The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, which is located in the province of Quebec, formed the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in 1996 making it one of the first gaming regulatory bodies in the world. Several online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks began operating in Kahnawake under licenses that were issued by the tribe.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has since become an internationally respected regulatory body. Since the Mohawk Nation deems itself to be sovereign, online gambling sites that operate in Kahnawake are technically considered offshore sites in the eyes of Canadian players.
Canadian gambling laws do very little to address online gambling from a player’s point of view. Generally speaking, Canadians have some of the best options in the world when it comes to choosing online casinos and online poker sites. Not only are there loads of reputable offshore sites to choose from but most provinces have also entered the market offering online betting and poker platforms. The first government-operated online casino and poker site was launched in the province of British Columbia in 2012 and other provinces have followed suit.
Online gambling pumps a lot of money into the Canadian economy and it doesn’t seem like the landscape will change any time soon. Even though Canada has its share of online gambling opponents, it doesn’t seem likely that the government will tighten Canada’s gambling laws. On the flip side, opening the market to more competition would raise the ire of provincial governments who are relying on the income provided to them by their gambling operations.
The most likely scenario is that Canada keeps things exactly as they are now which is great news for the scores of Canadians who enjoy playing online poker. It’s also good news for offshore operators who don’t need to obtain any kind of Canadian gambling license in order to offer their services to Canadians. Nor do they need to have any of their operations based in Canada as is required in other jurisdictions.
Some people may question the level of player protection that is afforded to Canadian online poker players but the reality is that Canadian online poker players enjoy a high level of player protection. Those who opt to play at online poker sites that are licensed and operated by provincial governments can be assured that those sites operate to the highest industry standards. Those sites take takes steps to ensure that their customers are treated fairly and have recourse in the event of a dispute. Perhaps a couple of the drawbacks to playing at government-operated online poker sites are the rakes tend to be marginally higher and they don’t really offer micro-stake games. Smaller players pools mean that some players might have difficulty finding a game right away.
Canadian players who prefer to play at offshore sites have plenty of reputable online poker sites to choose from. By doing a little homework, Canadian online poker players can find the best online poker sites that are licensed in the most reputable jurisdictions. Many of these poker sites are well established and have earned their superior statuses by offering great products and focusing on customer satisfaction and safety.
In some places such as Australia, most of the industry giants were forced to exit the market leaving Australian online poker players little choice but to play at smaller sites that don’t boast the same level of customer trust as the leaders do. This is something that Canadian players aren’t confronted with.
One small problem that some Canadian poker players may run into is having their credit card deposits declined. However, this is more of an exception than a rule and is a common hurdle in many other jurisdictions. Nonetheless, Canadians have access to dozens of reliable and secure third-party payment processors such as Citadel, Instadebit, ClickandBuy, and PaySafe who, funny enough, allow customers to fund their accounts with credit cards.
Online poker is extremely popular in Canada and poker sites in many parts of the world target Canadian customers. Canadian online poker players have access to all sorts of valuable bonuses and promotions that are easy to claim. Even the government-run online gaming sites have bonuses and ongoing promotions that have attracted a lot of their newer customers and helped retain existing ones.
For now, let’s take a look at the ten best online poker sites for Canadian players. While the government-operated online poker platforms are worthy of mention, we will focus on the highly-rated offshore sites that welcome Canadian players with open arms.
Top 10 Poker Sites In Canada
£40 Free Play
Party Poker is one of the most trusted online poker sites in the world. It has been the ideal location for beginners players to start their poker journey.
200% up to $2500
BetOnline.ag currently have one of the fastest growing Online Poker sites. This is largely due to the popularity among US poker players as they find BetOnline Poker the most trustworthy brand in the current US poker market.
100% upto $1000
Ignition Casino is still a very good site and this is especially true for American players. There are a lot of features that can be customized and the ability to play in anonymous mode can be very helpful for beginners. The welcome bonus is quite generous and the Weekly Boost just adds to the value
100% upto $500
Bovada is part of the Bodog brand and is one of the most popular and trustworthy poker sites still operating in the US Poker market. Read our Bovada Poker review to see why its so popular.
