There are several key factors that we dive into when we’re establishing our rankings for the top Canadian poker sites online. We’re not looking to recommend internet poker rooms that are just satisfactory, we’re looking for the sites that offer the best possible all-round experience.
This means that poker sites need to perform well in a number of key areas to make our list. Let’s take a look at some of the most important.
The Canadian real money poker sites that have received our stamp of approval are licensed in reputable jurisdictions. Applicants must bring sufficient operating capital to the table, and they have to submit to background checks. When a site is approved, they have to cough up hefty licensing fees.
All of our preferred online poker sites carry permits that have been issued by government bodies that provide strict oversight. You may win, and you may lose, but you can rest assured that you will be treated fairly at these poker rooms.
When a site passes the first test, we go straight to the monetary part of the equation.
We will never recommend a website unless they make it easy for players to deposit and withdraw funds. These real money Canada poker sites facilitate efficient transfers, and Bitcoin is an alternative currency that can be utilized.
There are online poker forums and message boards that are frequented by people that have played at them and others that are looking for feedback. Social media groups have also been created that serve the same purpose. We participate in these groups to monitor the firsthand experiences that are shared.
Though we do not jump to any judgments based on one single anecdote, if we see a pattern developing, we take it seriously. We have our own experiences to draw upon, too.
Longevity is another indicator, because a poker site that has been able to withstand the test of time must be doing something right.
Customer Service Availability
When money is changing hands, it’s important to have access to customer service if and when you need it.
The top Canada poker sites place an emphasis on the player experience, so they’re readily available over the phone and through email. Some sites have live chat functions.
Effective Site Designs
If you’re going to spend time at an online poker room, the virtual environment is definitely a factor. We evaluate relevant design details, including ease of use, because intuitive navigation is key.
The leading poker sites have invested considerable resources to perfect their site designs.
You can’t play real money poker online in Canada if there are no other players that join a game. Even if everything looks great on the surface, in large part, the volume of players will dictate the quality of your experience over the long haul.
The sites that have received our stamp of approval are popular because they have built solid reputations. There are peaks and valleys as you might imagine, but you will always be able to find a game with enough willing participants.
The Benefits of Online Poker
When you tap into the world of online poker, you add an exciting new dimension of entertainment to your life.
The convenience is off the chain when you can play from anywhere at any time. This is the most overarching benefit, but there are a number of other reasons why online poker is the way to go.
Great Learning Environment
If you’re interested in learning how to play poker, or if you simply want to get better, it’s tough to play in a land-based casino environment. People in these card rooms are grizzled veterans, and they don’t have any patience for newcomers that don’t understand protocol and nuanced rules.
The dynamic is entirely different when you play online at one of our approved Canada poker sites. Yes, there are other players, but you cannot see them or hear their remarks.
There’s far less pressure when playing poker online, and you can play for small stakes when you’re just getting started.
Many of the sites even offer free gameplay, so you can play without risking anything until you’re ready to move onto real money poker games. You can also learn to play variations of poker that you’re not familiar with to add variety and broaden your skillset.
When you first sign up on one of our highly-rated Canadian poker sites, you will be greeted with some type of welcome bonus. In many cases, it will be a percentage of your original deposit, and it can actually be 100%. There’s nothing better than free money, and there are other promotions beyond the signup bonuses.
And guess what? Nothing is stopping you from opening accounts at multiple different poker sites. If you go this route, you can pocket several different welcome bonuses. Once you identify the online poker room that you like the most, you can stick with that operator and earn loyalty rewards points.
When you play poker with others in a physical environment, savvy players look for “tells.” This is some type of indicator that someone may inadvertently reveal through their actions. For example, the look in your eyes and the facial expression you show when you first look at your cards can be hard to mask.
Some people will finger their chips in a certain way when they have a good hand or show some signs of impatience. In addition to physical actions, decision-making patterns can be detected.
You never have to worry about tipping anyone off when you play at the Canada poker sites online, because you cannot be seen. On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal, but you can rest assured that winning players do exploit tells to gain an edge.
