a few seconds before registration closes. However, there are maximum number of players, so register early for the tournaments you know you want to participate in.

Sit ‘N’ Go

Sit ‘n’ Go is a single-table, winner-take-all tournament where you only need to beat everyone sitting at the one table. Rather than progress to the next table, you take home the winnings when you’re the last player standing.

Jackpot Sit ‘N’ Go

This is the same as the standard Sit ‘N’ Go except that Global Poker will generate a random jackpot prize. The larger the buy-in, the higher the potential prize. However, there’s no guarantee that the top payout will be larger than a regular Sit ‘n’ Go game, which presents a fixed win potential.

Casino Games At Global Poker

Beyond its namesake game, Global Poker also offers a five-reel slot, three-reel slot, two blackjack variations, and Caribbean casino poker. More titles will likely exist at the time that you’re reading this.

FAQ About Sweepstakes Poker In New York

Is it legal to play online poker in New Jersey if you live in New York?

Yes. It is legal to play online poker in New Jersey if you’re a New York resident. New Jersey law simply dictates that online poker players be at least 21 and physically inside state lines. The moment you cross the border into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or any other state that offers online poker, you can legally join and play.

Does anyone win on sweepstakes poker sites?

Yes. People redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes or gift cards every day at Global Poker. However, you need to play using the Sweeps Coins to win cash prizes. This means winning is not guaranteed and depends on your prowess as a poker player, just like at a more traditional online poker site.

What is the age requirement to play sweepstakes poker in New York?

18 years old. You need to be able to make legal transactions using a credit card to play at Global Poker or any other sweepstakes sites. That means you need to be at least 18 years or older to play at Global Poker. To play live poker in New York, you need to be 21 at commercial casinos, but you can be 18 and up at some tribal casinos.

Is Global Poker available in New York State?

Yes, Global Poker is available in New York State. The only state where Global Poker is not available is the State of Washington. In New York State, the maximum cash prize at a sweepstakes casino is $5,000. Otherwise, Global Poker is accessible from New York without limits.

Do I have to pay to play sweepstakes poker?

No, no purchase is required to play Global Poker for cash prizes and gift cards. When you sign up, you’ll need to verify your identity to receive 20 Sweeps Coins for free as well as Gold Coins. You can also request Sweeps Coins by mail and participate in social media contests on Global Poker’s official Facebook page.

When are peak hours at sweepstakes poker sites for New Yorkers?

5 PM to 3 AM on weekdays, all day Saturday and Sunday. New Yorkers will find the most players at Global Poker outside of working hours, which means in the US, peak hours start at 5 PM EST. However, because Global Poker has a huge player pool, you can find games all times of the day and night.

How do I receive my cash prizes from Global Poker?

Bank transfer or Skrill. If you win enough Sweeps Coins to redeem for a cash prize, you can cash out using your online bank account or through the e-wallet Skrill. If you choose to redeem for a gift card instead, you will quickly receive the code in your email inbox.

Do regular online poker players enjoy sweepstakes poker?

Yes. If you like online poker, you’ll enjoy sweepstakes poker. For one thing, you’re given free Sweeps Coins when you verify your account, which can fairly easily be turned into a cash prize by an experienced online poker player. The level of competition is also lower than online poker sites despite there being more players, so an experienced poker player could clean up nicely.

Does PokerStars offer sweepstakes poker in New York?

No, PokerStars does not offer a sweepstakes poker site model for players in New York. They do have sweepstake giveaway promotions from time to time, where you receive a random prize drawing for buying into specific tournaments. But it is not the sweepstakes poker model like Global Poker.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani (shown here at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas) is an experienced online gambling writer who specializes in online casinos and sports betting sites. From the nuances of bonus offers to winning strategies and beyond, his insights have helped countless remote bettors keep more of their money while having fun and staying safe.

Get connected with us on Social Media