Best Online Casinos to Play Online Poker in 2021

Finding the right online casino that fits your needs is great but being able to find the best online poker website is even better. Poker is a popular casino game all over the world and Canada is no exception. Our team of industry experts have reviewed online casinos available in Canada to find the best online casinos offering online poker.

The recommendations made have been thoroughly checked and reviewed to ensure that the best odds, entertainment and safety is assured. Players don’t have to worry about their safety when choosing one of the online poker sites we recommend in this guide. What you will also find are the variants of poker that are readily available for you to choose from online. Furthermore, we have done all the hard work, so you don’t have to. From rating safety to making deposits and even testing payout speeds with these online poker options and the online casinos they can be found at.

Check out our comprehensive guide to online poker that also includes valuable tips that will turn you into a professional in no time.

Best Online Casinos to Play Online Poker in 2021

Our team of experts have put together a comprehensive list with reviews to check out for the best online poker sites. We take our time to test the games extensively to ensure that the gaming experience offers nothing short of excellence. Take a look at our recommended online poker sites knowing that when you arrive that there will be a great selection of real money poker variants to choose from.

1
$500 Bonus
Payout Speed 2 days
Win Rate 98.56%
2
CA$ 500 Bonus
Payout Speed 1-2 days
Win Rate 96.68%
3
CA$ 450 Bonus
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Win Rate 95.5%
4
CA$ 300 Bonus
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Win Rate 72%
5
CA$ 500 Bonus
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Win Rate 95.5%
6
$ 12,000 Bonus
Payout Speed 2 days
Win Rate 96.14%
7
CA$ 1100 Bonus
Payout Speed 1-2 days
Win Rate 98.75%
8
CA$ 1,000 Bonus
Payout Speed 2 days
Win Rate 97.46%
9
CA$ 1,600 Bonus
Payout Speed 1-2 days
Win Rate 97.89%
10
CA$1000 Bonus
Payout Speed 1-3 Days
Win Rate 96.5%

Blacklisted Online Poker Sites

There are wonderful websites that offer online poker in Canada. However, there are unsavoury online poker sites that have been found lacking. Our team puts each casino through its paces to ensure that only the best options are presented to our Canadian players. Here are the latest online poker sites that have not met the high standards we present to our players and should be avoided at all costs.

Cool Cat Casino

Cool Cat

Incorrect and misleading marketing relating to safety measures
Confusing wagering requirements
Inferior quality of games displayed
Planet 7

Planet 7

Customer complaints remain unresolved
Unprofessional customer service received
Stalled winnings being paid out
Grand Prive

Grand Prive

Consumer complaints ignored
Misleading claims to proper international licensing
Improper online casino practices in use

Playing Online Poker

The world of online poker has grown significantly over the past few years. The expansion of poker into the world online meant that the game could reach even more players. It is a way for professional and novice players to connect innovatively.

Online poker presents players with even more options when it comes to the different types of poker. Whereas your local casino may only have one or two of the poker variants available to play at any given time. Online poker can also be enjoyed as a live dealer option, giving players a sense of reality and a virtual experience that mimics what they would have if they go to their local casino.

Poker can now be played anywhere and the popularity of poker has sky-rocketed. More and more players are joining online casinos to play poker, knowing that a strategy may help win the game and walk away with lucrative real money prizes.

Free vs. Real Money Online Poker

Poker is a very popular game wherever you find yourself in the world. When it comes to online poker, one might say that it is even more popular than it has ever been. When choosing to play poker online, you open yourself up to opportunities such as free online poker as well. Free online poker and real money online poker both have their advantages and disadvantages. Below we will pit the two against each other and see how they stack up against each other.

Free Online Poker

Test a different variant of poker and get to know all the details before betting any real money.
Enjoy a reduced stress environment when playing for free as anyone at the poker table will all be playing with no risk, just for fun.
Hone your skills and practice strategies before employing them to win real money prizes.
Players may not present with the same attitude or behaviour as players risking their real money to make money.
Even if you play a great game, there is no chance of winning real money prizes.
vs

Real Money Online Poker

Use welcome bonuses or other promotions to maximize the online poker experience.
The competitive atmosphere shows there is real money on the line.
Luck and skill go hand in hand to win real money prizes.
Mistakes cost money and could earn you a bad reputation at your poker table.
Lesser-known poker variants may not offer as many gaming options as you would have hoped.

Choosing the Best Online Poker rooms

A comprehensive testing process is put into place when reviewing online casinos and online poker rooms. We want to ensure that players always receive the best entertainment and safety when they choose from one of our recommended online poker sites.

