Online poker may not be quite as popular as it was during its heyday back in the mid-2000s, but it’s still a fun way to pass some time and make a little cash along the way. It also just so happens that if you’re in Canada, you have no shortage of awesome online poker options at your disposal.
Canadian players are afforded access to the best online poker sites the world has to offer. It’s not legal to play poker over the internet everywhere, but it isn’t illegal to do so if you happen to be in the Great White North.
The best online poker sites for Canadian players are listed below:
Who Are the Biggest Names in the Industry?
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, PokerStars is probably your best bet. You’ve probably heard of them considering they were at the forefront of the aforementioned online poker boom of the last decade. PokerStars remains the world’s biggest online poker room to this day, and their prize pools are unmatched elsewhere in the industry.
PokerStars has all sorts of game types. New players in Canada can receive a deposit bonus of up to 100% of their initial deposit up to $600. New sign-ups will also receive free entry into a $2,500 free roll consisting exclusively of new players. So, you’re not having to go up against the best players in the world right off the bat, which is good if you’re an inexperienced poker player looking to get in on the action.
While PokerStars is undoubtedly the biggest name in the industry, new players may have a better time starting out at 888poker. 888poker advertises itself to more casual and recreational players. Their prize pools aren’t as huge as PokerStars’, which is why some of the sharks stay away. As a result, you’re able to test your skills against other players of a more comparable talent and experience level.
888poker also offers a 100% deposit bonus for first-time deposits up to $400. Best of all, they’ll give you an $88 bonus even without a deposit. They won’t just credit your account with $88, however. Instead, most of the money comes to you via free tournament entries, and each reward comes with every 250 bonus points you rack up as a regular player.
Both PokerStars and 888poker have been around for years, so it’s easy to see why both have such a favorable reputation in the industry.
Are Poker Winnings Taxable in Canada?
One major reason Canada is among the best countries in the world to play online poker is that whatever winnings you earn are not taxable. That’s right. Because poker winnings (and winnings from any other form of gambling) are not considered to be income, the Canadian government won’t ask you for a chunk of your winnings. The Canadian lottery doesn’t tax winners either.
So, if you’re a casual player, rejoice! However, if you are good enough to play online poker as a job, it’s a different story. If you are a pro poker player, your winnings are taxable as a business income. You obviously want to follow the law if you’re playing poker online, but this affects a relatively small percentage of poker players in Canada.
The tax-free earnings are another reason Canada is a perfect place to start playing online poker for casual and new players. You can hone your skills while building your bankroll without having to worry about losing some of your winnings to those pesky tax collectors.
How Do I Deposit or Withdraw?
Nowadays, it’s extremely easy to deposit or withdraw money from an online poker site in Canada. The best places to play offer no shortage of options either. Depositing via a credit or debit card is the most popular way to do so, but the best sites these days also accept Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency, if that’s your thing.
Arguably the easiest way to deposit cash is by using an online payment system such as Skrill. The transaction fees are low, and there are fewer red flags than may arise with some credit card companies that may be reluctant to process deposits for gambling purposes.
Withdrawing money is also easier in Canada than it is in a country like the United States. In fact, the laws in Canada are such that you can actually just withdraw through your bank. US banks typically reject transfers from poker and gambling sites, but most Canadian banks will accept a simple wire transfer.
Best Online Poker Sites in Canada
As mentioned in the open, Bodog, PokerStars, and 888poker are considered to be the very best poker rooms for Canadian players. All three gambling sites have excellent reputations thanks to years and years of quality customer service and a number of different offerings.
Most importantly, these sites are safe. While there were some sketchy and untrustworthy sites during the oft-mentioned boom of the mid-2000s, most sites operating today are 100% safe for online players. Sticking with the big names is probably the safest course of action, but reading the fine print and making sure your site has the proper operating licensing is a good way to figure out whether a site is safe for play.
You can try your hand at a government-operated poker site if you’re nervous about trusting some of the others out there, but Bodog, PokerStars, and 888poker are safe, convenient, and fun sites at which to play poker regardless of your experience level.
Playing online poker in Canada has all sorts of benefits, so what are you waiting for? Sign up and start playing today!