Updated Updated: January 26, 2023

Play Poker Online – Best Poker Sites 2024

Playing online poker has been a popular hobby in Canada for decades. While it isn’t yet legal for online poker rooms to operate in Canada itself, the law doesn’t prevent players from visiting the sites of legally licensed poker operators based elsewhere. In this article, we’ll look at where Canadian online poker enthusiasts tend to play, what kinds of games are on offer, and what online poker bonuses are available to those who get involved. We’ll also spend a little time answering the most Frequently Asked Questions concerning online poker in Canada.

Is Poker Legal in Canada?

The game of poker itself is perfectly legal in Canada, and you can do so in a number of land-based casinos. It is also widely understood that it is legal to participate in home poker games as long as no rake is being taken.

Online poker, however, is a very different story, because no online gambling operators – regardless of whether they offer poker or casino games – are allowed to be based in the country. There is no law against playing at legally licensed and regulated poker sites that are based in other countries, however, and this situation has allowed the hobby to thrive in Canada.

The phrase “legally licensed and regulated” in that last sentence should be noted carefully. While an online poker site might not be able to operate in Canada itself, it should be properly licensed to operate somewhere. Most Canadian players will therefore play at sites that are licensed by a respected regulatory body, such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission.

  • Ontario: Starting from 4 April 2022, Ontario launched its new licensing regime, according to which only entities licensed in Ontario can offer gaming services to people resident in Ontario.

Where to Play Online Poker Canada

Online poker can be played at any number of sites that are designed for the purpose. However, as we said a moment ago, it’s essential that players only use online poker rooms that are licensed and regulated by a recognized regulatory body. This is just as important for the players’ safety as it is for any legal reason. A properly licensed online poker site will have proven itself to be operating fairly and transparently, so you will be able to trust that the games aren’t rigged and that your money – as well as your personal information – will be kept safe and secure.

Online Poker Bonuses

Online poker is a thriving industry and a very competitive one. Operators are therefore keen to do whatever they can to attract players, and one way they do this is by offering online poker bonuses to new players. The available bonuses come in all shapes and sizes, but the two main types you are likely to encounter are as follows:

No Deposit Bonus

  • A no deposit bonus is given to players who sign up for a new account with an online poker room. As you’ve probably guessed from the name of the bonus, no deposit needs to be made to qualify for it. Simply register for an account and a modest amount of credit will be awarded so that you can participate in a game or two on the house.

First Deposit Bonus

  • A first deposit bonus is given to players who make their first deposit with an online poker room. Because you need to put your own money down to get this type of bonus, you can expect it to be more generous than a no deposit bonus. In most cases, the amount you can get will be expressed as a percentage of the deposited sum. A maximum value will also be given. For example, you might be offered a first deposit bonus of 100%, up to $200.
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Online Poker Variations

The games available to fans of online poker in Canada will vary from site to site. The most popular poker game in the world is Texas Hold’em, so you can expect to see that being offered at almost all online poker rooms. However, you might also be able to play several other variations that are only slightly less popular. These include Omaha poker, Razz poker, Stud poker and more.

Any online poker player who has a preference for a particular variety of game should check to make sure that it is available at the site they are thinking of joining. It probably will be, especially at the bigger sites, but confirming this before signing up could save time and – if a deposit is being considered – money.

Online Poker Canada Tournaments

Cash games can be found at all online poker sites, but most sites will also give you the opportunity to participate in online poker tournaments. These give you a chance to win a cash prize for a known outlay. You pay a certain amount of money to buy into the tournament, and that money contributes to a prize pool that the winner and a number of runners-up get to share at the end of the game. The bigger the buy-in and the more participants there are in a tournament, the bigger the prize pool and the more generous the prizes will be.

There are several different types of online poker tournaments that you can expect to come across, but Single Table Tournaments and Multi-Table Tournaments tend to be the two most popular.

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Single Table Tournaments

These are small tournaments that are usually for five to nine players. You pay your buy-in and take a seat immediately, and the tournament starts as soon as the required number of players is present. For this reason, single table tournaments, or STTs, are also known as “Sit and Go” tournaments.

The advantage of Sit and Go tournaments is that they are usually over in an hour or less, and you only need to beat a few opponents to finish in the money. Of course, the limited number of players involved means that the amount of money you can win in these tournaments is also fairly limited.

Multi-Table Tournaments

Often referred to as MTTs, multi-table tournaments use multiple poker tables in order to accommodate a larger number of players. You will be automatically assigned your seat when you participate in an MTT at an online poker room. As the tournament progresses and players are eliminated, the remaining players are reseated, and the number of tables is reduced. Eventually, all of the remaining players will find themselves sitting at the final table, where they play to determine the overall winner.

Because MTTs can have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of participants, the prize money they offer can be considerable. The only downside is that it takes longer for an MTT to run, so be prepared to play for several hours and possibly even in several separate sessions over a few days.


Anyone who wants to play online poker will need to find a trustworthy operator with a suitable range of games. Our Real Money Casinos page will show you what’s available and where.

You can find information about all of the most popular venues on our Best Online Casinos in Canada page.

Online poker sites aren’t shy about promoting their bonuses, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them. That said, you can check out our No Deposit Bonuses page for the latest offers.

The payment methods available will depend on which poker site you visit. Take a look at the information we have about Payments Methods for Canadian Players.