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Welcome to our complete guide for the best online poker sites in Canada. Our team of poker experts at Casinos.com bring you reviews of the best poker sites, an overview of how to play poker games, poker rules, and the biggest online poker bonuses and offers for 2023. With online poker enjoying a surge in popularity, you can find some excellent poker sites in Canada to choose from. Whether you're an experienced poker player, or a newbie just looking to learn the game at the best online casinos for Canadians – read our online poker guide and start playing!
There are many different things to consider when choosing the best online poker room. As safety and security are a top priority, the trustworthiness of an online poker site is a key factor in every poker site we review.
Our experts put together a list of the best, most trustworthy poker sites in Canada that let you play poker for free and real money. Use our site to find general ratings, the poker site’s specific advantages and its licensing information. You can browse through the online poker bonuses available in 2023 and click further to read our in-depth expert reviews to find the best online poker site for you.
Having played and reviewed hundreds of online poker sites, we only bring you the best sites and most generous bonuses found in Canada. We constantly update our guide with new online casinos in Canada and bonuses, so bookmark this page and visit us regularly to stay up to date with the latest online poker news and offers.
Back in the day, the game of poker was usually played by professional gamblers. However, since it was invented in the 1800s, poker was transformed to become both a professional sport and favourite pastime for casual gamblers. Today, poker is one of the most popular forms of online gambling in Canada and around the world.
Canadian players are spoiled for choice with plenty of online poker rooms from the industry's top-rated gambling operators. Online poker sites like PokerStars Casino and PokerStars Casino Ontario have brought the excitement of brick-and-mortar casinos to the comfort of players' homes nationwide. Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker, but there are plenty of versions for those who want their poker fast or for those looking for a more relaxed game. If you’re a poker player who's looking to learn the game for free or to play online poker for real money and win big prizes, you will find this 2023 expert guide to Canadian internet poker sites extremely useful.
With a wide selection of top online poker rooms to choose from, there are many aspects our poker experts at Casinos.com consider before recommending a poker room. The best online poker sites compete with each other by offering different poker games, innovative software, and generous welcome bonuses. Many of the biggest and best Canadian poker sites are even creating their own poker versions and tournaments.
The variety of tournaments and games, quality of software, player traffic, bonuses, and freerolls – all separate the top-rated poker sites from the rest. As player traffic and tournaments are a major part of an online poker experience, you should also think about the site’s player community. This will directly affect the variety of available game tables, prize pools, and what incentives are offered. For example, some poker sites offer satellite tournaments to land-based events, where the prizes will include travel tickets and expenses for participation in the tournament finals.
A key factor that attracts most online poker players is the promotions and top casino bonuses that are given to new and returning players. The biggest bonuses are usually offered upfront to new players, with sites awarding generous bonuses on your first deposits. Some poker sites will give you online casino no deposit bonuses just for signing up and creating an account.
It is also important to consider bonuses that poker sites give to returning players, as these are awarded for loyalty and can pay handsome rewards in the long run. So look for sponsored tournament entrees, rake-backs, subsequent deposit bonuses, loyalty programs, etc.
The best online poker sites offer a huge array of tournaments for players at all levels. Tournaments are a great way to interact with other players and become part of the poker community, as poker is a social game, after all. It is also a great way to develop your poker skills and strategy in a real-game environment. Poker tournaments provide the excitement of competition, leader boards, and of course, big prizes for winners.
There are different types of tournaments, including scheduled tournaments and Sit & Go tournaments, that start as soon as a table fills up with players. There are also Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs) that attract hundreds and sometimes thousands of players.
Satellite Tournaments will allow you to qualify for major poker competitions that sometimes end with a live event. We named only a few, but there are many more exciting kinds of tournaments available to Canadian online poker players.
If you do not feel like waiting for a table to fill up for a Sit & Go tournament or do not want to spend a tournament buy-in amount, cash games are a great way to dive into poker action right away. Cash games are more casual and do not require players to spend large amounts at the table. This is why many novice online poker players prefer playing cash games until developing their skills further to then join tournaments.
Our experts at Casinos.com always look for online poker sites that provide a variety of cash games, including No-Limit and Fixed-Limit bets games, more types of betting options, and of course, a large number of cash tables available at any given time.
