Sweepstakes Poker: Play Free Online Poker

Sweepstakes Poker: Play Free Online Poker

For players looking to rely on their skill rather than their luck, poker has long been the preferred method of gambling. However, due to restrictive laws in the US — online poker is pretty rare. Sweepstakes casinos definitely seem like an easy way to get around these restrictive laws — but in truth, sweepstakes poker games are a pretty rare sight.

The good news is though, they do exist. So while you may not be able to find it in every sweepstakes casino, there are still plenty of places where players can legally play poker online both for free, and for real money prizes. And in this guide, we’ll be showing you the best of these sites.

But that’s not all. Because as part of this comprehensive look at sweepstakes poker, we’ll also be going through the key differences between these sites, including their bonuses, as well as offering some unique strategies for playing and winning at online poker.

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We may receive financial compensation if you play at the legal sweepstakes gaming sites we advertise. Still, our content remains impartial to financial or outside influence and is guided solely by our ethos, research, and industry knowledge.

Where to Play Free Online Poker in the US

10,000 Gold Coins + 1 Stake Cash
  • Instant redemptions
  • Best VIP scheme
  • Live dealer games
100,000 Gold Coins + 10 Tournament Entries
  • Live poker games
  • Year-round tournaments
  • Owned by VGW
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.9 Sweeps Coins
  • Excellent reputation
  • Android & iOS apps
  • 700+ slots

While sweepstakes poker can be a difficult game to find, we’ve searched through all the top sweepstakes casinos and have found three great places currently offering this game type. See how they stack up against one another in the table below. Or, for a more comprehensive look, you can read our summary for each of them.

Best Sweepstakes Poker SitesWelcome BonusAvailable Poker Games
Stake.us10,000 Gold Coins + 1 Stake Cash- Video Poker
- Casino Hold’Em Live
- Live Extreme Texas Hold’Em
- Casino Hold’Em Poker
- Three Card Poker
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Video Poker Live
- Texas Hold’Em Bonus Poker
- Poker Live
Global Poker100,000 GC + 10 free poker tournament entries- Texas Hold’Em
- Omaha
- Omaha High/Low
- Bounty Poker
- Jackpot Sitn’N’Gos
- Crazy Pineapple
Pulsz2.3 Sweepstakes Coins and 5,000 Gold CoinsPulsz Texas Holdem Poker

Stake.us

Stake.us is in many player’s views including my own the absolute best site for playing sweepstakes online poker. The reason for this is the variety of poker options.

Stake.us Casino Games

At Stake.us you can play the following poker games:

  • Video Poker
  • Casino Hold’Em Live
  • Live Extreme Texas Hold’Em
  • Casino Hold’Em Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Video Poker Live
  • Texas Hold’Em Bonus Poker
  • Poker Live

These games are available to be played both with Gold Coins and with Stake Cash — and even better, Stake.us is always updating their library and coming up with new poker variants. So if you’re after something a little different, Stake.us is for you. Stake.us is available in all US states, excluding Washington, Nevada, Idaho, New York, Kentucky, Michigan, and Vermont.

For new players who sign up via our links, you can get started for free with a no deposit welcome bonus of 10,000 Gold Coins + 1 Stake Cash.

10,000 Gold Coins + 1 Stake Cash

Global Poker

Global Poker is a unique site in that it allows you to play Texas Hold’Em against other real players. Owned and operated by VGW (the same company behind Luckyland Slots and Chumba Casino), Global is a one-of-a-kind sweepstakes site in that it focuses almost exclusively on poker. Users can play:

  • Texas Hold’Em
  • Omaha
  • Omaha High/Low
  • Bounty Poker
  • Jackpot Sitn’N’Gos
  • Crazy Pineapple

And this is just the start of the list. The games are all pretty soft, so it’s a great place to brush up on your skills if you’re not a skilled player. My only criticism is that the free play poker rooms which require Gold Coins are usually pretty quiet, and it can be hard to get a game. For SC though, this isn’t a problem.

So long as you don’t live in any of the restricted states (Washington, Idaho, Michigan, and Montana), you can get started by signing through our links. When you do, you’ll score yourself 100,000 GC + 10 free poker tournament entries.

100,000 Gold Coins + 10 Tournament Entries

Pulsz

It’s a case of quality over quantity at Pulsz. Only one poker game is available at Pulsz, but it’s a good one with their unique “Texas Holdem Poker”. The key difference between Pulsz’s Texas Holdem and the ones you might find at another site is that rather than player against players, you’re instead pitted one-on-one with the dealer.

Pulsz Poker Game

Additionally, with the Pulsz mobile app — they’re the undisputed king when it comes to mobile sweepstakes poker.

Pulsz is available to all US residents, excluding those living in Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Michigan, and Montana. Sign up via our links to get started with an exclusive welcome bonus at Pulsz, worth 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins and 5,000 Gold Coins.

5,000 Gold Coins + 2.9 Sweeps Coins

Best Sweepstakes Poker Games

There are a lot of varieties of poker out there. However, it’s fair to say that some are more popular and profitable than others. That’s why we polled our entire team and readers for their picks of the best sweepstakes poker games — and from that data, we’ve come up with the five best poker games.