1

Trust and Fairness

Online poker sites need to be fair and offer players an experience that doesn’t feel like the house always wins. Online poker sites that offer reasonable and fair odds is what we look for before making any recommendations. We also ensure that the online poker site is fully licensed and regularly does an audit of all its casino games.

Trust and Fairness
2

Bonuses and Freerolls

A healthy welcome bonus for new players and ongoing or changing promotions is very important. Players need to feel like they have a chance to maximize their betting options and poker play. New players and loyal players need to benefit from the promotions and bonuses found at an online poker site. Specifically for poker, we look for the best bonuses that offer freerolls to make the most of your gaming experience.

Bonuses and Freerolls
3

A great Selection of Tournaments and Games

We ensure that there are a host of poker variants available at an online poker site and make sure to play these games as well. We want to make sure that these game variants offer excitement and poker tournaments as well. Additionally, we check to see if an online poker site allows for a range of players to participate as well, especially when it comes to the size of the bankroll and bets.

A great Selection of Tournaments and Games
4

Apps and Mobile Gaming

We test the online poker site’s ability to bring their games to a mobile device effectively. Any reputable online poker site knows that updating the platform to cater to mobile gaming needs is essential. We test the sites with a range of mobile devices by accessing via the mobile internet browser and download the poker app if the site has one.

Apps and Mobile Gaming
5

Withdrawal Timelines

Getting what you have won at an online poker site when you want it, is an important factor we consider. We examine several payment methods and how long it takes to get your winnings. We want to ensure that we only recommend poker sites that offer efficient withdrawal services.

Withdrawal Timelines
6

Extensive User Base

While players can opt to play against the poker software, the real fun comes from playing with other poker players from around the world. An online poker site must have a healthy user base or receive a constant flow of new players regularly. Playing in a sparsely populated poker room can be frustrating, so more players means more excitement.

Extensive User Base
7

Completing the Review

The online poker sites we recommend have passed the rigorous testing we put them through. They have especially scored really well when considering the criteria mentioned above. Rest assured that when you choose one of our recommended online poker sites, you will be getting the best of the best.

Completing the Review

A Freeroll in Poker

When it comes to poker tournaments, a freeroll is one you have a chance to enter without an entry fee. Usually, larger poker tournaments will have an initial buy-in to start playing at a specific table or tournament. Freerolls give anyone that is interested in playing poker, a chance to experience what it is like to participate in a tournament.

Most good online poker sites will have freeroll poker available regularly. A link to the poker room is usually available on the website and requires a specific password to get in. The passwords are released when the freeroll tournaments are soon. So, players need to keep their eye on the website, emails or social media to get their access to a freeroll tournament.

Types of Poker to Play Online

There is quite a range of online poker variants for players to choose from. While Texas Hold’em is probably the most popular, however, others might catch your attention. Let's have a look at what online poker variants you could find in the vast online poker landscape.

Texas Holdem

Texas Hold’em

At some point in everyone’s lives, they have heard of this poker variant. For most players, this is the game that is seen and played most frequently. Five community cards are used with two hole cards for each player. The cards are used to build the best hand possible after multiple hands of betting.

Omaha HighLow

Omaha High/Low

The variant is more fondly referred to as Hi-Lo and offers players a chance to build two hands of five cards. The two hands will be one high and one low, built by combining three of five community cards and two hole cards of the four the player has.

Five-Card Draw

Five-Card Draw

The poker variants with the simplest rules which are also the foundation of many standard poker games. Players need to build the best hand with five cards and are able to change out cards during a draw phase.

Razz

Razz

The winning hand here is the lowest hand, built with five cards. The rules here are similar to seven-card stud in that players are dealt seven cards to build their hand winning hand with.

HORSE

HORSE

A variant that incorporates many other variants for each round played. The game will start with Texas Hold’em in the first round, then move to Omaha Hi/Low, then Razz then Seven-Card Stud and finally Seven-Card Stud High/Low Split-Eight or Better. Then the cycle starts again.

Online Poker: How to Win

A very important thing to consider when wanting to play online poker is to do your research on the game and the strategies you could use. We have all the information you need when it comes to learning about specific factors when playing poker. These guides and information will help with online and land-based casino poker gaming. Other factors that you will need to consider if you are interested in the game is learning about the following criteria:

  • The importance of table position
  • Knowing how to manage your bankroll.
  • Understanding and knowing your poker hand rankings from high to low.

The Best Poker Tips

Play at several tables to maximize potential winnings

Play at several tables to maximize potential winnings

Playing poker online creates a unique opportunity for players to access several poker rooms all at once. Poker players know that playing as many games as possible is what gets you the wins you are looking for.

