Canadian Poker Sites & Deposit Methods

Guide to internet poker sites for Canadian players.

Canadian Poker SitesWhile Canada enjoys one of the most liberal legal situations of any country when it comes to playing online poker – there are some frustrating restrictions on deposit methods. These come from the banks, which often block credit card deposits to poker sites. Fortunately, there are still some easy options to get money on board (and your winnings back out again).

Are Canadian Poker Sites Safe?

With no regulation or oversight for players in the same way that UK or French players enjoy – it is important to check out a site before you deposit from Canada. The key thing to look out for is an operating license from a known jurisdiction. The major international sites are usually licensed in Malta, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar (which are all considered reputable jurisdictions). US friendly sites are licensed out in the Caribbean or in Central America. While there are many well-known and well-trusted brands operating offshore, you should be aware that the regulation in these jurisdictions is more ‘hands off’ than in the European hubs.

After checking for a license there are two more things to look out for. These are testing of the deal fairness (which is done by 3rd party auditors) and ensuring that there are no major scandals or payment delays – which are a major red flag.

Overall, sticking with the biggest and best known sites that we cover here at will ensure your money is safe and the games are completely fair.

This page looks at the biggest and best Canadian poker sites, how to deposit at them and the licensing and safety aspects of playing real money poker online.

Deposit Options for Canadian Players

Credit card deposits will work for deposit sometimes, though most of the big banks restrict these – presumably to avoid issues with the legal restrictions for US players. On top of this, popular eWallet systems including PayPal, Skrill and Neteller have all stopped supporting poker site deposits for Canadians.

There are still some easy options. Interac is popular, and is not restricted. This is a 2-step process where you send the money, along with a security question from your bank account. This is then reconciled with your poker player account. All of the major poker sites accept Interac payments, though some smaller operators do not.

Prepaid visa cards can be used (you’ll be making international purchases with them). It is important to speak to your poker site and find out which brands are working before you buy. You may also be able to use virtual credit card solutions at some sites.

Bitcoin is now a mainstream deposit method, and accepted by all the offshore poker sites which welcome US players. Setting up a Bitcoin poker wallet is no more difficult than registering a PayPal account (for example). This method has the advantage of being outside of the control of any government or financial regulator.

Finally, you can choose a person-to-person transfer. This involves using the services of companies such as MoneyGram or Western Union. Instead of sending the cash to a poker room, you’ll be wiring it to an individual who receives on their behalf. This is a very reliable poker payment method – though does involve a trip to your local branch office.

The Biggest and Best Canadian Poker Sites

With the liberal gambling laws, Canadians have the best possible choice of poker sites – with no restrictions or player segregation.

The biggest site worldwide is PokerStars, which is several times bigger than its closest rival (888 Poker). This site uses its giant player base to offer huge prize pools for tournaments – which include the biggest weekly online tournament in the form of the Sunday Million. The number of cash games and different poker variations is also huge. There are many good reasons to check out PokerStars, though players should be aware that this is the site of choice for many online ‘pro grinders’. This makes the games tougher than elsewhere.

By contrast, 888 Poker cater for a more recreational player base. This site has grown significantly over recent years, and is now starting to establish a lead over their rivals – Party Poker and the iPoker Network, which are battling it out for 3rd and 4th place in the traffic rankings.

There are other networks which welcome Canadian players. These include the resurgent MicroGaming Network, and the US friendly WPN and Chico Poker Networks.

Innovations – Canadian Poker Sites are Getting Better!

It was not too long ago that the poker formats you would find online were fairly restricted. Games were dominated by No Limit Holdem, with some Omaha and a little Stud. Formats were all based around cash games, tournaments and sit n goes.

In recent years there have been some significant innovations in online poker. These include a move to mobile devices, with smartphone and tablet play both growing fast. There are new poker formats including fast-fold poker (for example PokerStars’ Zoom Poker), lottery Sit N Goes and many variations on tournament play including knockout bounty games.

You can now enjoy many different games online too, including 2-7 triple draw, badugi, mixed games and even cut-deck games like iPoker’s 6-holdem.

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