Olivia Martin has been a dedicated sports fan for as long as she can remember – whether from hockey to soccer to baseball, she has no particular preference: so long as it’s sport, she’s happy and always willing to watch. Wanting to transform this dearly-held passion into a viable career, Olivia pursued a degree in Sports Journalism, and started her journalism career while studying, writing for various fledgling sports blogs and even running her own dedicated hockey blog throughout her studies.
Upon graduation, Olivia embarked on a career that saw her write about her favourite sports for a living. Over time, she became more and more interested in probability and statistics, which in turn transformed into an interest in betting. Having delved deeper into the subject and expanded her knowledge base considerably, she is now a master of all aspects of sports writing, betting strategies, and guides – all of which are her primary focus as the Betastic sports editor.
Born, raised, and still living in Gatineau, Olivia speaks fluent English and Quebecois, and is learning Italian and Spanish in her spare time. She is also an avid sports player as well as a fan, regularly competing in amateur tennis and badminton tournaments, and mountain biking whenever she has the opportunity.
The online poker Canada legal situation may be complicated, but the practicalities of playing online poker with real money are not. Make no mistake, the best online poker sites in Canada are the best anywhere.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely looking to find the absolute best poker online for how you like to play. Our analysis of what makes the best online poker Canada sites is here to help you understand not only what goes into our recommendations but also what you should be looking for to narrow down the best from the rest.
The Top 10 Tests we Conduct to Find the Best Online Poker Sites For You
There’s plenty of different elements to check when analysing which online poker sites are worthy of a recommendation. It goes far beyond simply heading over to your poker online Canada candidate and seeing whether they’re generally any good or not. There’s intricacies to explore.
Here, we’re going to break down our top 10 criteria, what we do and generally what we’re looking for when it comes to finding the best online poker site the world has to offer. Do keep in mind though that we can only look at what makes a site objectively better than another: when it comes to narrowing things down between the best, that comes down to what you prefer.
1. Registration Process
The way we start off our examination of the best online poker sites is really no different to how anyone would when it comes to looking for their poker online real money Canada options. We’ll be talking about the online poker Canada legal situation a little more in the following segment but for now, what we need to check during registration is whether it’s available to Canadian users.
Alongside that, we’re also seeing how easy the registration process is in general and how well everything is explained, especially when it comes to things like banking and setting limits.
We mentioned the online poker Canada legal situation earlier, so we thought it best to address here. There are many asking is online poker legal in Canada? While the legal situation is certainly more technically complicated than many other countries, rest assured that from the customers’ point of view, you can access sites in and out of the country without any concerns over the legalities.
3. Site Design
Our online poker Canada design tests are a lot more practical. There are three distinct areas to this. The first is aesthetic design. In other words, what the site looks like. Unlike many other areas, we can’t say what look is better in a fair best online poker site Canada analysis. That’s down to what you like.
What we do instead is try our best to give you some idea of the kind of look they’re going for so you can see if it lines up with what you prefer. Once again, the way we test this is by looking around and researching.
The next is a little more hands-on and objective. To test the structure, we go through the sites and try and find everything we can as quickly as we can, and make notes on how well the site is laid out. Finally, there’s the technical side of design. The way this works is simple: we use the site as much as possible, including the most technically strenuous ways we can manage, and see how the site holds up. We’re looking for stuttering, slowdown, broken links, any kind of technical fault we can. The more seamless, the better.
Everything we said in the last part of our online poker Canada analysis counts even more for mobile. While there are many online poker apps out there from the best online poker Canada sites, make no mistake that getting that poker software to those high levels is an incredible technical achievement. And not everyone can pull it off. Sometimes you’ll even see great online poker sites stutter and struggle with this endeavor.
Once again, we’re breaking it down into those three key areas. Keep in mind too, that technical slowdown – which can be very severe on mobile – can affect your ability to respond quickly and analyse play, meaning you could actually lose poker online real money Canada funds.
5. Customer Service
Where before there were three parts to our testing, here there are two. First off, we start with a part of customer service that is often overlooked – and one which we think is among the most important online poker tips when it comes to understanding your operator. This is paying close attention to how well things are written and explained in the terms and conditions, Help and FAQ sections.
The point of these areas is to help you understand the site before you ever have to contact anyone. They’re your first customer service port of call: one it would be foolish to overlook. Of course, no Help section, no matter how good, can ever fully replace proper contact between you and the team.
