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GGPoker is the largest online poker network in Asia and is becoming one of the largest in the world. It’s also the name of the biggest skin on the network, which also incorporates sites like BestPoker and Natural8.
GGPoker launched in 2014 and originally focused on serving players in China and Southeast Asia. Over recent years, however, GGPoker has expanded its reach considerably. At any given time, players from Russia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia and the Americas can be found playing on GGPoker.
GGPoker has signed several high-profile player ambassadors, including Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. In 2020, GGPoker increased its global profile even further by partnering with the World Series of Poker to host online bracelet events.
GGPoker stands for “good game,” and for many players the name is appropriate, as GGPoker emphasizes making the game fun. Serving recreational poker players is a high priority for GGPoker, as evidenced by the site’s frequent promotions and prohibition of third-party software. At the same time, it’s also known for hosting ultra high stakes tournaments, so there’s something for everyone.
Here is a comprehensive review of what poker players can expect to find at GGPoker.
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|Last Updated||October 2021|
GGPoker offers new sign-ups a choice of welcome bonuses in the form of either 100% deposit matching bonus up to a maximum of $600 or $50 in free play. The welcome bonus is available to all new players when they make their first deposit.
Remember, you can choose whichever offer you like, but only one or the other!
GGPoker also offers other incentives for new players, such as its Honeymoon for Newcomers promotion, which is available to start for the first seven days after a player creates an account.
The promotion requires players to complete a series of “missions” over the course of 30 days. These missions encourage new users to explore all the features the site has to offer, and involve completing tasks like showing your hole cards at the end of a hold ’em hand or playing 50 hands of pot-limit Omaha. Completing 30 missions within the time period earns players a total reward of $300.
GGPoker additionally offers many other ongoing promotions for players, updated and added to on a monthly basis. Players on GGPoker should remain aware of these ways to earn extra money, often just for playing as they normally would.
Players typically find GGPoker offering different Daily Leaderboard and Daily Mission promotions. There is also an ongoing Weekly Leaderboard that works similarly.
Usually, these promotions involve players accumulating points as they play, with those reaching the top spots of the leaderboards winning cash prizes. These promotions are usually tied to specific game types — e.g., Rush & Cash, Spin & Gold or Short Deck (see below).
These promotions are attractive for recreational players since they often involve separate leaderboards for each buy-in level. Thus, even those playing $0.01/$0.02 games get a chance to compete for real cash prizes.
GGPoker features a progressive, tiered rewards program called Fish Buffet.
The program enables players to unlock cash rewards as they accumulate Fish Buffet Points earned for the amount of rake and tournament fees they pay. Earning points enables players to move up through seven statuses: Plankton, Goldfish, Shrimp, Crab, Octopus, Whale, Shark. Most of these tiers are further divided into multiple levels, with 24 levels in total.
There are time limits assigned to each level, meaning a player has a certain number of days to accumulate the required Fish Buffet Points in order to earn rewards.
GGPoker calls the rewards that players earn cashback, though it is functionally the same as what other sites call rakeback. That is, the amount awarded is calculated as a percentage of the rake paid by the player.
There is a difference, however, in that there is a random component to the rewards. Rather than a fixed rate, players get to spin a wheel each time to determine what percentage they’ll receive.
GGPoker also frequently advertises tournament freerolls, many different promotions tied to jackpots, and other types of challenges requiring players to play a certain amount to receive rewards.
For freerolls, GGPoker often has a free-to-play tournament once per hour with a $100 prize pool, with every player allowed to enter one per day.
For jackpots, GGPoker has various promotions that work a lot like jackpots in brick-and-mortar poker rooms. There are big hand jackpots, flush jackpots and others that cash game players can win if they satisfy certain stipulations.
For challenges, GGPoker invites players to play a certain amount of one particular game to earn rewards — e.g., the Spin & Gold Challenge.
There are other fun promos on GGPoker. One is a regular feature of many tournament types called Bubble Protection.
Some multi-table tournaments on GGPoker are marked with a stamp designating them MTT Early Bird tournaments. Players who register for these tournaments before they begin who then bubble the tournament automatically get their buy-in back.
Another fun promo comes in the Rush & Cash games. Much like a “splash pot” promotion in casinos, the site periodically delivers a random Cash Drop to Rush & Cash tables.