Video Poker

An oldie but a goodie — video poker is just as popular now as it was when it first came out in 1970. While there are some variations, the basic rules are simple. You’re dealt an initial five cards, of which you can choose which cards you want to hold and which cards you wish to discard. The cards you discard are then swapped for new cards, and your new five-card hand determines your payout.

Pulsz Poker Game

The better your hand, the more you get paid. In my opinion, the best place to play real money video poker at a sweepstakes casino is through Stake.us.

Live Texas Hold’Em

Arguably the most well-known poker variant in the modern day is No Limit Texas Hold’Em. In this game, you’re not pitted against a dealer or computer, but rather against other people as all players look to make the best five-card hand — or at least trick the other players into thinking that you have the best hand. In theory, it’s simple. However, live Texas Hold’Em is arguably the most complicated online poker variant.

Due to a patent held by VGW, there is only one sweepstakes casino that currently offers this variant of poker — Global Poker.

Three Card Poker

With only three cards dealt to both the player and dealer, Three Card Poker is one of the easiest forms of poker for new players to understand. In this game, your initial bet is called the ante. After making it, you’re then dealt your three cards and given the option to either play your hand and make another bet of the same value as your ante, or to fold your hand. If you decide to play, the dealer reveals their three-card hand, and the better of the hands wins and collects the ante and the bet for both player and dealer (assuming the dealer qualifies). If the dealer doesn’t qualify, you double your ante — though the bet is pushed.

Three card poker is a very popular variant of poker at most casinos. Though with that being said, the only sweepstakes casino that I know of that currently offers this variant is Stake.us.

Pulsz Texas Holdem Poker

The Texas Holdem game offered at Pulsz is quickly becoming one of my favorite variants of poker. It might seem pretty similar to normal live Texas Hold’Em on first look — with players posting an ante to receive their hand and then needing to make a call to see the flop. But where it differs is that you’re playing against the dealer rather than a player. So bluffing doesn’t work. Instead, you only need to make subsequent bets for the turn and river if you think you’re ahead. This makes the game much more simple.

Once the betting rounds are completed, both player and dealer turn over their cards and whoever has the best hand wins.

Live Extreme Texas Hold’Em

Extreme Texas Hold’Em is another format of poker where you’re pitted against the dealer.

Extreme Texas Hold Em

After making your initial bet, players are dealt their starting two-card hand. From here, you can check, bet x3, or bet x4. If you bet here or at any time, the betting round will cease and all five community cards will be dealt and you’ll go to showdown. If you check though, you’ll see the flop and be given the chance to bet x2 or check. A further check will then lead to both the turn and the river being shown, after which you can either make an x1 bet or fold. If you fold, the game ends. However, if you bet, you’ll head to a showdown where the dealer will also reveal their hand, and the player with the best five-card hand wins.

There’s a lot more to Extreme Texas Hold’Em, including some fun side bets — so it’s definitely one worth checking out. For me, the best site for Extreme Texas Hold’Em is Stake.us. This is because Stake.us offers a live variant of this game where you play against a real dealer.

How Online Poker Works

Poker has been around since the 18th century. Since then, a lot of variants have come and gone — though with the rise of the internet and online gambling, it was inevitable that poker soon moved online. And since moving online, the games have continued adapting — and you can now find dozens of poker variants online. Some games involve you playing against another real player, while others have you playing against a dealer who must follow a set of guidelines.

Below, we’ll be covering some of the basic rules that you’re likely to encounter.

Poker Rules

The rules of poker vary just as the games do. However, the one thing that tends to stay the same is that you’re looking to create the best possible hand. If you’re unfamiliar with poker hands, below we’ll be going through all the types of hands you can get from worst to best, as well as which cards you need to have in order to qualify.

  • High Card — A non-made hand without a pair or better. When two or more players both have hands with only high cards, the player with the highest ranked card will win.
  • One Pair — A hand that includes two cards with the same rank.
  • Two Pair — A hand that includes two sets of two cards with the same rank.
  • Three of a Kind — A hand that includes three cards with the same rank.
  • Straight — A hand made up of five cards in sequential ranks.
  • Flush — A hand made up of five cards in the same suit.
  • Full House — A hand that includes both a three of a kind, and a pair.
  • Four of a Kind — A hand that includes four cards with the same rank.
  • Straight Flush — A hand made of five cards that are both in the same suit, and are in sequential ranks.
  • Royal Flush — The best hand. A five card hand of 10-J-Q-K-A all in the same suit.

Keep in mind that while the above is true with most poker games, there are some variants that rank hands differently.

Typically having a better hand than the opponent or dealer will win you whatever’s in the pot. However, keep in mind that there are some variants of poker like video poker which will increase the size of your win depending on what hand you have. For more details on the specific rules of the poker game that you’re playing, it’s best to check out the guidebook first. And when in doubt, start with free play before moving over to the premium currency.

How to Play Online Poker at Sweepstakes Casinos

Getting started playing real money online poker at a sweepstakes casino is easy. Just follow the below steps to get started today.