Games at Canada Poker Sites
There are a few different types of games that can be played at real money online poker sites for Canada players. The exact offerings will depend upon the policies of each respective site. There are also different formats.
You have options, and when you understand all of them, you can add variety to your poker playing experiences. Here’s a look at the various different formats and games that are most commonly available.
Online poker rooms typically offer three different structural formats. When you get into a cash game, you can come and go as you please. If you choose to do so, you could play one hand then pick up your chips and leave the table. You keep whatever you win on any given hand.
Cash games can carry either pot limit or no limit designations. The no limit is self-explanatory, and with pot limit, the maximum bet is the amount that’s in the pot when you’re making a wager.
Tournament play is another option. Everyone that’s participating will pay a buy-in fee, and the accumulation is the prize money minus the cut that is raked by the house. All players are given the same amount of tournament chips, so everyone starts out on an even playing field.
Some tournaments have a minimum guaranteed amount of prize money, and it will vary depending on the price of the buy-in and the number of players that are expected to comprise the field.
Sit and gos are the third option. This type of poker can best be described as a much smaller tournament with either six or nine players, but you have a better chance of winning. The final three finishers get shares of the prize money in a nine-player game, and for six-player sit and go tournies, it’s the top two.
One poker game that you will definitely see on all of the online poker websites is Texas Hold‘em. In Texas Hold‘em, each player is dealt two cards face down. The dealer then overturns three cards that are the community cards. This is called the “flop.”
All of the players use the community cards along with the two individual cards that belong to each respective participant. There’s a round of betting after the flop, then a single card is added to the community cards. This is called the “turn.”
Once again, there is a round of betting, and then the last card is overturned by the dealer. This stage is called the “river.” There is betting after the river card is revealed. When all bets are in, the cards are overturned and the winner takes down the pot.
The game of Omaha is another variant that is offered at all of the top Canadian poker sites we recommend. In this game, each player is dealt four cards face down.
Community cards are drawn by the dealer in the same sequence as they are for Texas Hold‘em. You can only use two of the four cards in your hand and three of the community cards.
There is high hand Omaha, and there are also hi/lo games. With the latter, the pot is divided with half going to the person with the highest hand, and the other half won by the player with the lowest hand.
Seven-Card Stud is another game that you often see at internet poker rooms.
To initiate a game, each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. Then, there are additional rounds with each player getting another card face up until everyone that has not folded has seven cards.
These are the three poker games that are most commonly played online, but there are some others, including the following.
Canada Online Poker FAQ
Do you have to download software to play poker online?
There is no absolute answer to this question.
Some of the leading poker sites do require a software download, and others offer browser-based poker rooms.
What is the best way to deposit and withdraw funds?
Since there is no intermediary processing entity, the transactions can be consummated very quickly in a cost-effective manner.
What are the lowest limits at Canada poker sites?
Believe it or not, there are cash games that have blinds as low as .01/.02. Some tournaments have buy-ins of a quarter or a single dollar.
Of course, there are other games to satisfy players that are on all portions of the budgetary spectrum.
Is online poker legal in Canada?
We’re not lawyers, so we don’t like to answer legal questions with any kind of definitive answer. And, in any case, gambling laws are often something of a grey area.
With that said, as far as we’re aware it’s perfectly legal to play online poker in Canada.
Is it safe to play online poker for real money?
Yes, as long as you play at reputable online poker rooms.
Stick with our recommended Canada poker sites and you’ll be fine.
Ready to Play?
We have done extensive research to identify the top poker sites for Canadian players. These online poker rooms offer tournaments, cash, and sit and go games, and there are different variations.
There are very inexpensive games, and the limits go up incrementally, so there’s something for everyone. Our approved Canadian poker sites offer generous bonuses, and they facilitate swift and efficient asset transfers.
Playing poker online for real money is a lot of fun, and it’s rewarding, because you can always get better as you gain experience. We have provided the basics here, and you can explore our website to obtain further information about poker and other forms of gambling.