100% upto $1000
SportsBetting.ag Poker is part of the growing Chico Network and is a sister site to the no.1 US poker room BetOnline.ag. We recommend BetOnline Poker above SB Poker, but both are viable choices for US poker players.
Was once one of the powerhouses in the online poker world. However, in recent years it has feel from that status and now finds itself in the middle of the pack. Possibly due to poor promotions for its players.
100% upto $1000
The most popular poker site on the US friendly Winning Poker Network. Americas Cardroom has been around longer than people might suspect as it was rebranded a good few years ago now from the world famous Doyles Room. Now just a bit part player in the US market behind BetOnline Poker, Bovada and Ignition Poker. Still highly recommended for US poker players though!
100% upto €1000
Betsafe Poker is one of flagship online poker sites on the popular Micro Gaming Network(MPN). It is also very popular in Europe and has a solid choice of cash games and poker tournaments. Highly recommended for European Poker players.
200% upto $1000
Intertops has been running a successful online poker and online casino site for many years now. It has never had its time in the sun yet, as it has always been a middle of the road type gambling site. Although in our opinion a very solid poker site for US poker players if they can get over the fact its usually little dated.
200% upto $1000
Juicy Stakes Poker is part of the US friendly poker network Horizon Poker Network. It would be one of the more popular poker sites on the network along with Intertops. We slightly favour Intertops Poker as a choice for US players looking to play on the Horizon Poker Network, but Juicy Stakes Poker is a very strong alternative.
PokerStars is by far the world’s largest online poker site. It was established in 2001 in Costa Rica but they moved their headquarters to the Isle of Man where they are now licensed. PokerStars also possesses licenses in several other jurisdictions. PokerStars is an industry leader for many reasons. They offer an ever-growing selection of games that suit all poker budgets.
They also host several huge events that feature massive prize pools. Because PokerStars has so many active players online at any given time, players are usually able to get into the game of their choice instantly. Canadian players can get a piece of the millions of dollars in prizes every week in the many tournaments that are run at PokerStars. The Stars Group which is the parent company of PokerStars is based out of Toronto, Canada.
PokerStars also offers some of the best bonuses and promotions such as their $30 First Deposit Offer and their First Deposit Bonus up to $600. While there are bigger bonuses available at other sites, PokerStars’ bonuses are a little easier to actually cash in on. Their Star Rewards program is a must for both high rollers and players with more modest poker budgets and there are plenty of opportunities to qualify for their world-famous events such as the upcoming PSPC where at least $8 million in guaranteed cash prizes will be up for grabs.
Licensed and regulated in Antigua and Barbuda, Bodog has been around since 1994 and they have enjoyed a lot of success in such a competitive market. A great selection of cash games, sit & gos, and tournaments await Canadian players who like to play for smaller stakes, large stakes or anywhere in between. Those who join Bodog Poker and make their first deposit are already winners as they can claim Bodog’s 100% Sign Up Bonus up to $1,000. Bodog will release your bonus based on how much you play and the great news is that once the bonus money released it is yours to keep.
Bodog also gives nice rewards to players who win with a royal flush in a cash game. Players who use both of their hole cards to make a winning royal flush will automatically be awarded 50 times the big blind up to $200. Those who receive the Royal Flush Bonus get it with absolutely no strings attached. Similarly, Bodog’s Bad Beat Bonus awards 100 times the big blind up to $1,000 to players who lose to quads when they have aces over kings or better. Be sure to check out their Player Rewards program too.
Canadian online poker players who visit Titan Poker will be instantly attracted to the 200% First Deposit Bonus up to €1,500. They will then be blown away when they find out about the Titan Poker Cash Bonuses that can earn them up to $250 and they will be floored when they read about Titan Poker Rakeback Unlimited program.
Titan Poker has been around for a long time having been established in 2005. Aside from all of the great bonuses and promotions that Canadian online poker players can cash in on, Titan Poker is among the 10 busiest online poker sites in the world averaging about 1,500 players at any time. Players trust the platform which is powered by Playtech and available in a desktop or mobile platform as well as instant play.
The visuals and graphic are fantastic and very easy to use and their excellent customer service team is available 24/7 through live chat, email, and even by telephone. Players have a variety of options when they want to make a deposit and Titan Poker has a reputation for fast payouts. Whether you want to play cash games, sit & gos or tournaments, you will always find the action you are looking for at Titan Poker.
