Online Poker Sites in Canada

Despite laws similar in nature to the US, Canadian poker players have a number of different options when it comes to choosing an online poker site, so we have cut though all the fuss and ranked the Top 5 poker rooms for Canadian Players based on a number of variables.

The following poker sites are the top rated Canadian poker sites. They are highly reputable; offer a large variety of stakes and poker games; and most importantly offer Canadian poker players a very lucrative deposit bonus for signing up.

Best Online Poker Sites That Accept Canadians

Rank Site Download Mac Linux Bonus Visit Site
1 888 Poker $600 www.888poker.comRead Review
2 Bet365 Poker www.bet365.comRead Review

Playing Online Poker In Canada

888 Poker signed MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre to market to Canadian players.

888 Poker signed MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre to market to Canadian players.

Canadian poker players have been enjoying all of the fun and profit of playing online poker since the game first came out. Since there are no restrictions on which poker sites Canadians can play at, we are free to pick and choose as we see fit.

This is a big advantage, or it at least can be a big advantage if we choose our poker sites correctly. Many of the best poker sites to win money at have restrictions on players residing in certain countries, but Canada isn’t on the list of anyone. So all poker sites welcome Canadians with open arms, so there are no hidden gems which are out of our reach.

Factors To Consider When Picking A Canadian Poker Site

A lot of poker players believe that they should only play at the busiest poker sites, like Poker Stars for instance, because more traffic is simply better. This is actually a beginners’ mistake, but it’s one that some very experienced and otherwise very skilled poker players can fall into making.

So you pick a poker site that has huge traffic, and there’s really nothing wrong with that in itself, other than the fact that more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll do better there. Sure, you may find it easy to find the tables you want any time you want, but there’s more to it than just finding action.

If a poker site doesn’t have much traffic at all, that’s no good to you for sure. So there has to be at least a decent amount, and at the times that you like to play. What’s even more important though is that the traffic they do have be fishy enough to do well against.

So as far as evaluating a poker site’s traffic, what we need is a balance between the amount of traffic they have and the fishiness of it. Of the two elements, the quality of the traffic, or the softness of the competition, is the more important. So we start by looking at the sites that have a high fish to good player ratio, and then the more traffic that these poker sites, have, the better.

Bonuses and rewards are also an important consideration when looking to decide between online poker sites. While pretty much all poker sites offer welcome bonuses, some are structured so that they are easy to have released, and some less so.

After you’ve gotten paid your welcome bonus, you are going to want to be rewarded continually for your loyalty, and once again, poker sites differ in how much of their profits they are willing to share with their players. The good news is that many poker sites have really ramped up their rewards programs to better compete with each other, and when poker rooms compete, you win, as long as you are playing at the right poker sites to best take advantage of this.

There are several other considerations here worth noting, like the playability of a poker site’s software, how easy it is to get money in and out of their poker site, their quality of customer service, their range and value of their promotions, and so on. So as you can see there is a lot to be accounted for in rating poker sites, and although you will be the one that ultimately will decide which ones you like the best, you definitely want to be pointed in the right direction here, which is exactly what we will be doing for you.

Depositing And Withdrawing In Canada

There are many popular options to both deposit and withdraw that are available to Canadians. You can use some credit cards to deposit, and some you won’t be able to use, and the best way to find out whether you can use a particular one is just to try it and see what happens.

However, there are several other good options available to us. I used to use credit cards to deposit, but one of the drawbacks of that is that you can’t use them to withdraw. So what happens is that in order to be able to make withdrawals you need to deposit with something else, like an eCheck, Instadebit, or another internet wallet, to prove that the account is yours before you can take money out.

Canadians have little or no restrictions on depositing and withdrawing to poker sites.

Canadians have little or no restrictions on depositing and withdrawing to poker sites.

So as a result, by trying out some of these other methods, I’ve found them to be much better overall, and in fact Instadebit is definitely one of my favorites. I’ll use other means as well depending on what a particular poker site that I play at offers, but at all of the poker sites I play at, they all have excellent options for Canadians. In fact I never play at poker sites that don’t, but at the same time, it’s no trouble at all for Canadians to find good poker sites that have great options for us to deposit and withdraw.

