What are the Best Online Poker Sites in Canada?
In this article, we will give you an overview of the opportunities for Canadian players who would like to play poker online, by showing you how you can play free online poker and directing you to the best online poker sites where you can play this game for real money.
Your choice of online poker site to play with from Canada depends on what you would like to get out of playing this game.
Maybe you’d like to experience Live Poker, participate in Online Poker promotions, or you may simply wish to have some fun by playing Free Poker Online.
No matter what your requirements are, there will always be an online poker site in Canada that will meet your expectations.
Fortunately for players, today they can choose from a practically infinite number of Canadian online casinos that offer this game. All the sites we recommend, come with excellent reputations, bonuses and a high level of service.
Is Online Poker legal in Canada?
In order to understand the legal situation better, one must keep in mind that Canada is a Federal State.
This means that every territory and province may make its own laws and regulations with regard to online gambling, and this includes online poker.
Therefore, if a province decides to ban Poker completely, another one may authorise it for its residents.
At present, none of the provinces has decided to ban people from playing poker online from Canada, but this doesn’t mean that they authorise it either…
Does this sound confusing? It’s natural to think that the legal situation is problematic. However, at the moment, it’s quite the opposite!
Online poker is possible and completely legal for players, and this means that a lot of online poker sites are accessible to Canadian players, no matter where they reside!
Are Online Poker games rigged?
While we cannot exclude that there may be a couple of rigged poker games out there, we can safely assure you that if you join a licensed online casino, any of the online poker games you play will be fair.
Virtual Poker games are programmed to generate random outcomes, according to the odds of traditional poker.
This means that the program is made to randomly generate any card from a 52-card pack, and there is no way that this program can be changed to purposely deal you weak hands.
In fact, online poker games by licensed providers are audited by independent authorities for fairness, and the casino cannot change the game in any way.
On the other hand, live poker games are run using a real deck of cards, and these cards are dealt in a highly visible manner thanks to the multiple cameras directed at the table.
Players can watch the dealer in real-time, and can also rest assured that there is no foul play involved if they play games by the likes of Evolution Gaming or Playtech.
Why play Poker Online?
Your Online Poker experience will be quite different to traditional poker because you may not be able to put on your Poker face and judge other players.
Most online games are played against the house, so the game is between you and the computer or the dealer (that said, you can still play poker against other players if you join an online poker room).
Despite these differences, there are still enough compelling reasons as to why you should play poker online, which we’ll look into here.
Live Dealer Poker VS Online Poker Rooms
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Play Online Poker from home!
The convenience of being able to play real money poker from the comfort of your own home or from your mobile cannot be underestimated.
Thanks to online poker, you’ve got access to a large variety of games for as long as you’ve got a stable internet connection.
What’s more, when it comes to virtual poker and other virtual tables, you can play these at any time of the day and night!
Get a bonus to play Online Poker
It’s much easier to find bonuses and offers on online poker than it is on land.
Most online casinos will offer you a welcome bonus on your first few deposits, which you may be able to use on its range of poker games, or on live Poker tables.
Some of the best online poker casinos will also run regular promotions involving poker, including tournaments or regular poker offers.
Play Free Poker online!
At online casinos, you’ll have the opportunity to play free online poker for as long as you wish to, to practise your skills or just for fun!
You can typically choose from a casinos’ range of video poker and virtual poker games when it comes to free play (live poker games cannot be played for free).
Live Dealer Poker – Online experience of a classic game
While playing online, you don’t necessarily have to give up the thrill of facing a dealer or sitting with other players.
These days live Poker brings the authentic experience of playing at a casino lobby to the comforts of your own home.
With recent technological advancements, you can now play Poker, which is streamed live in HD from a studio, with proper casino atmosphere, a croupier in livery, a Poker table and chips.
The virtual interface makes it easy to place your bets and you can even chat with the dealer and fellow players.
Difference between Live Dealer Poker and Virtual Poker
There are two ways you can play poker online. One of them is by going to the table games section at an online casino and playing poker against the machine.
In this case, you would be playing Virtual (RNG) Poker, which is an excellent way to have some fun while practising your poker skills.
Another option for you today is to head straight to the Live Casino category of a casino, to check out its selection of Live Poker tables.
Here you can check out variants like Live HoldEm poker and Live Three Card Poker, which you can play against a real live dealer.
These games are streamed from the provider’s game studio directly to your desktop or mobile device, and you’ll be able to watch the dealer deal real playing cards onto his table, while you will place all your bets digitally.
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Want to learn how to finally beat your poker buddies at Omaha Hi-Lo? Watch as our CanadaCasino Youtube host, Erik, teaches us all we need to know about this popular poker variant!
Virtual Online Poker Tables
At the best poker casinos, you’ll have the option to try different virtual poker variants from the most popular Texas Hold Em and Caribbean Poker as well as a range of video poker games.
