Online Poker in Canada
Canadian poker players have it good. Almost as good as European poker players. Observe:
- It’s legal to play online poker in Canada, which would explain why most pro players from the states moved their following Black Friday.
- Not only is online poker legal, but Canadians can play pretty much anywhere they want – 888, PokerStars, Party Poker, William Hill, etc. The list goes on and on.
- Then you have the deposit options, all of which are quick and painless to use. Most of these banking methods have, if any, fees attached.
The bottom line – Canadians have very little to complain about when it comes to online poker. Definitely no where near what Americans have to whine about.
Of course, having all of these options can work against you, too. In other words, since you can play anywhere you want using any banking method at your disposal, the first question that comes to mind is, which option do I choose? Which poker site and deposit option is the best?
And being able to relate ourselves, we anticipated these sorts of questions and created this page in response. Below you’ll find our top picks for Canadian poker sites, as well as answers to commonly asked questions, including what deposit methods poker players from Canada should use to fund their poker accounts.
Top Poker Sites for Canadians
We recommend that Canadians play at one of the following 3 poker sites.
1. 888 Poker – What’s so great about 888 Poker? Well, they offer new accounts a 100% sign up bonus up to $600, they’re compatible with PC, Mac, Android and iOS, and they have a variety of games including holdem, plo and stud, in cash game, sng or tournament formats. That’s why.
2. Bodog - Players that sign up to Bodog can participate in their 100% up to $1,000 match bonus. Bodog is known for their software, which includes anonymous tables, as well as their $1 qualifier tournaments to live events such as the Canadian Poker Tour. They also run a $100,000 guaranteed tournament each week.
3. Full Tilt Poker - Now owned by PokerStars, players will be able to play on the software and in games that FTP is known for, but rest easy knowing that it comes with the safety, security, deposit options and promotions that PokerStars is known for.
Online Poker in Canada – FAQs
We receive a lot of questions about playing online poker in Canada. We thought that it'd be helpful to answer them here for everyone to read.
Is playing online poker in Canada legal?
Yes, online poker is 100% legal. We've not heard of anyone being arrested for playing poker online. And according to Canadian lawyer Zak Muscovitch, Canadian players may not be breaking the law when they log on to play poker online. What is illegal is to operate a common betting house. It is the proprietor of the casino that is the person breaking the law. There is no actual law that would prevent a consumer from using the site.
What this means is that there is no risk to you, the customer. The risk falls on the casino, and their ability to comply with the laws in that jurisdiction.
Do I have to pay taxes on the money I've won?
Technically, yes, you have to pay taxes on the money you've won. However, based on my research that's only if you come out ahead. In other words, a winning session doesn't mean you have to pay taxes. But if you've profited overall for the year, how much you’ve won is taxable.
Is it safe to play real money poker in Canada?
Yes. You shouldn't have any issues with safety and security, so long as you sign up to one of our recommended sites. They're all licensed, regulated and audited regularly for randomness (which means fairness). In fact, several poker sites that Canadians can sign up to are public companies with investors. That's a sign right there that they're safe to play at.
Top 7 Deposit Options Available to Canadians
There are several deposit methods that Canadians can use to fund their accounts. Here are our top 7 picks.
Visa / MasterCard - A credit/debit card is ideal because the payment clears quickly, has both high and low limits, and is widely accepted. The downside to these options is that you may face declines, which is due to banking / gambling regulations.
Skrill (Moneybookers) - Skrill is a well-known e-wallet, helping players all over the world to fund their poker accounts. The process here is simple. Open an account, put money in it and then transfer the funds to your poker account. You can also use Skrill to shop online. The fees are relatively small, too.
Click2Pay - This is another e-wallet solution. You can fund your wallet in advance, or you can go ahead and shop and pay with Click2Pay, and they will make the payment for you. They'll then debit your bank account a couple of days later.
Ukash - Ukash is a (virtual) prepaid card. Instead of a card, you buy a pin number, online or at any participating retailer. To use your funds you’ll log-in to your poker account, enter your code and how much you want to deposit. Ukash is versatile, too – you can use it to shop online or locally wherever Ukash is accepted.
Instant eChecks - eChecks are like paper checks. You give the poker site your account, routing and check number, enter how much you want to deposit and then hit submit. The poker sites that I've come across will give you the funds to play with right away, even though it can take a week for them to clear. The one downside to echecks is that your initial deposit/withdrawal limits will be low. But once you make a successful payment the poker site should increase them for you.
UseMyFunds - This service eliminates the need to enter your personal banking information online. How it works is that you'll choose UseMyFunds as an option and then they'll take you to your bank account. You'll log-in, confirm what you're paying for and then make the payment. You don't need to enter your card number, security code, routing number, none of that. There's no risk to anyone getting your information and later stealing your identity and/or your money.
Instadebit - Instadebit is similar to Click2Pay and Skrill. You can fund your e-wallet to shop and gamble online. If you don't have the funds they'll debit your account within a couple of days. The payments are instant (hence the name), there's no paper trail and there are few fees.