So this is definitely one of the factors that go into our ratings of the best poker sites for Canadians to play at, although it’s not a particularly challenging one to find some good options with. Still though, there are some poker sites who don’t have very good options for us, and some who even offer very poor ones, such as waiting for a cheque in the mail which can take weeks.

In fact, it’s the withdrawal end of things that can be the sore point with some sites, and there are some that don’t even list their withdrawal options on their website. I’ve had to email some of them just to find out what I could use, and in some cases there were no good options. So we definitely want to stay away from these poor choices, and you can rest assured that none of these inferior poker rooms make our top list.

Canadian Poker Law

Poker law in Canada is limited to focusing on land based games. If you host face to face poker, it is against the law to charge a rake or fees unless you have a license. It is possible to get one, but they are limited to events which are non profit and donate the winnings to charity.

Otherwise, you are breaking the law, but it’s one that really isn’t enforced. The police have commented that they have better things to do with their time than rooting out and busting private poker games, and I played at them for many years prior to online poker being available and have never heard of any games being busted.

If you are a commercial establishment looking to run a poker game for a profit, then that is a different story, and the law has been known to step in to shut these games down. So other than private games, if you like live poker, you can play at a casino if there is one in your area that offers poker, or play at an Indian Reserve, as the Indians do pretty much whatever they want here and are left alone.

Canadian Law

As far as online poker goes, there’s no specific laws governing it, nor has there been any attempt to limit it. Online poker players are left alone completely, which is the way it should be. A lot of people get confused when it comes to the question of whether something is legal or not, and think that there must be some law out there making something legal for it to be legal.

This is definitely not the case though in reality, and the meaning of the term legal when it comes to whether an action is allowable or not comes down to whether or not there is a specific law against it. So for instance if you are wondering whether or not it’s legal for you to go to the bathroom, you don’t look to the law to see if it’s allowed, you look to it to see if it isn’t allowed.

It isn’t of course, and by the same token, since there are no laws specifically banning online poker, the question about whether or not you can do it without interference from the law has been answered right there.

There’s also the matter of practicality, where something may be technically illegal but if the law isn’t enforced, there’s no need to be concerned. So for instance if it were illegal to spit on the sidewalk, but a lot of people do it and no one is getting arrested, there’s no need for people to worry about doing it even though it’s against the law.

So the bottom line as far as the legality of online poker in Canada is that there isn’t any law against it and online poker players are left alone completely, so there’s no need for worry at all as far as this is concerned, which is a perfect situation for us.

Tax On Poker Winnings In Canada

In spite of Canada being famous for its taxes, there is generally no taxation on gambling winnings. The rationale behind this is that the government only looks to tax you on earned income, and gambling winnings are seen more as a matter of luck rather than something that you have earned, like money from a job, a business, or from investments.

However, if poker winnings are your primary source of income, you are required to report it as business income. So in other words, if you are a professional poker player and that’s how you make your money, you would be seen as a self employed business owner and would be expected to report this as earned income to Revenue Canada.

However, poker sites don’t report to the Canadian government, so some players who do make their living off of poker simply do not choose to tell the government about it. This is a lot like other so called black market income, such as doing work for someone under the table if you run a service business, and those who choose to go this route of course run the risk of getting caught, but at least as far as online poker winnings go, the risk would appear to be pretty low.

If you aren’t a professional player though you are in the clear here and you aren’t required or expected to report poker winnings as income on your tax return. If you are playing for a living, well it’s up to you whether you report what you make from the game or not.

Opening A Poker Account In Canada

Since we can play at any poker site we want, other than poker sites limited to people living in specific countries like France and Italy, the world is our oyster, but only if we choose well. More choice means the opportunity to play at some great poker sites as well as the opportunity to play at some real turkeys.

So one of the real keys to success as an online poker player, especially if you are newer but even if you are not, is to look to benefit from the experiences of others who have gone before you. We are pleased to offer our knowledge, experience, and expertise to you as far as where the best places to play online poker for Canadians are concerned.

You are here because you are looking for some good advice on where to play, and that is exactly what we have for you. You owe it to yourself to check out some of our top recommended online poker sites for Canadians, and you can do so simply by clicking on one of our links to these top poker rooms, opening a poker account there, and checking it all out for yourself while at the same time enjoying some nice poker bonuses which you get just for trying them out.

So best of luck at the tables and we hope you enjoy the selections that we have made for you.