These Cash Drops sweeten pots by as little as 10 big blinds or as much as 600 big blinds. Like the splash pots in live poker rooms, the money to fund these Cash Drops is collected in the form of additional rake at the tables in question. For Cash Drop, this is a single big blind taken from every pot of 30 big blinds or more.
Players must be at least 18 years old to play on GGPoker, although it serves some countries where the local minimum age requirement is higher.
When signing up for an account, players must provide their name, age, address and banking information for depositing and withdrawing funds. The verification procedure may require providing additional information, including uploading a scan of an ID card or proof of address.
GGPoker can be played from most countries that are either gray markets or explicitly allow international poker sites. There are some exceptions, mostly countries which issue licenses but for which GGPoker has not yet obtained one.
Players from the United States are prohibited from playing on GGPoker. There are far too many countries in the world to provide a comprehensive list of those that GGPoker does and does not serve, but below are a few prominent examples of each:
If you live in a country not on one of these lists, there’s one easy way to find out if you’re allowed to play on GGPoker. Simply go to their signup page and look for your country in the pull-down menu. If it’s there, that means they’re accepting players from your country. If it’s not, then you’re out of luck.
Downloading the free GGPoker app is a simple process. Visit the GGPoker website and click the “Download” button, click “Download Free App Now,” then follow your computer’s prompts to install and run GGPoker.
GGPoker is available for different types of personal computers, such as:
Unlike some online poker sites that run within web-based browsers, GGPoker is a standalone client. The software is well-liked by many players, featuring a clear, easy-to-navigate lobby and lots of customizable features. (More on the GGPoker software below.)
For users of mobile devices, GGPoker also has an app that is free to download from the GGPoker website. The app is available for mobile devices such as:
The app does a nice job providing nearly all the same functions as the desktop client. The interface is well-designed and intuitive. Multitabling is possible, but only up to a maximum of four tables.
One unique feature GGPoker designed expressly for those playing via mobile devices is called Smart Betting. The feature saves players a step by suggesting betting amounts based on an algorithm created by their own bet sizing patterns.
As part of a network with generally high online poker traffic, GGPoker enjoys significant player liquidity. Only PokerStars and IDNPoker rank higher than GGPoker in terms of player traffic. That means lots of action at the cash game tables and large player pools in the tournaments on a consistent basis.
Being available on many continents also means there are almost always large numbers of players on the site no matter the time of day. That said, peak times are usually during the afternoon and evening (GMT or UTC).
There are often at least 50,000 to 60,000 players logged onto the site, sometimes more. There are almost always at least 1,000 players at the cash game tables, with the average often hovering around 3,000 to 5,000 and the total sometimes going as high as 10,000.
In terms of game variants, GGPoker only offers no-limit Texas hold ’em, pot-limit Omaha and short deck hold ’em. In other words, there are no stud games or other mixed game variants.
However, GGPoker makes up for that restriction by presenting games in a wide variety of formats. On the cash games side, there are a variety of stakes, deep-stacked and regular tables, and short-handed and full-ring games.
There are also many other entertaining novelties allowed like squeezing cards, rabbit hunting, straddling, showing your hole cards during a hand, taking all-in insurance, and running it multiple times when all-in.
Players buy-in for a maximum of eight big blinds and have just two choices — go all in or fold. The chance of winning an All-In or Fold Jackpot provides further enticement.
GGPoker’s version of fast-fold poker is available for both no-limit hold ’em and pot-limit Omaha.
As noted above, the “Rush” portion of the name refers to the fast-fold format, meaning once you fold your hand, you rush to a new table and start a new hand right away. Meanwhile “Cash” alludes to the occasional cash drops that GGPoker occasionally splashes into the pots.
GGPoker additionally offers separate VIP cash games at higher stakes, including no-limit hold ’em and pot-limit Omaha tables with $200/$400 blinds.
GGPoker’s sit and go offerings are called Spin & Gold and play like “spin and go” tournaments on other sites. Three players buy in for as little as $0.25 or as much as $50, then the prize pool is determined by a spinning wheel.
Most often players play for 2x or 3x the buy-in, though there is a chance to play for as much as 12,000x the buy-in.
One area in which GGPoker excels is in its tournament offerings. There are a variety of tournament types available around the clock, including:
GGPoker has a wide range of tournaments and tournament series described as its “signature” tournament offerings. These include:
Other series include the Weekday Guarantee Boosts with larger than usual guaranteed prize pools, Multi MILLION$ tournaments with big buy-ins and guarantees, and the once-a-week GGMasters tournament each Sunday with a $150 buy-in and $500,000 guarantee.
