Best Online Poker Sites in Canada 2023
If you are considering playing online poker for real money, then there are many things you need to take into consideration before you get started. First and foremost, you should only play on a poker site that is licensed and regulated so you know it is completely safe and trustworthy when gambling online.
Here, we will not only look at the best poker sites and online poker rooms available to players from Canada, but also what to look for in a great poker site and which are the best games if you are looking for top players and big wins.
The Top Online Poker Sites of 2023
Last Updated: June 9, 2023
How We Rated Our Top Poker Sites
If you have tried looking for a good poker room online yourself, then undoubtedly you will have already seen that there are hundreds to choose from. Unfortunately, not all real money online poker operators are good. There are some out there that are greedy and fraudulent. If you don’t know what you are looking for, then you could easily fall into a trap.
However, you won’t need to worry about that because we have been reviewing online poker sites and have scoured the different poker sites to look through each one in depth. This helps us to only recommend the very best online poker operators and regulated online poker sites. Here is how we pick out our top poker sites.
Licensing, Security and Reputation
The very first thing we look at to determine whether or not we will recommend a site is whether or not it is licensed and regulated by a reputable governing body. Trustworthy poker sites will be licensed by bodies such as the UKGC, MGA, Gibraltar or others. The biggest online poker sites will also hold certifications from third-party testing companies such as iTechLabs or eCOGRA, who ensure the online games and technology used is completely fair and random and that the poker site is completely transparent.
In our poker site reviews, we also look to see whether or not the poker operators have a secure website – and the top sites will be protected by high-end SSL encryption technology to ensure that your data is safe and secure.
Finally, we look for the online reputation. We will check to see what real players are saying about the site and whether or not they recommend it. Any poker site that has lots of complaints against it will certainly be off the list.
The Selection of Games
The very best poker sites will offer players a good selection of real money games, with different poker rooms and games catering for players of all budgets. As well as an extensive selection of poker games, we also like to see other options such as alternative table games, slot games and even sports betting. After all, a poker player might want to take a break from the next poker game and try something else. The best Canadian poker sites give their players choices.
If you look to spend money playing poker, then you want variety. The best online poker rooms offer different tables with quick seat games and anonymous tables etc. You should also be able to try out different game variants such as Seven-Card Stud, Omaha Hold ‘Em, Caribbean Stud Poker and more. The more real-money poker games available, the better!
When reviewing the best online poker sites we understand that a loyal poker player will expect rewards – and who doesn’t love Rakeback? The ‘Rake’ is the percentage that an online poker room takes from the money pot. However, Rakeback is when the poker site redistributes part of that Rake to its most loyal poker players.
So, if Canadian poker sites offer 10% Rakeback, then you would be given back 10% of the Rake from that game. This is usually distributed according to its loyalty reward program.
Number of Poker Players and Room Traffic
We also look at the traffic numbers of the site. Many poker enthusiasts prefer to play at a site that has a larger number of new players because there are several benefits attached to this. Firstly, more people in the playing pool means that you have a better chance of winning money from a softer opponent. It also means there is likely to be a wide variety of skill sets there, allowing beginners to learn from the more experienced players, whilst those more experienced players can challenge themselves against others for higher stakes. Additionally, a site with higher traffic generally has more tournaments with bigger prizes.
Selection of Bonuses and Promotions
Everyone loves a casino bonus or promotion – and the best online poker site will offer a variety of generous rewards and great poker bonuses for both new and existing players.
As well as a good and fair welcome bonus, most poker sites for Canadian players should also offer ongoing promotions such as contests and tournaments, reward programs and loyalty points, promo codes and more. Even if the bonuses are small, if they come in thick and fast it means you can start getting much more value for money.
Why Having the Best Poker Software is Important
We would only ever recommend online gambling at a site in the Canadian market that has the best software – and this is true of poker. Sites with the best online poker software can affect the entire user experience.
If you open an account at a site with lagging and sluggish software then you will quickly look elsewhere. Sign up at a site with lightning-fast software and you’ll have a much better time.
Also, some poker software works better for tournament players, whereas other software is better for cash game players. There is also the question of online casino compatibility – some run better on Windows and not Apple – so these are also things you need to factor in.
How Traffic Affects a Poker Room?
The traffic in an online poker room is important. We touched upon this above, but the sites that have more traffic offer games around the clock – 24/7. However, there may be another site with less traffic where you have to wait a few hours for cash games to start.
Bear in mind that there are some sites are more focused on tournaments whilst others focus more on cash games. In addition, if there isn’t enough traffic, even if they do offer games such as Seven Card Stud, there may not be enough players to run the game… which renders the selection of casino games available invalid.
Poker Sites With Skilled Players
When looking at a poker site, it is also worth thinking about the skill set of the players that it attracts. Obviously, it’s fun to play against a new or less-skilled player because it’s easier to win money from them. The skill level can vary quite significantly depending on which site you play at – and this could be important to you depending on whether you want easy or tough competition.
Although we can’t necessarily say that one site attracts better players than others, when looking at the average amount of money that is contributed to the pot pre-flop, it helps to identify loose players. Ultimately, knowing what type of players to expect is important. You don’t want to be a new player and find yourself up against lots of experienced players, but you may also want to find players to help you learn.
The Best Poker Games
There are some poker-specific sites that are much better than others in terms of the catalogue of games. As well as the more common games, these will also offer games such as Five Card Draw, Razz, 2-7 Lowball, Razz and others. However, some of the smaller or more casino-type sites will only offer popular standard games such as Texas Hold ‘Em, Stud Poker or Pot Limit Omaha.