The more player traffic a poker site has, the bigger variety of games and tournaments it has to offer. Large poker sites can host thousands of online poker players at a given time. So you can find an endless number of tables offering cash games and tournaments, different stakes and prizes, etc. Larger poker sites are also considered to be more established and offer more innovative features and sometimes better customer service.
However, there are also advantages to playing at smaller poker sites. Some online poker players prefer the tight-knit player community and more personal customer support they receive at smaller poker rooms.
With poker being a community game that involves an element of skill, more experienced players stand a better chance to win money off beginners. When looking for the best online poker site, it is important to consider your level of skill and poker experience.
So you can choose a poker site that has the right level of competition for you. While some large sites and networks are known to have many experienced, poker savvy players, there are smaller sites that would usually offer lower stakes and therefore attract novice and intermediate players.
Some online poker sites tend to offer just the most popular poker games. Usually, this includes the vastly popular No-Limit Texas Hold’em and in some cases Pot-Limit Omaha. However, some sites are known for offering a wider selection of variants such as Razz Poker, Seven Card Stud, Chinese Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker and more.
If you just like to play Texas Hold’em as many players do, you are spoiled for choice and should probably not consider in your search more game variations. However we strongly recommend you explore new games. Not only can it be great fun, but perhaps you can become an expert and find a winning strategy in a poker game that has considerably less skilled competitors.
One of the most important factors of the online poker experience is of course the software and site structure. Starting with reliability and connectivity, imagine playing at a cash table or tournament where the software disconnects or freezes just as you are about to raise your bet or fold.
However reliability is not the only element to consider when looking for the best online poker site. Poker gameplay experience will also depend heavily on design and features. Another key factor is whether the poker site you are considering is part of a network with many more players joining from different sites, or a standalone poker operator that caters only to its own players.
While some players prefer the large traffic a network brings, others like to be part of a specific poker community that enjoys exclusive tournaments and features of one site.
Some online poker rooms have a stable platform that is easy to use and offers no thrills, whilst others pride themselves on unique features and innovation. There are sites with snap-cam avatars, 3D tables, personalised game function keys, in-game dashboards and more unique features.
While some players prefer the straight-forward poker experience, others use new features to take their poker gameplay to a whole new level. When looking for the best online poker site for you, consider which type of site will provide you with the best poker experience.
The ability of an online poker room to provide a uniform experience across platforms and devices is extremely important. Additionally, the main desktop client, most Canadian online poker sites provide an instant-play poker client that is accessible through a mobile-device browser. The leading poker sites in Canada also offer mobile poker apps that are easy to use and responsive.
Apps are available for Andriod, iOS and some for Windows Phone operating systems. So whether you are looking to play poker on a PC, Mac, mobile device or perhaps even alternate between a few devices – always check the poker site’s compatibility across platforms. Most online casinos will have a mobile casino platform which supports poker play.
The sign up process for Canadian online poker sites is pretty much standard these days, as all MGA licenced sites must do an account verification for new users.
Still, some poker rooms let you sign up very quickly and easily with just a few required steps, whilst others ask for more information and details in a process that can be a bit tedious. All the online poker sites we recommend on Casinos.com have a swift, easy and intuitive sign-up process.
Your safety and security is our primary concern when reviewing and recommending online poker sites. We therefore only list poker sites that are fully licenced by recognised licensing authorities, like the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) for offshore sites. These sites comply with the highest standards of encryption, security, safe gambling and fair play.
Many online poker players rate their entire gameplay experience based on the quality of customer support they receive on the site. When reviewing poker sites, we always look at all the support methods available (e.g. FAQ section, email, phone, etc.) and contact the agents to see how professional and helpful they are. We also consider the site’s hours of support and response times.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the most popular poker game online, and probably offline as well is Texas Hold’em. Omaha Poker comes in distant second place, but Stud Poker and other game variations also have their legion of fans. Following are some of the most popular poker variations, as well as niche poker games that are gradually gaining traction with online poker players.
The most recognised version of the game which is estimated to capture over 80% share of all poker played online. Hold’em Poker is played by the best players in the world in the World Poker Series Main Event, among other tournaments.
A great game for you to try if you are a fan of Texas Hold’em. With each player receiving 4 hole cards instead of 2 as in Hold’em, this is an action-packed game which draws many players, especially for Pot-Limit Omaha.
A relevantly new game in poker history which dates back to the 1990s but quickly earned its popularity in online casinos . The rules are pretty similar to Texas Hold’em Poker and the hand rankings are identical. The biggest difference is that you don’t play against other players, but rather your goal is to beat the dealer like in most other online casino games.
