The Best Canadian Poker Sites for 2017

Online Poker Canada

Online poker in Canada has a long and illustrious history and the country played a key role in the poker boom of the early 2000s.

Some of the world’s best poker players hail from Canada, including the world-renowned Daniel Negreanu, and it continues to be a premier location for playing online poker.

While Texas Hold’em may not have originated in Canada it’s actually much easier to play the game online in the Great White North these days than it is in other parts of the world.

Canadian online poker players get access to the best poker sites in the world with their international player pools and can play some exclusive Canadian-only sites. Canadians also get exclusive offers, such as freerolls, that aren’t available to other players.

The other thing about Canada, as you’re likely well aware, is that the winters can be pretty cold and long. That’s the perfect environment to play online poker!

See our list of the best Canadian poker sites ranked and reviewed below. Click "Play Now" to get started with a new account and bonus!

The top online poker sites in that you can play in Canada

Rank Poker Site Rating Best Sign-Up Bonus Why? Play Now
1. 888poker 8.4 100% up to $888 Regular: 100% / $400
  • Known for very soft Hold'em games
  • Great promotions and sign-up perks
  • Download client for both Mac and PC
Play Now Free Download
2. Tiger Gaming 8.2 100% up to $1,000 Regular: 100% / $500
  • Great community
  • Variety of (soft) games
  • Massive Bad Beat Jackpots
Play Now Free Download
3. PokerStars 7.9 100% up to $600 Regular: 100% / $600
  • Superior selection of cash games and tournaments
  • Amazing software and selection of poker variants
  • Zoom Poker makes it easier to generate player points
Play Now Free Download
4. Party Poker 7.7 100% up to $500 Regular: 100% / $400
  • $15 million in guaranteed tournaments every month
  • Fast software and play in several languages
  • Great features for rec players
Play Now Free Download
5. Full Tilt 7.5 100% up to $1,200 Regular: 100% / $600
  • Millions in guaranteed prize money each week
  • Excellent loyalty program called Edge
  • Backed by PokerStars
Play Now Free Download

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What you should know about playing in Canada

First and foremost, you should be aware of the best poker sites that you can play on while in CA. This depends on what you want from your online poker playing experience.

Also, before you start playing make sure you know the basics and have a solid grip and understanding of How to Play Poker and the basic poker strategy. This cheat sheet with the poker hand ranking can help you figure out which hand wins in a poker game if you are very novice.

If you want massive guarantees, tons of tournaments and 24/7 cash games at any buy-in then you’re definitely going to want to get some money on one of the big sites like 888poker, partypoker or PokerStars.

There are lots of advantages to some of the smaller sites, however, in that they’re usually rife with bad players and will sometimes give you bigger bonuses just for signing up.

Some poker sites are heavily invested in the Canadian market and will even provide special incentives like hockey tickets or regional trips.

Is Online Poker for Real Money Legal in Canada?

Canada Poker Legality

When it comes to the legality it just so happens that Canada is one of the best places in the world to play online poker for real money thanks to a wealth of online options, relaxed federal law regarding online gambling and strong, reliable internet connections. That is why a lot of Canadian cities made it to our list of the best places to move if you want to start a career in online poker.

Canada is one of the few places that offers both government-run online poker sites in addition to private poker sites. It’s a fairly unique system in the online poker world and it’s helped create a burgeoning industry for both province-run sites and offshore operators.

The customer is the real winner as they get more poker options than almost any other country.

It’s what brought hundreds of professional poker players to Canada after Black Friday narrowed the U.S. online poker market significantly.

In turn those poker pros helped stimulate the poker environment in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. It was win-win for everyone and Canada remains one of the premier places in the world to be an online poker player. 

Are Canadian Online Poker Sites Safe?

Online Poker Safety in Canada

In Canada there’s very little regulation when it comes to private online poker sites so it’s worth paying attention to the sites where you are signing up.

Online poker is a drastically different market than it was in the early 2000s and the vast majority of online poker sites these days are 100% safe.

That said it’s worth doing a little bit of research and sticking to toplists or best poker site lists from sites like PokerListings.

Sites like PokerListings not only give you an idea about the various features a poker site might have but also have vetted the various security systems in place.

How Many Poker Sites Accept Canadian Players?

Poker Sites for Canadians

Thanks to looser online gambling laws almost every online poker site in operation is happy to accept Canadian poker payers. There are a few odd operators who have decided to leave the Canadian market mostly due to misinterpretations of gambling law.

One glaring omission is the PlayTech-based Titan Poker, which pulled out of the Canadian market without explanation in 2013. Fortunately there are plenty of options for Canadian poker players so it’s not like they are going to miss a solitary poker skin.

SEE THE BEST CANADIAN POKER SITES

What Happens to Online Poker Winnings Under Canadian Tax Law?

Online Poker Winnings and Tax in Canada

The short answer here? Nothing. Winnings are tax-free.

Canadian tax law is rather unusual when it comes to online poker because most gambling in the country is government-run and 100% tax free.

Now, there are a number of online poker sites that aren’t run by the government but most casual poker players still benefit from that tax-free approach to gambling.

It’s somewhat of a different story for professional poker players, however. The Canadian Revenue Agency views poker winnings as subject to tax if they are “income from a business.”

This interpretation is rather vague but the general idea is that if you make 100% of your income from online poker and are a consistent winner then you should be paying taxes.

The vast majority of poker players are not in that category and therefore their winnings are tax free. If you’re consistently making boatloads of money from online poker there’s a good chance you’ll want to speak to an accountant.

Bonuses for Canadian Poker Players

Poker Bonus for Canadian Players

Poker sites around the world offer enticing sign-up bonuses to recruit new costumers.

Generally these sign-up bonuses take the form of what’s called a ‘deposit match’ bonus where the poker site will match a percentage of the amount initially deposited.

In other words if you put $50 on a poker site with a 100% deposit match then you’ll receive an additional $50 (provided you play enough real-money hands or some other qualifier).

Sometimes online poker sites will also offer instant deposit bonuses where you’ll instantly receive $5 or some other amount just for making your first deposit. Most new players receive at the very least a few ticket to freerolls or small tournaments.

Canadian poker players certainly get access to those bonuses and sometimes they’ll even receive special promos that are just for Canadians. For instance you might get to play a freeroll where hockey game tickets are up for grabs or something specifically Canadian.

Make sure that you shop around a bit when looking for the best possible sign-up bonus. Sites like PokerListings are able to cut exclusive deals with operators that enable extra perks on top of the sign-up bonus.

Can I Qualify for Canadian Live Tournaments?

Canada Online Poker tournaments

All online poker sites offer satellites for various online poker tournaments around the world. That gives you a chance to play a potentially enormous live event for a fraction of the price.

If you’re looking to qualify for local tournaments in Canada you’re likely going to want to check out the government-run sites as they’ll give you plenty of options.

If you’re looking to play in live tournaments abroad you might be better off with one of the off-shore operators.

In fact there are some fantastic international poker tournaments that take place in tropical settings like the Bahamas that make for a perfect winter getaway.

There are a large number of Canadians who have escaped a bitter winter for a few weeks of fun and sun thanks to playing particularly well in a big online qualifier.

How Do Withdrawals Work in Canada?

Canada Poker Withdraw

Fortunately withdrawing money from poker sites in Canada is relatively easy because you can do it directly through most banks.

While US-based poker players had to deal with banks rejecting their transfers for years the process is easy in Canada as most banks will easily take a wire transfer.

You can also go directly through VISA, MasterCard as well as payment processors like eCheck, Paypal, Skrill and Neteller.

It’s just one more thing that’s easier for Canadian poker players.