We’ve had a look at one of our favourite online poker casinos for Canadian players, VideoSlots, to find all of the below online poker games:
- Texas Hold Em / Casino Hold Em
- Ultimate Texas Hold Em
- Poker 3 Heads Up Hold Em
- Caribbean Poker
- Oasis Poker
- Ride’M Poker
- Triple Edge Poker
- Tens or Better
- Jacks or Better
- Deuces Wild
- Aces & Faces
- Aces and Eights
- All Aces Poker
- Bonus Poker / Double Bonus Poker
- Multihand Bonus Poker
Live Poker Tables
Live Poker tables constitute a new way of playing poker online that’s taking online casinos by storm.
In these fast-paced games, which are developed by live casino studios like Evolution Gaming and Playtech, players have to play poker against the house, in real-time. There are several live poker variants that you can try,
While browsing online, looking for the perfect Poker table to join, you might come across Poker rooms.
These are very different from the other two variants that we’ve already explored. While the latter launch in instant play mode, Poker rooms require players to download a special software to gain access to ‘rooms’.
Another difference is that in live Poker you play against the dealer, in RNG Poker you play against the computer, but in Poker rooms, you have the opportunity to play against other players.
How to Play Live Poker
Playing is relatively easy! Below we’ve shared some steps to help you get started:
- Read our casino reviews to locate the best Poker casino
- Visit the site and register for an account
- If the casino offers a bonus, you might want to place the minimum deposit or more to claim it (even better if it is a live casino bonus).
- Visit the live casino lobby
- Locate the live Poker tables
- Click on your choice and wait for the dealer to give you instructions to place your bet.
Did you know?
The first Poker game registered took place in New Orleans, in 1829. According to English actor Joseph Cowell, the game was played with a deck of 20 cards.
2 important tips to know before playing Poker Online
In this guide, we’ll share with you the best tips we have when it comes to playing Poker online.
Before you sit at the table, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind to improve your chances of doing well and possibly win.
1. Master the rules, positions and poker hands
The first tip we have for you is to learn the rules, different position and various Poker hands that are possible.
Online Poker is played with one standard 52 card deck, which will sometimes include one or two Joker cards (wilds), depending on the variant being played.
Players will get 2 or more cards each, whereas 5 cards will be dealt in the center – the latter are called Community Cards.
The aim of the game is to combine your cards with the community cards to create the best 5-card poker hand. You have to keep in mind that these rules may vary depending on the variant of online poker that you choose to play.
Before a game of poker begins, each player will have to fork out an initial contribution in the pot, which is called an ‘Ante’ in Stud Poker, or the Big Blind and Small Blind in Hold’Em and Omaha.
The small blind is placed by the player to the left of the dealer button, whereas the big blind is posted by the next player.
These blinds exist because Omaha and Hold Em are played without antes, to avoid all players folding without placing a bet.
You can get a variety of hands, but not all of them are valued equally. The best hand you can get is called a Five of a kind.
The only way you can put together this hand is if there is at least one Joker. The rest is self-explanatory since you need to land 4 of the same card.
Some of the other best hands you can land are Straight Flush, Four of a Kind and Full House.
2. Understand the key concepts of a Poker Strategy
Poker is a game of strategy. While luck has a very big role in the game, strategy can give you a modicum of control over your odds.
Although Poker rules are quite easy to grasp, it will take a lot of practice and mind work to develop a solid poker strategy that will help you win more at poker.
Below, we’ll look into the most common strategies to give you a general idea:
- Bluff – A player can bluff in poker when he knows that he doesn’t have the best hand. In this case, the player may raise in order to make his opponents fold, and in this way get rid of opponents with a better hand!
- Fold – The decision to forfeit one’s cards for the current hands. Players cannot win or act when they decide to fold.
- Check – The players may refuse to bet if there is no bet during the current round.
- Call – If someone else has bet during the round, players can call by matching the highest bet.
- Raise – If other players have already bet, the raising player may raise the bet by at least doubling the amount. Then, other players will be required to either call the raise or raise again to continue playing.
- Flop – Players bet again after the first 3 community cards are dealt.
- Pre-flop – Players bet before community cards are dealt, as soon as players receive their hole cards.
- The Turn – Players bet once the fourth community card is dealt.
- The River – this is the last betting round when players bet after the final community card is dealt.
- Value Betting – Value betting is a technique that comes in useful in land-based Poker when a player wants to try and make his opponent think that he’s got a better hand than yours. This involves placing a bet that is of the perfect size that would prompt the opponent to call, so you can get the best value from someone’s weaker hand!
Did you know?
Of all the Poker variants you can find online and in land-based casinos, Texas Hold’em is the preferred option amongst many Poker players.
