Canada’s gambling laws are fairly strict and it’s highly unlikely you will find a state-approved poker room operating anywhere within the country. Don’t despair though, because there’s something the government can’t regulate – offshore poker sites. These are perfectly legal for Canadian gamblers to use and as long as they accept Canadian players there won’t be a problem.
There is an element of risk in using offshore poker rooms in that the Canadian government will not help you in the event of any form of dispute. That’s why you need to check that a poker site has all the relevant gaming licenses to operate where it does legitimately.
There should be proof of regular testing and auditing by independent third-party auditors as well. Information about licenses, testing and auditing can generally be found on a poker website’s homepage.
One final thing that must be checked is that the poker site guarantees payments. Other players’ comments on various forums and message boards can help here. Nobody wants to play poker, win and not be able to withdraw their winnings.
When asked what the most important thing all the best Canada poker sites offer, the one comment we consistently hear from players is ‘bonuses’. They also rate gameplay, customer service and security quite highly on their list of requirements. Any site fulfilling all of these criteria will definitely be one of the best poker sites for players in Canada.
There are bonuses offered to new players by all the best online poker rooms for Canada residents. It is very common to be offered a first deposit bonus. This is when a casino doubles your initial deposit up to a certain amount. It can be hundreds of dollars from some poker rooms and is definitely an offer worth accepting. There can even be a deposit bonus on subsequent deposits in some cases.
Other welcome offers include no deposit bonuses and bonuses for downloading a poker app. Existing players should be treated well too, and a number of poker rooms offer regular deposit bonuses and free tournament entries to those who have been members for a while as an incentive to keep playing at that particular site.
Bonuses usually come with some rules and you will generally find that bonus money has to be staked a certain number of times before it can be withdrawn from your account. Always read the terms and conditions before accepting any form of bonus.
Texas Holdem is without a doubt the biggest and most popular version of poker the world has ever seen, but it’s worth remembering that there are other games too. Seven Card Draw, Caribbean Stud and Low Ball are all fantastic games and if you want a full poker experience you need to play these kind of games as well as Texas Holdem. Look for a poker room that has a wide variety of poker games.
The same goes for tournaments. You might prefer a sit and go to a long tournament and you might wish to play small stakes rather than play in a tournament with an expensive buy in. Make sure the poker room caters for your needs before you join.
The quality of gameplay is also important. Nobody wants a game that closes down randomly; freezes even for a second or doesn’t flow smoothly. Nobody wants a game of poker with terrible graphics or sound effects either. Play a free practice game to see if the poker game is any good before committing to becoming a member of a particular poker site.
Canadian players will find in a lot of cases that they are unable to use their bank card to make deposits or withdrawals to or from a poker room. They might experience similar problems with a bank transfer. Therefore, it’s important to find a poker site which accepts other means of payment.
Many online poker rooms now accepted various forms of e-wallet, such as Skrill or Neteller. These act as a stepping stone between your bank and the poker site. All transactions remain anonymous, as any money you transfer to your e-wallet from your bank will simply show up as ‘Skrill’ or ‘Neteller’ on a statement. Both of these e-wallet providers will give you a MasterCard linked to your account if you wish. This can be used to withdraw any poker winnings from an ATM and your gaming activity will remain a secret from your bank manager.
All deposits are more or less instant to your poker room account, but withdrawals can often prove a little more challenging. When you request a withdrawal it’s because you want the money now, not in a couple of days’ time. It’s quite infuriating that some poker sites wait anything up to 72 hours before they process a withdrawal request. With the 2-3 days processing time a bank also uses, it can take over a week before money is back in your account.
Some poker sites don’t take anywhere near as much time and will process a withdrawal request as soon as possible. And luckily, e-wallet transfers are very quick and generally, money only takes a few minutes to show up in your account.
What other players think can have a huge impact on your choice of poker room. If a poker site has nothing but negative reviews, you really should listen to the masses and avoid it.
Our reviews are also a source you can trust. We join each site as a player in order to find the best poker sites for players in Canada and we assess them based on all the criteria on this page. If it’s good or bad, we’ll tell you the truth. We don’t believe in dishonesty and we want our Canadian players to play at only the best poker sites whenever possible.
Customer service is often overlooked when looking for the best sites for playing poker in Canada, but it’s just as important as all the other factors. A customer service team should be staffed by friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff and they should be reachable via a number of convenient means at times which suit a player’s needs.
The best poker sites have 24/7 customer service and there will always be a telephone number which is free for Canadian players, email with a quick response time and a good live chat facility where you can send text messages to a poker site customer service representative in real time and receive quick answers to your queries.
A poker site which ticks all of these boxes has great customer service and is well on the way to being among the best Canadian poker sites.