Partypoker was launched in 2001 and was the largest poker site up until 2006. Still, Partypoker is one of the most popular online poker sites in the world and they continue to increase their customer base by offering an ever-expanding slate of games and tournaments that offer huge guaranteed prize pools. Partypoker appeals to recreational players by offering a vast selection of micro-stake games and tournaments with very low buy-ins. Of course, Partypoker also has plenty of games for high rollers and those who want to occasionally go big.
There aren’t too many poker sites that offer as many bonuses and promotions as Partypoker does. Their welcome bonus, which awards $22 worth of tournament tickets to Canadian players who make their first deposit, might seem a little underwhelming but a slew of ongoing promotions more than makes up for it. Their Monster Missions and Monster Value promotions give players the opportunity to win a seat at the $5,300 buy-in MILLIONS Online event and there are several other promotions through which players can win all sorts of cash prizes, tournament tickets, and free bets.
Partypoker’s Cashback and VIP programs are well worth looking into regardless of how often you play or how much you spend. Plenty of action and a great online poker experience awaits you.
BetOnline Poker is a long way from being the world’s most popular online poker destination but Canadian online poker players might be surprised with what this site has to offer. Aside from having a very nice graphic environment that is available in desktop and mobile platforms, BetOnline’s 200% First Deposit Bonus is a great way to get up to $1,000 in bonus cash to start out with.
To claim this bonus, you just need to sign up, make a deposit and then send an email with the code TTOPS in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canadian players will also receive a free ticket into BetOnline’s exclusive $10,000 New Depositor Freeroll.
Those who like the excitement of Hold’em and Omaha cash games will love the fact that they can get a share of a Bad Beat Jackpot that starts at $100,000 and can grow to well over $1 million. This certainly cushions the blow when you lose with four jacks or better. There is also the Daily Cash Race that offers a share of a $1,100 prize pool every day and those who enjoy sit & go tournaments can get a piece of the $5,275 prize pool that is awarded every week.
GG Poker is a relatively new online poker site that is gaining a lot of traction in the Asian market. There are a few things that make GG Poker quite unique such as their focus on providing a safe and enjoyable poker experience for beginners. GG Poker’s policies prohibit predatory players and the use of third-party poker software although they allow players to use their in-house PokerCraft tool. GG Poker is quick to ban players who act in a predatory or abusive manner.
GG Poker’s 200% First Deposit Bonus up to $1,000 and other promotions such as their Big Hand Jackpot give Canadian players a way to instantly pad their account balances. GG Poker has some very unique features such as GG Poker’s All-In Insurance and option to stake other players in tournaments.
GG Poker creates a sense of adventure with Weekly Missions. Players are given a choice of three missions every day and they must complete at least one. Players who successfully complete five missions in a week are given a free ticket into the weekly Mission Complete $5,000 Freeroll and will start out with 2,000 chips. Those who complete six missions will start the tournament with 4,000 chips and players who complete seven missions will start the tournament with 10,000 chips.
888poker offers something that very few online poker sites offer and that is a no-deposit bonus. All Canadian players need to do is open a new account at 888poker and the will receive a sweet package valued at $88. As soon as a new player signs up, their account is credited with $1. Over the course of the first seven days, new players will also receive 14 free tickets into $0.50 buy-in tournaments which amounts to $7 in value. The remaining $80 will be disbursed in $8 increments that are made up of $1 in cash and 14 tournament tickets each time the player earns 250 bonus points.
Canadian players who make their first deposit will have it matched 100% up to $400 and they will also get 7 free tickets to play in $500 First Depositor Freerolls as well as a pair of tickets into $1,000 Depositor Freerolls. To top it off, first-time depositors also get a ticket into the exclusive First Depositor Challenge Tournament where the can win a seat in 888poker’s Sunday Challenge Tournament.
Even if these bonuses weren’t available, 888poker would be a recommended destination for online poker players as the graphics are very good and it is among the busiest poker sites on the planet.