Live Dealer Poker Variants
These days you can find plenty of live Poker options, some of which are adaptations of popular variants, while others where created specifically for the live casino.
Below we have provided a list of the most popular like Poker options you can play:
- Live Casino Hold Em (Playtech & Evolution both have these live poker games)
- Live Texas Hold Em Bonus Poker (Evolution)
- Live Ultimate Texas Hold Em (Evolution)
- Live Three Card Poker (Evolution)
- Live Caribbean Stud Poker (Evolution)
- 2 Hand Casino Hold Em (Evolution)
- Live Casino Stud Poker (Playtech)
Did you know?
Antonio Esfandiari, also known as ‘The Magician’ is a known name in Poker circles. The professional Poker player won twice the World Poker Tour, three times the World Series of Poker and the Big One for One Drop in 2012, taking home the second largest single payout of $18, 346, 673.
Live Dealer Poker Variants
And now, let’s look at some of the best online poker games that you can play at Canadian online casinos these days.
Just like any other casino game, providers have come up with different online poker variants, some of them with interesting twists to entertain those players who are looking for something a bit different.
- Texas Holdem’ Poker
- Omaha Poker
- Live Three Card Poker
- Seven Stud Card Poker
- Jacks or Better
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Casino Hold’em
Did you know?
Poker was introduced in Canada, fairly early, mainly due to its close proximity to the United States, where Poker originated. However, in 1892 all gambling was banned, until 1985, when legislation started to change.
How to improve your game
Apart from developing a steady strategy, there are a few other things you can do to improve your Poker game.
Below we’ll share with you our best tips to give you a better chance of winning more.
- Play when you fee like it
Poker is a casino game meant to be fun. It is important to stop playing the moment this changes. Playing for the sake of it or to make up for lost bets can push you to make emotionally-based decision instead of logical ones.
You might also find yourself in the trap of betting more than you can afford, which can eventually lead to addiction.
Our advice is to play when you feel like it, but before you sit to play, decide on a budget and a time frame. Our article about Responsible Gambling can help you set up boundaries so that gambling remains always fun!
2. Learn and understand the concept of Game Theory Optimal (GTO)
Poker is a game of chance so there is a lot of probability and odds involved. Although you never know what cards you’d be dealt, a GTO strategy can help you optimize your winning potential.
This mathematical-based model is not easy to learn, but learning the basics and practicing often will greatly improve your skill.
Do you know the differences between Omaha and Texas Hold’Em? Erik does, and he’s here to break it down for us in our video below:
3. Play less hands and play them aggressively…
New players who lack experience tend to either play too conservatively in the hope of lasting longer, or go about it too aggressively, throwing all their chips in at every hand.
The trick is to learn which are good hand openings and learn to use them to your advantage. This is a great rule to stick with if you want to increase your chances of staying longer in the game and maybe win!
4. …Be patient
Don’t play too aggressively by throwing in all of your chips in the hope of miraculously landing a Five of a kind or a Straight Flush!
You need to remember that not every hand you’ll be dealt will be good and you might be out of the game right after the first round of bets.
The trick is to be patient! Wait for the right hand!
5. Analyse your opponents
This tip might be harder to put into practice if you are playing online, however, if you have a view of the other players and they are you opponents, it might be a good idea to analyse them.
If you can’t spot the weakest opponent, there is a chance you’re playing that role. If that’s the case, maybe it’s wise to look for another table to join…
Practice for free
Although live Poker does not come with a demo mode, most virtual games are accompanied by such a demo.
The demo mode or play for fun mode, does not require you to bet any real money. Instead the game will allocate you an inexhaustible supply of fake coins or chips to play with.
The game will play out in the same way as the play for real version, with the same odds and payouts (though these are fake).
There are no restrictions on how long you can play, making it possible to practice for as long as you wish.
Watch streamers to discover new tips
Apart from practicing, you can watch professional Poker players playing in streamers on Twitch or Youtube.
Not only can you see some play for real but also learn strategies and tips from experts.
While there are many streamers online, some of the most popular Poker players out there are:
Did you know?
Canada has given the world some talented and famous Poker players. The most notable are Daniel Nagreanu, Sam Greenwood and Jonathan Duhamel.
Playing Live Dealer Poker on your phone
These days you don’t need to sit at you desktop computer to play online Poker. HTML5 technology has made it possible to play from your smartphone or tablet, from anywhere you might be.
The smaller screen delivers an HD experience that comes with some additional feature to make it easier to play like live chat, Auto-bet and automatic commands to check or fold.
While some casinos have a mobile-optimised site, others have a dedicated app that makes playing Poker online that much more enjoyable.
Some of the best casino apps offering Poker are:
Popular Live Poker Table providers
- Evolution Gaming
- Vivo Gaming