Discover the best and safest online poker sites in Canada, find the best bonuses, and most valuable promotions available to Canadian players.
Last updated: February 9, 2024
Online poker has always been a very popular activity in Canada. The country represents one of the largest online poker markets around, attracting all major sites and giving Canadian poker players a great number of top-quality options.
Online poker in Canada is legal, albeit it is not regulated on the local level outside of Ontario. While this will likely change in the future, for the time being, Canadians not residing in Ontario are free to play on international sites and enjoy unrestricted access to all leading global platforms.
On this page, you will find all the information about playing online poker in Canada, the best Canadian poker sites, top bonuses and promotions, relevant laws, and everything else you need to get started. So, let’s dig right into it.
Yes, you can. Online poker in Canada isn’t regulated on a local level (outside of Ontario). However, players are free to play on international sites as these sites can offer their services in the country without breaking any laws.
|Online Poker in Canada
|Legal but not locally regulated
|🗺 Ring-fenced market?
|🔥 Top Canada Poker Sites
|PokerStars Canada, GGPoker Poker Canada, WPT Global Canada, 888poker Canada
|🏆 Best Canada Tournaments
|PokerStars WCOOP, GGPoker WSOP Online, WPT Global MTT series
|⚖️ Regulated By
|International regulators like MGA, Curacao, and Gibraltar
|🔞 Legal Age to Gamble
|18+ or 19+
Players from Canada have access to many international poker sites that continue to operate in the country without any problems. So far, Ontario is the only province that instituted a local regulation requiring sites to apply for a license and creating a segregated market. See our full guide to Ontario online poker to learn more.
In all other parts of the country, Canadian poker players can sign up with international poker sites and join cash games and tournaments with players from all over the world. This includes provinces with a local monopoly provider. For example, online poker in Québec is provided by Loto-Québec, but international sites also offer their services.
Canada is not only a very populous country — it is also a country where the game of poker is very popular, in part due to the successes of Daniel Negreanu, one of the best players in the history of the game.
With all that in mind, there is no lack of Canadian real money poker sites to choose from, and these are our top picks.
GGPoker is the biggest online poker site in the world, and it readily accepts players from Canada. Daniel Negreanu, the greatest poker player the country has ever seen, has also been the main ambassador for the brand for several years now.
GGPoker Canada caters to players of different bankrolls and preferences. It offers everything, from cash game action over tournaments with big guarantees to jackpot sit-and-go games.
Canadian players can also take advantage of a generous welcome package and participate in the operator’s rakeback program, offering some of the highest returns in the industry. With all these things in mind, GGPoker Canada is easily a top pick for serious and recreational players alike.
PokerStars is another major international site accepting Canadian players. The operator hardly needs much of an introduction, being one of the longest-standing brands in the online poker industry.
Alongside GGPoker, PokerStars Canada is a top choice for players in the country. Great traffic, generous welcome bonus, and a revamped rewards program offering rakeback of up to 60% are just some of the reasons to play here.
PokerStars is also the only Canadian poker site spreading games other than Hold’em and Omaha. If you’re a fan of variations like Razz, Deuce to Seven, Badugi, Five Card Draw, and more, you’ll find plenty of options in both tournament format and cash games.
Players looking for an alternative to these two giants will find it in 888poker Canada. This is another site powered by a reputable gaming company that’s been around for a long time, offering a completely safe and trustworthy platform.
888poker Canada isn’t as big in terms of traffic, and its tournaments don’t have such big guarantees, but the operator still has plenty to offer, including a modern mobile app for those who prefer playing on their handheld devices.
Another big reason to play here is the weaker competition. You’ll find more recreational players populating 888poker tables, making the site a great choice for beginners looking to learn the ropes with a limited bankroll.
WPT Global is a mobile-first poker operator that offers a solid range of cash game and tournament options for players. As an official online partner of the World Poker Tour, this poker app also offers a variety of qualifier tournaments for live WPT events.
For Canadian players who enjoy playing on their phones and those looking for extremely soft games, WPT Global Canada is easily the best choice. The operator also has very good traffic, which means you’ll never struggle to find a game here.
When it comes to promotions, WPT Global offers one of the largest welcome bonuses in the industry, so if you have a big bankroll to work with, there is a lot of extra value to be had by signing up here.
Poker players in Canada get treated to a variety of bonuses and promotions. From big welcome offers over lucrative loyalty programs to occasional promos like leaderboards and reload bonuses, there is a lot of value to be had across the board, and if you play your cards right, these can help you significantly boost your bankroll.
Welcome bonuses are always the biggest thing to look at when deciding on a site to play at. These can significantly increase your returns during the first couple of weeks on a site, especially if you have a big bankroll and intend on putting in a decent volume at the tables.
Canadian online poker players can take full advantage of welcome offers available to the international player pool. In some instances, operators will even throw in additional perks like a small no deposit amount geared specifically toward Canada, which goes to show that operators hold the Canadian poker market in very high esteem.
These welcome bonuses will often give you up to 40% of additional rakeback, which is a significant number when combined with loyalty programs and other promotions.