It was one of the most popular games in America a few decades ago. If you played Texas Hold’em before, it will take some time getting used to. There are no community cards and it’s almost always played with fixed betting limits. Though it's a challenging version of poker that takes time to master, it rewards good memory and skill.
A lowball poker game which means the card and hand rankings are the opposite of Texas Hold’em. The goal in Razz is to get the lowest-ranking hand according to traditional poker. Razz is easy to learn and has a slow, relaxed game pace. It is mostly popular amongst older players and poker purists.
The classic version of poker that reminds of Texas Hold’em but with some key differences. Five Card Draw is played with a dealer button and blinds just like Hold’em, but there are no community cards. It is relatively easy to learn, but there are a lot of mind games and strategy involved in this poker variant.
A fast-paced banking game (where you play against the dealer) in which two cards are dealt face up, and the player bets on whether the third card will rank between the first two cards dealt. Red Dog Poker has several game variations such as Shoot, Slippery Sam and Polish Red Dog.
An easy game to learn that is liked by players of all skill levels. There are two ways to play it: an Ante Play where you play against the dealer and a Pair Plus where you place a bet on whether you are dealt a pair or not.
Another fun lowball poker game where the goal is to make the best possible five-card low hand. Online poker players love this game because it’s a fun way to spice things up when Texas Hold’em gets a bit redundant. It’s also a great game for bluffing and playing mind games.
A game that is very different than normal poker and takes time to learn and master. Still, it’s a great game of skill and many players say it’s worth the effort. Chinese Poker is played with four players, where each is dealt 13 cards and needs to arrange them into three different poker hands. Once learned, it’s a game with a lot of action and strategy.
If you play poker online because of convenience but still miss the buzz of the land-based casino floor, Live Dealer Poker is for you. You can join poker tables at live dealer casinos online and watch the dealer and table streamed to your computer screen or mobile device in real-time. As the name suggests, Live Dealer Poker is usually offered for variations such as Casino Hold’em where you play against the dealer. The best poker sites have an extensive live dealer section with poker, blackjack and many other live casino table games on offer. Likewise, while there are many great options to choose from, some of the best blackjack casinos also offer a range of other exciting games, including poker.
Freeroll in poker refers to the situation where you never lose, but still stand a chance to win. Freerolls are a great way to join poker tournaments, as you will not be charged any entry fees but still have chances to win prizes. Some online poker sites also offer freeroll hands which guarantee that you split the pot if you and another player have a winning hand. But there’s also an additional draw component (e.g. certain cards dealt) which can let you win the entire pot.
The wagering structure differs between poker game variations, tables and tournament structures. In order to better understand the differences, it’s important to first know the basic terms:
Poker is a great game that combines luck, skill and strategy. Beyond understanding the basic rules and fundamentals of the game, learning poker depends solely on the player and how he/she wants to develop and implement their strategy. You can develop your own style of play which suits your personality: whereas some players are happy to take risks at the table, others are risk-averse and calculated.
While aggressive players tend to constantly bet, raise the stakes and put other players under pressure, passive players will call or fold until they have a promising hand – but there is no one winning strategy. The following are a few popular strategies and tactics:
Although the rules between poker variants differ, there are some similar fundamentals across all types of poker games. Once the initial cards are dealt, players are expected to react by placing bets. In Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker, these are known as Small Blinds and Big Blinds. If there is no bet placed in the current round a player can check, or forfeit his/her hand by folding. A standing bet can be matched by a call. When a player raises, you are expected to match the bets which have increased in value. Rules then differ between poker variations, with a few examples below:
Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud poker have some similarities but where they differ is in the number of cards dealt to each player. Stud is a little more challenging than the other two poker games because of the cards some of the players receive are dealt face up.
This means competing players can see a few of your cards from the start, thus shaping their next moves. Each version still holds the element of bluffing but with Stud, there's a twist because the competing players can have a glimpse into your game plan.
The best online poker sites in Canada offer a variety of payment methods that enable you to deposit funds and withdraw winnings quickly and easily. Methods include traditional bank and wire transfers, Interac, e-Wallets like PayPal, pre-paid cards like Paysafecard and more. There are also Pay By Phone casinos in Canada that also let you pay by phone.
