While online gambling in general is brought up by politicians, there are no acts or committee discussions on this topic at the time of writing.
Best Poker Sites for Canadian Players?
#1 888 Poker - 888 Poker are very popular among Canadian players. Their room hits the sweet spot between having a big choice, and very easy poker games. What is even better, they will offer you up to $88 to try out their games for free. You get this in 11x $8 increments as you collect points – with that first $8 upfront. Check out the novel ‘Blast!’ jackpot games, SNAP (fast-fold) poker and a huge list of cash games and poker tournaments.
Check out this detailed 888 Poker Review for more on what makes 888 so popular.
#2 Bodog - For many years Bodog exclusively accepted Canadian players. These days they have opened up their room to many Latin American nations too – brining many new and inexperienced players to the tables. Bodog pioneered what is known as a ‘recreational poker model’. This restricts 3rd party tracking software, makes play at the tables anonymous and caps multi-tabling. The success of this poker room has shown that this approach works.
Find out more in this review of Canada’s own Bodog Poker.
Payment Methods for Canadian Poker Sites
Credit cards can be used to deposit at online poker rooms from Canada, though the banks will often block these transactions. You will not lose out when this happens, the payment will simply not happen. In addition to the banks blocking transactions, some of the bigger eWallet systems including Skrill, PayPal and Neteller also pulled out of Canada.
Fortunately, there are some simple solutions still available.
Many sites support using the Interac system. Banks do not block these transactions, which are uniquely Canadian and so no threat to the US ban on gambling finance. iDebit also works, providing a secure 3rd party between your bank and the gaming sites. Since this money can be used to shop, there is no way the banks can tell where it is going after hitting the iDebit system. Prepaid poker cards and voucher systems including PaySafeCard are also welcomed by the poker rooms.
Bitcoin poker deposits can be used at some sites including Bodog. This method is outside of the control of the banks, and provides a safe and fast way of both depositing and withdrawing. Paper checks are another way that Canadian players can withdraw funds.
Poker Bonuses for Canadian Players
Canadians get to enjoy the best offers from all of the leading sites. Many sites offer a smaller instant bonus, and a bigger bonus that requires you to earn points to ‘clear’. Smaller ones are $20 or $30 free play, with a minimum deposit. These will often take the form of small tokens for popular game formats.
If you choose to take a matched welcome bonus, it can pay to take a look at the small print before you commit. There are huge differences between these bonuses. All of them require collection of points from playing real money cash games and tournaments. The best clear fast, in increments and have few ‘rules’. The worst poker bonuses are almost impossible to clear at the smaller buy-ins.
While it is natural to focus on the welcome / sign-up bonus, I recommend you compare the loyalty schemes at different Canadian poker rooms. These point collection schemes, along with promotions and reload bonus deals, will make a big difference over the long run. If you enjoy a site, then you will be playing there long after the welcome bonus has finished – so make sure your site looks after their loyal players well.