That’s why we make a point of contacting them through as many means as we can, as often as we can to get the most comprehensive look at the speed, quality and consistency available. A typical question might be if they’re available in Canada. The online poker Canada legal situation for customers may allow them to bet internationally, but it’s still often something we need to double check. It’s a vital part to any best online poker candidate.
6. Game Variety
We’re going to be talking about all the different ways you can play poker Canada online a little later in our analysis of the best online poker sites, so we won’t be breaking them down here. In terms of testing though, you can take all of those examples – and be assured that we not only see what’s available, and if they’re available to online poker Canada users, but play each and every one of them to see how they hold up. It’s one thing to be able to say that an app or site provides a type of poker, but whether or not they do it well is the crux of the quality of any and all Canadian online poker sites.
7. Player Variety
And while we are there testing all the game varieties available through the online poker operators, one thing we like to pay particular attention to is the type of player variety that is available. Unlike other casino games – which are solo and thus, the diversity of the target audience is irrelevant – online poker options have as broad a diversity of users in terms of preferences and abilities as possible.
This means they need to provide games for newcomers and experts, as well as different styles to suit all tastes. Put it this way, a poker table doesn’t count for much if it doesn’t have anyone on it. We also care very deeply about how easily you can enjoy poker online with friends, so social elements will score extra points from us.
8. Promotional Variety
The tests for bonuses for online poker sites are very much the same as pretty much any kind of casino game. We’ll discuss specifics a little more later on but in terms of quality, it still all depends on the terms and conditions and how much real life value is actually available. It’s another two-parter here. The first part of our promotional test is to read through and evaluate those terms and conditions. The second part is to try them out ourselves to see if they’re actually delivering what they promise.
9. Banking Options
The online poker Canada legal situation for customers may mean they have a huge number of operators to choose from but that only really counts if they actually have banking options that are useful to them. The first part of this is, of course, whether or not the Candian dollar is available and then across what payment methods.
Aside from sheer variety, there’s also things like fees, transaction times and minimum/maximum amounts to consider, alongside the reliability of those payment methods. And of course, there’s how well all of what is promised actually comes off and how easy it is to use. We can only check by depositing and withdrawing funds ourselves.
The last key online poker Canada test we conduct may be all research but it’s extremely important. Everything we have done thus far is all about our experience and although we are as comprehensive as we possibly can be, it does mean there are logical limits to how exhaustive we can be. Put it this way, if we had a great customer experience, but that wasn’t typical, then it may not be a fair expectation for those reading our recommendations.
So, we look up and analyse as much feedback from customers as we possibly can, as well as research their history to get an indication of their reputation. Ultimately, this is to check our experiences against that of the most important people to consider when looking up the best online poker sites: that’s you, the customers.
The Different Ways to Play Legal Online Poker
Considering that online poker Canada is up there with the absolute best in the world – with the capability of enjoying most of the big names from Europe and beyond – we suppose it’s not that big a surprise that there’s also a wonderful selection of different ways to play at online poker sites.
In case you had a one-track mind about what you could expect from the best online poker sites in Canada, we’ve decided to pick five key different ways you can play poker online. With that, we hope you can see the depth of options you should expect from the best online poker sites, and that the online poker Canada legal complexities doesn’t need to impact the variety available to you.
Real Money or Free Play Poker
One of the first big distinctions in how you play poker is whether you want to play for real money or for fun. When people ask ‘is online poker legal in Canada?’, they’re generally referring to real money play. Well, both are available and of course, if you just want to play for fun, that’s absolutely fine. Plenty of the best online poker sites around allow you to play for free at various tables. They also allow you to play at close to free with very low stakes tables.
This is a really big consideration for us because we want our recommendations for Canada online poker to appeal to as many people as it possibly can. The broader the appeal, the more people can choose that poker Canada online option as the best online poker site in the world.
It’s also important to remember that people who play just for fun – whether that be for no money or little – and those that play for higher stakes are not necessarily two completely different camps. A lot of people like to use no or low stakes as practise before moving onto higher stake games. It’s a great strategy for improving your skills in such a competitive game. So, versatility between these two is really important in getting the best experience.
Video Poker Options
Another interesting way to play poker actually foregoes the need for other people at all, and that’s video poker. For those of you Canada online poker fans who are a bit more traditional and don’t know much about video poker, allow us to explain.
