Texas Hold’em may not have originated in Canada but it’s actually easier to play the game online in the Great White North these days than it is in other parts of the world - including Texas. Online poker players in Canada can access the best poker sites in the world and their international player pools. Canadians can also play on some exclusive Canadian-only sites and get exclusive offers 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.
Choosing the Best Online Poker Sites in Canada
Picking the best Canadian poker site you can play on while in Canada depends on what you want from your playing experience. Do you want top software innovations, the biggest player pool currently in 2021 and world-record breaking guarantees? Then there's GGPoker. If you're looking for interesting poker variations and mixed games and a massive lineup of poker tournaments and series, you should look at PokerStars. Want some soft cash games, a growing lineup of weekend tournaments and series and great opportunities to win live poker packages? You should probably give 888poker or partypoker a try.
Want the weakest competition of them all? Tiger Gaming Poker is the one to go for. All the Canada poker online sites we suggest here for real money offer the safety and security of gambling licenses and regulations. Even if, at times, it means less traffic and smaller prize pools. When it comes to online poker in Canada, players are spoiled for choice with an infinite number of games, stakes and variations to choose from. And on a variety of great and reputable online Canadian poker sites.
And did we mention the tax-free winnings?
Whatever you decide, before you start playing make sure you have a solid grip of How to Play Poker. And that you know the poker basic strategies if you're literally just starting out at the game. You can use our cheat sheet with poker hand rankings to help you figure out which hand wins in a poker game.
All the options we list below:
Accept and cater to poker players in Canada
Offer CA players bonuses and loyalty rewards
Are safe, regulated and reputable poker platforms
Has a decent amount of Canadian player traffic
Best Poker Bonuses for Canadian Poker 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. Read more here:
Playing Online Poker in Canada - Overview
As mentioned 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 US 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. The spin-off of the strong online poker industry in Canada is a booming live poker scene across the country, too. The Playground Poker Club in Montreal might lead the way in major poker events but live casino in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto are always overflowing with poker players.
Canada Online Poker Laws
Is poker legal in Canada? Yes, in fact, poker laws in Canada allow the industry to thrive right now. As well as offering plenty of great places to play, Canada has produced some of the world’s top players, including Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Duhamel, and Timothy Adams. With a bustling poker scene, it’s little wonder you can find card rooms and casinos in every province. Likewise, online poker is legal in Canada too. There aren’t any formal regulations and we know that companies based in Canada can’t offer online poker.
However, there’s nothing in Canada’s online poker laws that prevents offshore sites from serving locals. Therefore, as long as you satisfy age requirements, you can play online poker at the international sites featured on this page. As they are all safe and regulated entities which take measures to protect players and their bankrolls.
What About Online Poker Winnings Under Canadian Tax Law?
The short answer here? Nothing. Poker winnings for casual players are entirely 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 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 playing online poker in Canada 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 money from online poker, there’s a good chance you’ll want to speak to an accountant.
Popular States to Play Poker in Canada
As well as boasting 19 live poker rooms, including those owned by Pure Casino, this state doesn’t have any laws banning residents from using offshore sites. Therefore, you can use our recommended international poker rooms.
- British Columbia
Poker is legal in British Columbia and the legal gambling age in BC is 19. You can play online poker at offshore poker sites, as well as live venues like ‘River Rock.’
Manitoba is slightly different to most provinces in that the legal gambling age isn’t 19. Instead, you can visit the Aseneskak Casino (the Pas) or Club Regent in Winnipeg for some cash game action and tournaments from the age of 18. You can also play online poker.
- New Brunswick
New Brunswick has two main casinos where anyone 19+ can play poker - Casino New Brunswick and St. Mary’s Entertainment Centre. Both offer cash games and tournaments, mostly Hold’em. You can also play online.
- Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland laws restrict poker games to prize pools at $500. So, most live events in this province are home games. St. John’s Entertainment Centre and local bingo halls also host games. But for the top Canadian poker action, you can play at online sites.
- Northwest Territories
Home games are the best way to play live poker in the Northwest Territories. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can play cash games, MTTs, and SNGs online while in this province.