Canadian online poker players who like a bit of variety beyond the usual fare such as Omaha and Hold’em are going to want to give TonyBet a try. Players might not be familiar with games like Open Face Chinese Poker, Pineapple or some of the other games that are played at TonyBet Poker but they are quite easy to play and there are handy tutorials that can get you started. Another feature that separates this highly-rated site from some of the others is that they offer some rake-free hold’em and Omaha games.
TonyBet Poker has an excellent 100% up to €2,000 Starter Bonus that also come with free €10 tournament ticket. One of the best things about the bonus cash is that the rollover requirements are very reasonable and easy to meet which is great news for your account balance. Every €40 in rake that you generate will earn you €10 of the bonus cash.
Once you have got the hang of Open Face Chinese Poker, you can win yourself some nice cash prizes in TonyBet’s OFC SnG Heads-Up Challenge. Don’t worry if you are more comfortable playing more traditional games as there are plenty of choices to fit all budgets.
A lot of Canadian players enjoy the quicker pace of short-handed tables and those who do will like playing at BetSafe. This site was launched in 2006 and it has steadily increased its customer base by providing plenty of games, a wide range of stakes, a good selection of bonuses, and helpful customer service which is on hand 24/7.
Players will be immediately struck by how great the layout is and they will love the fact that they can cash in on welcome bonuses that range from €25 up to €1,000. In addition to the cash bonuses, players will also be given free entry into the weekly €888 New Player Freeroll.
New Canadian players can actually get free tournament tickets without making a deposit. Simply open an account and choose a screen name to get your hands on 28 Level 1 Tournament tickets. BetSafe also has plenty of other tournament tickets to give away to those who play cash games with minimum blinds of $0.05/$0.10.
BetSafe’s VIP Blackgold Rewards programs lets Canadian players earn points that can be exchanged for cash. Everyone from micro players to high rollers can earn a rakeback which makes joining the VIP Blackgold Rewards program a no-brainer.
Everest Poker is part of the iPoker network and is a leader in the area of player liquidity. Even the most fickle Canadian players will be challenged to find faults with this site as it has a great selection of games that suit every budget. Some may point out the fact that Everest Poker does not currently offer and welcome bonus packages but a nice array of ongoing promotions make up for that shortcoming.
Everest Poker’s Shasta Sit & Go Tournaments are ideal for beginners who want an opportunity to win real money without risking anything. These tournaments consist of six levels and new players can play first level tournaments for free. There are also 13 freerolls held every month that have guaranteed prize pools ranging from €1,000 up to €5,000. Players qualify for a free entry every time they deposit a minimum of €10. Players can also amass player points for playing in cash games, sit & gos, and tournaments. These reward points can be traded in for cash or tournament tickets.
Everest Poker also has a couple of different ongoing leaderboard competitions that offer thousands of dollars’ worth of cash prizes. Don’t forget to check out Everest Poker’s rewards program. Players are eligible to earn as much as €2,000 in cash as well as tournament tickets.
Canadian online poker players certainly do have it good as they can play at almost any of the best poker sites on the planet. Even though a few really good poker sites do not accept Canadian players, the overwhelming majority of the top sites do.
Many Canadian players also have the option of legally playing at government-operated sites if they have any reservations about playing at offshore sites. With the number of bonuses and promotions that are available, Canadian players can quickly build their bankrolls and give themselves a better chance of being able to cash out significant sums of money.
Anybody that is looking to join an online poker site needs to take a few precautions and do a bit of homework to ensure that they end up playing at a site that is suitable for them. The first thing that Canadian players need to do is be absolutely certain that the online poker site that they are considering joining accepts Canadian players. Apart from the 10 sites we listed above, some of the other friendly Canadian poker sites include iPoker and International.ca
Canadian online poker players also need to be sure that the site they choose suits their budget. Somebody with a small poker budget won’t be doing themselves any favors if the site that they join doesn’t offer games with low stakes just as high rollers will get bored if their site only offers micro-stake games.
A lot of bonuses and promotions are very attractive but they should not be the biggest factor in your decision. Be sure to do a bit of research such as reading online poker site reviews. There are countless websites that offer unbiased reviews of online poker sites and they can be extremely helpful. There are so many great online poker sites available to Canadians that it is almost a sure thing that you can find a site that is absolutely perfect for you.