  1. Using our secure links, navigate to one of the recommended casinos and click the registration button.

Pulsz Sign Up Page

2. Next up, just fill in a couple of pages with the relevant information and click the “Continue” button when prompted.

3. Once registration is complete, you’ll be sent a confirmation email. Click the link inside to confirm your registration.

4. Now just head back to the casino page and log in to claim your no deposit welcome bonus.

From here, you can head straight to any of the available poker games; however, at some point, you’ll probably want to claim the first purchase bonus. To do so, head to the purchase page and click on the first purchase bonus. Then just select your payment method and follow the prompts. Once your payment is complete, your coins will instantly be credited to your account.

Though if you don’t want to make a deposit right away, don’t sweat it. Playing at sweepstakes casinos is always free — and you can use your Gold Coins and free Sweeps Coins to try out the sweepstakes online poker games. In the next section, we’ll be looking at the two types of plays offered by sweepstakes casinos.

Sweepstakes Poker Free Play

The first way to play poker at sweepstakes casinos is through free play. Free play (sometimes called standard play) is play made with the monetarily worthless currency which most sweepstakes casinos refer to as Gold Coins. As the name suggests, free play allows you to try out a game for free without having to risk any of your premium currency.

Once you feel confident in your game, you can switch to the second type of play.

Poker Real Money

Real money play (sometimes called premium play) is made through the sweepstakes casino’s premium currency. This premium currency (usually called Sweeps Coins) offers the same type of fundamental play as Free Play — but with Sweeps Coins instead of Gold Coins. The big difference here is that Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for real cash prizes.

To acquire Sweeps Coins, you’ll need to earn them through bonuses. Or alternatively, you can find them as part of a free bonus when you purchase a Gold Coins package.

Online Poker Strategies

Poker is one of the most skill-based games offered at sweepstakes casinos. As such, proper strategy is imperative. For that reason, our team has come together to come up with four techniques that you can employ right now to improve your poker play.

  • Know When to Fold — The biggest mistake new players make is not knowing when to let go of a hand. While it can be annoying, when you get an especially bad hand like 2-7 unsuited, it’s usually a better idea to throw it away rather than trying to salvage it.
  • Take Advantage of Bonuses — One of the biggest benefits of playing at sweepstakes casinos is the plethora of bonuses. And all good players know that you should always take advantage of them. So even if you don’t feel like playing on a particular day, it can still be a good idea to log in to collect your daily login bonus.
  • Study — There’s no way around it. To be good at poker, you need to study. This isn’t something you need to worry about right from the get-go, but once you find a poker format you like, spend some time studying it to learn the optimal strategy.
  • Practice Proper Bankroll Management — Everyone gets unlucky sometimes. There’s no way to get around it. For this reason, it’s imperative that you practice proper bankroll management to ensure that a string of bad luck doesn’t end your play prematurely. While proper BRM will vary between games — as a general rule, you should never make a bet worth more than 5% of your bankroll.

Pros and Cons of Playing Sweeps Poker

Pros

  • Requires More Skill Than Other Games
  • Can Play for Free With No Deposit Bonuses
  • Legal in Most US States
  • Stake.us Allows Play Vs Live Dealers
  • Easy to Get Started

Cons

  • Not Available at Most Sweepstakes Casinos
  • Requires More Strategy

Are Poker Sweepstakes Games Fair?

While there are some dodgy casinos out there, when you play at any legitimate sweepstakes casino you can rest assured that all of their poker games are legit. Of course, finding these legitimate sweepstakes casinos can be tricky. For that reason, we recommend that users new to sweepstakes casinos only play at sites that have been vetted and verified by us.

FAQs

What sweepstakes casinos offer poker?

While sweepstakes casinos that offer poker are rare, there are still some sites that offer it. We recommend Stake.us, Pulsz, and Global Poker as the best sweepstakes casinos to play real money poker.

Is poker legal in the US?

The laws surrounding poker in the US are complicated. In short though, so long as you live in a state where sweepstakes poker is offered by a legitimate vendor, it’ll be considered legal as it’ll be considered a sweepstakes promotion rather than a gambling site.

What are the best poker games?

With so many variants of poker, it’s hard to name a definitive best. However, the most popular poker variants are video poker, live Texas Hold’Em, Three card poker, Pulsz Texas Holdem, and Extreme Texas Hold’Em.

Can you win real money playing poker at sweepstakes casinos?

When you play poker at sweepstakes casinos you’ll have the option for both standard play and premium play. When you play with Sweeps Coins as part of the premium play, any Sweeps Coins you win are able to be redeemed for a real cash prize.
Bogdan Lunkan

Author: Bogdan Lunkan

Updated:

Bogdan Lunkan has been playing sweepstakes casino games before it was cool! He has achieved top VIP status on a number of sweepstakes casinos and regularly bets the max when playing his favorite slots. Bogdan takes you inside the mind of a high-stakes player, and following his tips, you too can redeem lots of sweeps coins.
Bogdan Lunkan has been playing sweepstakes casino games before it was cool! He has achieved top VIP status on a number of sweepstakes casinos and regularly bets the max when playing his favorite slots. Bogdan takes you inside the mind of a high-stakes player, and following his tips, you too can redeem lots of sweeps coins.