Even if you consider yourself to be a player that sticks to the same game type, it’s always a fun experience to try out games such as Seven-Card Stud etc… where you may find an edge in the game as the other players are still working out a strategy.
Ultimately, look through the selection of games, look through the table budgets and see whether or not they have the games that you like to play the most – and favor the ones with even more. A change can freshen up your experience and you may find a game that you like even more.
How to Choose a Good Poker Website
So, you can see that we have provided you with top-quality poker sites – all of which come highly recommended under our strict criteria, but how can you choose which one is right for you? Well – it is definitely a matter of your own personal preference.
First, consider what games you prefer playing. Do you want to stick strictly to poker games or do you like variation? Do you also like other table games and slot games? Sports betting? This will determine whether you should join a poker-specific site or a more traditional online casino that offers poker.
Playing for Profit
Are you looking to play for fun or are you serious about playing for profit? You should consider whether or not you want to play recreationally or play professionally as you will need to look at traffic and table limits, tournaments and cash games etc.
Mobile or Desktop?
Do you prefer mobile gaming or desktop play? The top poker sites will offer mobile apps, although not all of them do. Make sure that if you are a mobile-first player, you choose a site that has a particularly good mobile app.
What budget do you have? If you want to play real money poker, then you will need to have a steady flow of cash to deposit. If this is not the case, consider looking at sites that also offer free poker or very low-limit games.
Is Online Poker Legal in Canada?
Yes, it is. Online gambling and poker have never been illegal in Canada! The government has given each province and city its own autonomy, so provinces such as Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa can legislate it as they wish. Some provinces are much more open-minded and accepting of it than others. However, generally yes, you can legally play poker online in Canada.
What is illegal in Canada, however, is operating an online gambling site from Canada – so players will need to play at an overseas poker site. The country’s government has no authority over these sites, so you can play to your heart’s content!
Moreover, politicians in BC, Manitoba and Quebec are looking to move towards regulating online poker, which means that it may well be sooner rather than later that Canada has its own poker platform.
Most Popular Poker Games Online in Canada
No matter what poker site you try out, you will find games such as Texas Hold ’em, with limits suitable for both high rollers and more recreational poker players. This is the most popular variant of the game not just in Canada, but in the world.
However, not far behind is Pot-Limit Omaha, which is hugely popular in the country – and if you play during peak hours, there are going to be a few Pot-Limit Omaha games running.
Games that aren’t up there and mainstream, but are still worth a look include:
- 7-Card Stud
- Omaha Hi-Lo
and there are also some more exotic variations of the game if you’re feeling daring such as:
- Chinese Poker
- 5-Card Draw
However, these won’t attract too much traffic, so don’t expect lots of games with big players on these tables.
Online Poker Sites Payment Options
Most top poker sites will offer players a selection of payment options – including the standard methods – Visa, MasterCard, Instadebit, Interac and eWallets such as Neteller, Skrill and PayPal.
Additionally, more online casinos are starting to offer players the option to deposit with cryptocurrency and the same is true of poker sites as well. Some of the biggest sites are now accepting digital currencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Look to see what options you have and see which suit you the most. Check out deposit and withdrawal limits, withdrawal times and convenience.
Playing Online Poker: Conclusion
It can be difficult to find the best poker site to suit your playing preferences and style, but when you find the right one, then it can’t be beaten. So, check out our highly recommended poker sites and see what they have to offer. Simply read our reviews of each (to see which one is best for your needs), click on the link, register, deposit and claim your bonus – then start playing!
Online Poker Sites FAQs
What Online Poker Site is Best?+
We have put together the very best poker sites out there. We usually find that the big, well-known brands are the best, but read the reviews through and see which one is best for your needs.
How Can I Tell if a Poker Site is Safe?+
We will only ever recommend a safe and secure website. However, if you are looking for a site yourself, make sure it is licensed by a regulatory body such as the UKGC or MGA.
How Can I Make an Online Poker Deposit?+
Simply open your account, select your preferred deposit option and check out the minimum and maximum deposits. Enter your details and how much you wish to deposit. All deposits are instant.
How Can I Claim My Online Poker Bonus?+
Claiming a poker bonus is pretty straightforward. Simply register for the site and read through the terms and conditions attached to the bonus. Check to see what the minimum deposit is and whether you need a promo code. Make the qualifying deposit, enter the bonus code if needed and confirm. You should get the bonus directly into your account.
Which Online Poker Rooms Have the Best Software?+
Most top online poker rooms have top-class software these days. All of our top recommended poker sites have excellent poker software, so you can enjoy a great experience on whichever one you choose.
Can I Make a Profit Playing Online Poker?+
Yes, you can if you are good and know what you are doing, but making money isn’t guaranteed. You need to have the right mixture of luck, skill and strategy – and make all the right decisions before you can start making any serious money. It isn’t easy!
Is Online Poker Rigged?+
No, not if you are playing at a legitimate and licensed online poker site. Make sure you check a site’s reputation and licensing before playing just to be sure.
Is Online Poker a Game of Skill or Luck?+
It is a bit of both – to be successful you need luck on your side but you also need skill.
How Much Money Should I Spend Playing Poker Online?+
This depends on your budget. Only spend what you can afford to lose. If you have a smaller budget, stick to those sites that offer free games and low-limit tables as you will be able to get more gameplay.
How Can I Win When I Play Online Poker?+
There is no guaranteed way to win when playing online poker. However, the best chance you have is by practising for free at one of the top online
What is Rake?+
Rake is the percentage that a poker game takes from the pot at the start of the game. Some casinos offer Rakeback to loyal players, which will give them some of the Rake back as a reward.