GGPoker often has various ongoing promotions associated with tournaments, as well. For example, the GGMasters POY Leaderboard lasts the entire year, and the top finisher wins a $500,000 first prize and becomes a GGPoker ambassador.
GGPoker features one of the more attractive and accessible clients in online poker, an impressive feat for a relative newcomer (historically speaking). The site is smartly designed and user-friendly. It is obvious those who created it had an eye on PokerStars and other intuitive and well-constructed sites when building GGPoker.
The lobby features a familiar tabular interface that presents a lot of information in a clear, easy-to-navigate manner. The “Home” tab provides shortcuts to the many current promotions and other features. From there other tabs for different variants and game types enable quick access to users’ desired games.
Under the hold ’em tab (for example), players can choose either the Group View for a birds-eye look at everything going on, or the Table View to peruse individual tables. Each view enables sorting by stakes, buy-in, players and so on, allowing players to join games with a single click. Information under the tournaments tab is similarly clear and sortable.
Once at the tables, players can choose avatars; alter backgrounds; change the table, cards, and chips display in a variety of ways; and tile or cascade tables when multi-tabling, among many customizable options.
Stacks can be displayed as big blinds or in different currencies (toggling back and forth with a click), and there are hotkey settings enabling betting shortcuts and other functions. Most importantly, gameplay is especially smooth, with all of the needed information clear and conspicuous, including access to hand histories.
Two other unique features embedded into the client are worth mentioning:
These provide a partial replacement for the functionality of some of the third-party tools GGPoker has banned. Both are available free of charge to all GGPoker players.
Smart HUD is a bare bones version of HUD (heads-up display) software. Just click on an opponent’s avatar to get some basic statistics on them, such as your personal history against them, their tendencies at all-in-or-fold tables, their tournament results, and so forth.
PokerCraft is a personalized database tracking every hand you’ve played on GGPoker. It’s not merely a list of hand histories, but includes some tools to help you sort through the information and analyze your play.
While neither Smart HUD nor PokerCraft is necessarily as powerful as the popular third-party programs some players have used, they are quite innovative and genuinely useful. The best thing about them is that they equalize the playing field, offering both recreational players and pros access to the same tools.
GGPoker offers a variety of ways for players to deposit funds into their accounts as well as to withdraw them.
What banking options are available depends in part on what country the player is from, as different jurisdictions have different guidelines to follow. From most locations, players can use credit cards and e-wallets in order to transfer funds to and from GGPoker.
The minimum deposit is $10 and maximum is $5,000. The maximum withdrawal is $15,000. There is a $1 fee added to withdrawals, though there is no fee associated with making deposits.
As part of its overall appeal to recreational poker players, GGPoker has placed an emphasis on providing responsive support.
The site advertises “24/7 support” and invites players to try email first with their queries and issues. There are separate email addresses for General & Poker Support and Cashier Support.
There is a special Discord channel where GGPoker players can ask questions and chat with GGPoker staff. GGPoker also offers support via the instant messaging service Telegram. Additionally, there is live chat support available directly on the GGPoker site.
The GGPoker site also features a searchable knowledge base of frequently asked questions that is quite extensive and genuinely helpful.
Is GGPoker legal in the US?
No, the US is one of the countries GGPoker does not serve.
Will GGPoker be legal in the US?
It is unlikely GGPoker will be available to everyone in the United States any time soon. But it is possible GGPoker may find its way into one of the states that has legalized online poker. Pennsylvania is one possibility, as GGPoker’s parent company, NSUS International Limited, filed an application with PA regulators to be able to offer online poker in the state.
Does GGPoker offer mixed games?
GGPoker offers hold ’em and Omaha games, as well as short deck hold ’em. However there are no stud variants or other mixed-game formats on GGPoker.
Does GGPoker allow players to use a HUD?
No. GGPoker explicitly prohibits players from using heads-up displays (HUDs) or any other type of third-party tracking software while playing. However, the site does offer its own “Smart HUD” to all players within the client itself with which players can see some statistical information about their opponents.
Are cash game hands on GGPoker raked before the flop?
GGPoker collects rake from any hand that either goes to a flop or sees a three-bet preflop. “Walks” and pots won by a single preflop raise are not raked.