Deposits are usually instant, and withdrawal processing times may take a few days, depending on the method used. All payment methods, when used on licenced poker rooms, are safe and fully encrypted. It is still recommended to check the terms and conditions of each payment method for limits, processing times and possible fees.
Online gambling is fully regulated for online Ontario casinos, with other provinces set to follow. In the meantime, players outside Ontario can play at sites that are regulated offshore by bodies like the MGA. To obtain an AGCO licence, or a license from regulators like the MGA, a poker site needs to go through strict background checks. Once the licence is granted, each poker room must comply with the policies and regulations.
Many online poker sites in Canada became household names that certainly guarantee a safe and secure online gaming experience. These sites use state-of-the-art encryption to ensure player protection during any and all financial transactions as well during gameplay. Beyond their licences, many poker rooms go through external testing and auditing by third-party companies such as eCOGRA.
These stamps of approval mean that the sites use a random number generator (RNG) that ensures fair play. Always look for the license number and other certifications at the bottom of the poker site, and only play in licenced sites which are legal and provide a safe gambling environment.
There are many different options for playing poker online in Canada. Some sites provide their own proprietary software that lets you play against fellow players that are visiting the same site.
There are also poker sites that are part of a network which lets players from many different poker sites play against each other on the same tables. One example is the iPoker network by Playtech, which sets a high standard in online poker with a huge community and a variety of classic and modern poker games. Aside from “traditional” poker rooms, many casinos are starting to offer live dealer poker in their live casino lobbies. One of the biggest live dealer software providers is Evolution Gaming, which offers games like Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, 2 Hand Casino Hold’Em and Three Card Poker with live dealers.
Starting with desktop clients, poker sites offer browser instant-play versions. There are also poker rooms that offer a downloadable client that gives you access to their poker lobby, rooms, tables and features. Many poker sites provide an instant-play browser client that is accessible through any mobile device, and some also offer Canadian casino apps that are available for Android and iOS systems.
Online poker has many great advantages, the most obvious being that you can enjoy 24/7 poker action from wherever you are. You can find poker games that suit your speed of play and your budget in no time. Plus, there’s a huge selection of tables to choose from compared to brick-and-mortar casinos.
What’s more, you can find Freeroll tournaments so you can enjoy poker action without buying in with real money. You get to play against people from all over and they don’t get to suss out your poker face!
Although poker requires skill, always remember that luck has a big part of the game and it is therefore considered gambling. Set times and spending limits for playing and keep a close eye on your bankroll. Always gamble responsibly, so you can keep coming back and safely enjoy great games of poker at the tables.
Natasha Alessandrello is a Senior Editor in the Casinos.com content team. She began her career as a Features Writer for several weekly and monthly magazines, and has a decade’s worth of experience in writing, researching and editing casino content. She is interested in all equine sports, and enjoys blackjack and the occasional game of poker.Read Full Bio
There are many different kinds of poker sites that vary by the game variants offered, software, tournaments and more. Read our reviews and find the poker site that is best for you based on your preferences, or sign up for several sites until you find your favourite one.
The amount of players on different poker sites changes during different days, hours and across regions. PokerStars, PartyPoker and 888poker are some of the biggest sites and have lots of players. If you sign up for any of the sites we recommend, you'll never be stuck for a game of online poker, with lots of players online 24/7.
There are many professional poker players that have started their career by playing online, but it tends to take years of practice. You can develop your poker skills to a professional level, however keep in mind that if you are considered a professional poker player in Canada, you can be taxed on your winnings.
Winning in poker takes practice, skill, strategy and of course luck. To win real money playing online poker, sign up to one of our recommended poker rooms and make use of available resources, bonuses and Freerolls to practice. Then gradually advance through cash games and tournaments that suit your level of skill.
Yes you can. Many online poker sites offer freerolls that let you play without spending money. Note however that you may be required to sign up before you can play for free, and in certain cases you will only have a certain amount of "play" money to use.
In the competitive online poker market, casino sites and game providers are constantly updating and improving their software. This includes constant upgrades to both desktop and mobile versions, providing Canadian poker players with the latest technologies, seamless gameplay and a world-class poker experience.
Yes. In addition to the Canadian government regulations and licensing, all the sites we recommend on Casinos.com are subject to our independent reviews of their service, safety and trustworthiness. We rigorously test all these poker sites to find out if they are lacking in any particular areas and if they are, we will be sure to let you know.
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