- Nova Scotia
A steady influx of tourists means the local poker scene in Nova Scotia is brimming with fishy players. Casino Nova Scotia Halifax and Casino Nova Scotia Sydney are where you can find live cash games at almost any time of the day if you’re 19+.
Nunavut is one of the largest provinces by area but also one of the least populated. The 38,000 residents may not be opposed to gambling but the region doesn’t have any bricks and mortar casinos.
Ontario is one of the best places to play poker in Canada. The legal gambling age is 19 and you can play cash games and MTTs at 12 poker rooms. We recommend Caesars Windsor and Casino Niagara for live play and partypoker to play online.
- Prince Edward Island
Canada poker tax laws will be something you have to consider if you live on Prince Edward Island as there are live cash games and tournaments at Red Shores Charlottetown and Summerside.
With 10 poker rooms and over 100 tables, Quebec is one of the biggest poker hotspots in Canada. Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City are the main places to play. Of course, if you’re aged 18+ and don’t want to play live in Canada, you can visit our recommended online poker sites.
There’s a rural vibe to Saskatchewan’s 10 poker rooms. However, casinos like Gold Eagle and Painted Hand offer a great selection of daily, mid- and high-stakes tournaments.
Even though casinos are lacking in this province, there’s a local amateur scene with clubs, bars, and home games offering low stakes action. For bigger prize pools, poker laws in Canada allow players in Yukon to ante up online.
Playing at home? Find poker supplies in CA here.
Qualify Online for Live Poker Tournaments in Canada
All 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 poker 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 Online Poker Withdrawals Work in Canada?
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.
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Online Poker Canada FAQs
Are Canadian Online Poker Sites Safe?In Canada, there’s limited regulation when it comes to private, offshore online poker sites (which, for the most part, is a good thing.) So pay attention to the sites you sign up for. PokerListings offers you approved online poker site/app suggestions, as well as deep insights into what that operator can offer Canadian players. We’ve vetted the level of trust and security of each poker site on this page so you can be sure your bankroll is safe.
Is Poker Legal in Canada?You bet. Canada happens to be one of the best places in the world to play. You can find games in casinos, dedicated poker rooms, bars, and home games. But there’s also a relaxed federal law regarding online gambling. So you can access a wealth of poker sites. Both government-run and those licensed elsewhere, like PokerStars, GGPoker, and 888poker. In fact, Canada made it onto our list of best places to move for an online poker career.
How Many Poker Sites Accept Canadian Players?Thanks to looser online gambling laws almost every online poker site in operation is happy to accept Canadian poker players. There are a few odd operators who have decided to leave the Canadian market mostly due to misinterpretations of gambling law.
Is there a Canada poker tax?Canadian poker tax laws may apply if you win. These laws can vary between provinces and certain rules are currently being debated in court. Therefore, make sure you’re able to pay tax if requested.
How to deposit money on PokerStars in Canada?Depositing money on PokerStars Canada is safe and easy. The minimum deposit is $10 and all you have to do is visit the cashier page and choose one of the following options: Visa, MasterCard, EntroPay, Paysafecard, eCheck, InstaDebit.
Can you play online poker in Canada?Yes, you can. There aren’t any laws regulating the industry, so offshore operators can serve Canadians. There is a law that stops companies based in Canada from offering online poker. However, as long as a site is based outside of the country, you can play online poker in Canada and not be in violation of any laws.
Government-operated Canadian poker sites or offshore sites?We recommend against registering accounts at less visible online poker sites in Canada as you can't guarantee your funds are safe and the games are fair. Playing on the government-operated sites in BC and Quebec (which share a player pool) is of course the best way to ensure you're playing on a fair, secure site but the major offshore sites that allow Canadian players - like PokerStars, 888poker and partypoker - are also extremely secure.
How do you play online poker in Canada?1. Select one of the Canada-friendly poker operator sites on this page.
2. Click the PLAY HERE button to sign up via our PokerListings link.
3. Qualify for and claim your bonus by depositing the required amount.
4. Download the client or go for instant play to start playing your favorite games.
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