Play poker with smaller stakes

Play poker with smaller stakes

Something you won’t be able to do at a live dealer poker table is to make micro-bets. Just playing for fun with the lowest stakes will help you work on your strategy and allow you to improve your skills. This allows you to feel like it is real money poker, but with the least risk aside from playing for free.

Play freerolls to build your bank

Play freerolls to build your bank

When you don’t need to buy-in and have money upfront then playing freeroll tournaments will help you play for the amounts you want to bet and help you build your bankroll for when you are ready to play with the high-rollers.

Watch How They Play

Watch How They Play

Having a poker face will help you bluff your way to a win at your local casino, but what about online poker? There are no faces, so watch how your opponents play. Keep a close eye on any trends or habits that they may have to determine how to react.

Hand Ranking Chart for Poker

Understanding your hand is an important aspect of the game. It will help you make the decisions needed to tip the game or round in your favour. Another perk of playing poker online is that you can have all of your resources open just in case you need to refer back to them. Something you certainly cannot do at your local casinos. You would need to memorize the poker hand rankings to know what the characteristics of your hand are and what you need to work toward.

Online Poker Sites for Beginners

If you are interested in playing online poker and have done some of the research, you now want to practice what you have learned. The best online poker destinations are ones that offer simpler variants. Additionally getting involved with playing freerolls as well as low-stakes tournaments is another great idea for practice. When looking for an online poker slot, look out for the following:

  • Sites with clear terms and conditions
  • Low stakes and freeroll tournaments are easily found.
  • Bonuses and promotions that aid beginners in maximizing their bankroll.

Online Poker Sites for Advanced Players

Players that have honed their skill want to try their hand at bigger stakes and bigger cash prizes. Here is what to look out for at an online poker site if you are looking to challenge yourself as a poker player:

  • High stakes for poker games and tournaments with a chance of winning lucrative prizes.
  • Online poker sites with a good collection of poker variants.
  • Poker sites with many users and games on these sites have high traffic volume.

Playing Online Poker With Friends

If you are tired of struggling to get your friends or family together for a poker night at one location, then stop. Online poker makes this so much simpler. While many people love to play poker, they may not have the time to plan, go out and play poker with friends.

Some online poker sites offer a service that comes in handy. You can invite all your friends to play poker at a specific online poker site. So, each person can be at a location that they are comfortable with and can join in on the game from a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer.

Site Traffic for Live Poker

Traffic at an online poker site is something to keep in mind. Games can be really fast-paced given the amount of traffic that some online poker sites receive. Especially when it comes to online casinos or online poker sites that are well-known, there are a lot of players and players that are advanced looking to score big at these poker destinations. Any player looking to just have fun and stand a chance to win something should try some of the online poker sites that are good quality but not as well-known as others.

Site Traffic for Live Poker

Traffic at an online poker site is something to keep in mind. Games can be really fast-paced given the amount of traffic that some online poker sites receive. Especially when it comes to online casinos or online poker sites that are well-known, there are a lot of players and players that are advanced looking to score big at these poker destinations. Any player looking to just have fun and stand a chance to win something should try some of the online poker sites that are good quality but not as well-known as others.

Table Position When Playing Poker

Knowing which table position in relation to the action is very important. It can affect the way the game goes for you and the decisions you need to make based on the hand that you have built. Let’s take a look at early and late positions.

Late position

Late Position

The late position is to the right of the dealer. When you are playing online poker, the late position is the last three seats to the left of the table. When sitting in this position, you have an advantage over the rest of the players. If you are the last players to act, then you get to see what everyone else does, before making your decision.

Early position

Early Position

These are the three seats to the right of the poker table. The players at the table all get to see what you do during the game before they have to make a decision. So, in this position, some crucial decisions need to be made to set the tone for the game as the rest of the player’s hands are revealed or folded.

Great Bankroll Management in Poker

Bankroll management is especially important when it comes to playing online poker. It is not the best idea to play on a whim with what you have available to play with. You need to ensure that you set aside money and plan the way you will play.

Make sure to account for what you need to buy-in, place bets and to cover your losses. It is easy to get excited when it comes to high stakes poker games and not to consider what variables will come into play.

The money that you have set aside for playing poker is the only money you should be using and plan how you will place your bets. If you experience more losses, then try to lower the stakes and try for smaller wins to build your bankroll again.

Experienced players know that playing at several poker tables is the best way to make a profit. Just make sure that you have practised enough to keep track of all the tables being played at. Even with the different tables, make sure you are only playing from one reserve of funds. If you are running out of funds, cut and run, and you may want to try the extremely low stakes to build that bankroll once more. Otherwise, take a beat and get back to it after having a break.