These games are computerised versions of the game – most commonly based on five card draw poker – where you win money by beating the computer. Think of it as a halfway point between your video slots and a traditional card game. So popular is this option, that there’s a massive amount of video poker sites available today.
Another key way you can get the most out of the best online poker sites is through tournaments. Now, other than video poker, tournaments can be based around pretty much any kind of poker variant you can think of. Some online poker sites even utilise their own versions of the game for tournaments. In any case though, this is where some of the most exciting and best online poker play takes place, as well as where the biggest cash prizes can be won.
Tournaments are also often home to dedicated online poker bonus options. While promotions for poker Canada online have gotten more and more common – with everything from VIP bonuses to welcome offers finding their way onto the pile of benefits for poker online Canada players. That said, the most consistent promotions tend to be around tournaments, especially when it comes to heavily discounted entries. That’s right, you can get involved for very little in some cases. Even if you’ve not completely finetuned your skills, we’d still say it’s worth it for the experience.
Poker Mobile Apps
Last but not least, we have apps. Now this is not necessarily a whole new way of playing poker – the actual mechanics of the games are the same, and any serious candidate for best online poker site Canada would have as many options for mobile as for desktop. That said, it does fundamentally change where and how you can play poker, being more interactive and versatile, so we felt it was certainly worth a mention here.
Popular Online Poker Canada Games
As diverse as the selection of online poker sites is, there’s just as diverse a crowd of fantastic popular poker variations available. The most popular is, of course, Texas Hold Em. This is the version of the game that you will find at pretty much any and all Canadian online poker sites. It’s where your biggest tournaments are, and in terms of sheer availability and popularity, nothing can touch it. And with good cause, as it’s easy to learn, but is difficult to master – that perfect card combo.
However, we do think it’s worth looking at what else is available too. Not only are there plenty of interesting versions on the top online poker sites, but the popularity of Texas Hold Em means the standard at tables can be extremely high. It may be tactically worthwhile to try your hand at similar games like Omaha Hi. This is also regularly available and has similar rules to Hold’Em. Those two can work as the foundation for most people’s poker play and are the most popular.
Other common and interesting options include Omaha Hi-Lo – a natural progression from our last suggestion, the incredibly accessible 5 Card Draw and 5-Card Omaha. There’s also the classic 7 card stud, as well as left-field options like Horse, Badugi, Razz and more. There’s basically no end to the possible variations, but even if you stick to the most popular variants, you’ll have everything you need for the best poker online experience.
Conclusion: Discover a Huge Variety of Poker Options
One thing that we wish to make abundantly clear is that, although the technical online poker Canada legal situation is complicated – as is not uncommon in many countries –, that doesn’t mean it has to impact on your experience. When we talk about Canadian online poker sites, that means any poker site that is properly licensed and accepts Canadian players. This includes those licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which helps regulate casinos in Canada, or those outside of its borders.
The technical stuff, well, it’s not something you have to worry about. All you have to think about is making sure that you’re getting the best experience at online poker sites. Our guide is here to provide an overview of the kind of quality and the variety of play you can expect from online poker Canada. Think of this as a blueprint for your understanding of everything you need to consider when picking the best poker online for you, and how you like to play.
Online Poker Sites FAQ
🔒How can I be sure if online poker operators are secure?
❓What are the different ways I can play poker online?
There’s a huge amount of choice when it comes to playing poker online. You can choose between real money or free play options, video poker or live tournaments, and even between a desktop or mobile app experience. That’s before we even get into the huge amount of variants there are to this classic card game. Read our live casino guide to learn more about your options and discover your ideal way to play.
✅Is it legal to play online poker in Canada?
Like many countries, the laws and legalities surrounding online poker betting in Canada can be complex. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of options available to Canadian players, with a huge selection of international operators to choose from. However, there are still a number of key considerations you should make when choosing which real money poker site to sign up with. Here, we’ll be outlining our top checks to give you peace of mind.
💵How can I deposit to play online poker?
Playing poker online for real money is hugely popular amongst bettors, but in order to do so, you need to first make a deposit at your chosen betting site. Most good operators will have a wide selection of reputable payment methods. However, we take a closer look during our analysis, checking everything from fees and transaction times to maximum and minimum limits.