Tournament players can take advantage of a variety of leaderboards at Canadian poker sites. These are usually active during big series, awarding additional tournament entries and cash prizes. Some of them, however, run throughout the year, rewarding the most dedicated of grinders.
Every now and again, operators will set up country-specific leaderboards, and when this happens, Canada is often one of the countries that make it onto the shortlist. These can be quite valuable, as you’ll compete against a smaller pool, giving you a better shot at winning one of the prizes.
As mentioned, Canada is one of the more attractive markets for poker operators, which results in Canadian players often getting preferential treatment.
In addition to reload bonuses offered to everyone (which all operators do every now and again), you can also expect special offers sent to your email inbox.
Keep an eye out for these and try to make full use of them when available. In the long run, these extra bonuses can add up and make a big difference in your bottom line. The best part is that claiming them won’t interfere with your usual playing patterns, so it’s just some extra money you get to pick up along the way.
Unlike the United States or some European countries, Canada does not have laws regulating online poker specifically. Things are mostly handled at the provincial level, but so far, Ontario is the only province that has taken advantage of this option and launched a full-scale regulation.
Everywhere else in Canada, players are free to play on international sites, and these international operators can offer their services in the country without breaking any laws.
Online poker in Canada is a bit of a grey area, but current laws only forbid companies physically present in Canada from offering online poker. Offshore operators, thus, aren’t breaking any regulations, and players aren’t facing any legal risks playing on these sites, either.
Of course, since there is no local regulation, players have to be extra careful when choosing where to play. We only recommend reputable sites that have been around for a while and that have licenses in other jurisdictions, as this shows they’re serious and trustworthy. There are many poker sites in Canada that don’t quite play by the book, and you should steer clear of these.
As mentioned, Ontario is the only Canadian province that decided to regulate online poker. This was a big decision, as it forced all international operators to leave the province and apply for a local license if they wanted to continue catering to Ontario players.
The regulation also brought another change, as Ontario poker players were cut off from the international market. The province became a segregated market, which means that only players physically present within Ontario can play on regulated sites.
The restriction doesn’t apply just to rest of the world but other Canadian provinces, too. Players from Alberta, for example, can play on international sites, but they can’t join the games on any Ontario-licensed operators.
The good news for players is that Canada doesn’t tax poker winnings. In most cases, you’ll get to keep 100% of your winnings, and there is nothing to worry about.
There are some exceptions, though, and these apply to people who are recognized as professional poker players. If your winnings are considered a “business income” by the Canadian Revenue Agency, you could be liable for taxes.
A majority of online poker players don’t fall into this category, and unless poker makes up a majority of your income, you probably don’t need to worry. That said, if you are a serious player, we always recommend consulting with a tax professional to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.
Big poker sites operating in Canada offer a variety of payment options. Once again, since Canada is such an important market, there are quite a few Canada-specific options available, which makes the entire process simpler, faster, and safer.
Generally speaking, as long as you stick to big and reputable sites, you should experience no problems banking with Canadian poker operators. These sites work with large and trustworthy payment processors and employ high level security measures to ensure the safety of your funds and your private and financial information.
Some of the most popular banking methods available on Canada poker sites include:
Cashing out from your online poker account is not a problem. You can choose from a variety of options listed above, and it usually takes 24 — 72 hours to receive your winnings, depending on the selected method.
It is worth mentioning that certain Canadian banks refused online poker payments in the past, especially when coming from shady offshore operators. This is another reason to try and stick to reputable sites, as even if all sites are technically legal, banks have their own checks and procedures in place and will often flag transactions from suspicious sources.
Other than this, you will need to go through the identity verification process, showing your personal information matches the information you entered when registering the account. This is a standard procedure and usually takes up to a couple of days to complete.
If possible, try and complete the verification ahead of time so that when you request a cashout, there are no unnecessary delays. This may not always be an option, however, as the player verification request is triggered by the operator when you request your first withdrawal.
Pretty much all poker operators in Canada also offer mobile apps that you can download straight from the official store and install onto your Android or iOS device. Some, like 888poker, also give you an option to log in and play using your browser.
Canadian poker apps are very convenient as they give you access to cash games and tournaments around the clock, allowing you to fire up a session whenever you feel like it without requiring you to be seated at your home computer or laptop.
Equally as important, these apps are very safe, using the power of modern technology to encrypt the information and protect players from any malicious attempts. As long as you play with big-name Canadian poker sites, you can rest assured their mobile apps are completely safe and trustworthy.
Yes, online poker in Canada is legal. You can play on a number of international poker sites that accept Canadian players, and you don’t have to worry about any legal implications, as these sites aren’t breaking any laws or regulations.
Online poker in Canada isn’t regulated on a country or local level outside of Ontario. This means that sites catering to Canadians are licensed by international bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority or the Government of Curacao.
Yes, of course. Almost all poker operators feature standalone poker apps for Android and iPhone devices, which you can download and install to enjoy your poker sessions on the go.
Yes, players from Canada are treated to many generous welcome bonuses, and you can take full advantage of these offers without any restrictions.
Since Canadian poker sites aren’t regulated locally, the best way to stay safe is by choosing big and reputable international poker sites. As long as you stick to these operators, you’ll enjoy a completely safe online poker experience.