Great Bankroll Management in Poker

Poker Tips From Experienced Players

Players who have played poker for a while and did their research to hone their skills are able to predict how the game goes when they see the players at the table. However, online poker takes it a step further and you are unable to read the body language of players. Now, players need to watch playing habits and see how the players at the table are deciding to play.

Furthermore, online poker allows you to always have your resources close to you so that you can work on the perfect game. It is difficult to say if there really is a perfect game, but adjusting to the changes in the game and understanding what you have to work with goes a long way. Being comfortable in your own space and playing poker is an added benefit. Here are some tips gathered by our team based on what advanced poker players enjoy doing.

Multi-Tabling: Present at Several Tables Simultaneously

Practising and playing at many tables all at once is something that professional and advanced players attest to. This is best done on a laptop or a desktop PC with multiple screens. Professional players often play at more than 20 tables at a time. These poker tables can differ in variants as well, or even single games or tournaments.

Counting Cards

This is a tip from players that frequently enjoy poker at land-based casinos. The tactic is frowned upon at casinos, but certainly not illegal. This is done by tracking what is still left in the deck to plan your next move.

When it comes to online poker, counting cards cannot be done. The random number generators employed shuffles the deck after each round. Here is what counting cards consist of:

1
Think about the cards you need to build the hand you believe is a winning hand.
2
Of the cards you need, you will see the remaining suits or numbers on the table. Along with the cards players are still holding you can calculate what is still left and the chances you have of getting the cards you want.
3
When you have the number you can divide it by the unseen cards and it will give you an indication of your chances of getting your card.

Tracking Software for Poker

Another way that online poker allows for more of an advantage is by using poker tracking software. Remember that you can only observe how players are playing and not what they look like or which tells they have while playing. So, investing in tracking software helps you track player trends and behaviours especially when you are multi-tabling.

Poker Terminology

Action
The player chooses to fold, bet or raise
All-in
Betting with all the Poker chips you have
Backdoor
A draw that needs two consecutive cards to be caught
Bad Beat
When a player presents a losing hand
Bankroll
The amount deposited to gamble with
Big blind
A bet that must be set before any cards are dealt
Boat
When a player has a full house
Blind
Bet that must be placed before players receive their cards
Bluff
A bet placed with a weak hand to see if opponents fold believing the player has a stronger hand
Board
Community cards in Hold’em or Omaha
Bubble
Stage in the game just before the prize pool is made
Burn
A card from the top of the deck that is discarded before dealing
Button
The most profitable seat at the Poker table
Call
Match the bet another player placed
Check
Passing and not placing a bet
Chip
Representing cash value in the form of differently coloured tokens
Drawing dead
When there is no way to win with the hand that has been dealt or with the cards to come
Fish
A weak or inexperienced player at the table
Fifth street
The third betting round and when the fifth card is dealt
Five-Bet
The fifth bet in a sequence of betting
Flop
The second round of betting with community cards
Flush
A betting hand containing a set of cards of the same suit
Fold
Giving up, discarding your hand without placing any bets
Fourth Street
The second betting round where players receive their fourth card
Full house
Five cards made up of a pair and three-of-a-kind
Freeroll
A tournament with no prize set and no buy-in requirement
Free Card
A card opened up without having to bet any more chips
Grinding
Playing poker for a long time and gradually building your bankroll
Gutshot
Incomplete straight requiring one card to fill the hand
Heads-up
Only two players participating
High Roller
Players participating in high stakes games
House
Referring to the facility or casino running the poker game
Inside Straight Draw
The same as a gutshot where one card is required to fill a straight
Insurance
A side bet made with an opponent at the same poker table
Jam
Another term for going all in and betting all chips
Kicker
A card used to break a tie if players have the same hand, the highest unmatched card wins
Last Longer
An insurance bet with a tournament participant, betting on who will last longer during the competition
Laydown
Reluctance to fold a hand
Limp
Calling a bet when there has been no raise in the first betting round
Loose
A player that seemingly plays with no strategy
Monster
A strong hand in Poker
MTT
A multi-table tournament
Muck
Hand cards back to the dealer without revealing what was being held
Misclick
Accidently choosing the wrong option when playing online Poker
No-Limit
Players allowed to bet as high as they want to at any given time
Nuts
The best hand possible
Offsuit
A starting hand with mismatched suits
Outs
A card needed to build a winning hand
Overlay
Money added to the prize pool by the poker room in a tournament
Overpair
A pair in community cards that is higher than the highest value card
Paint
Cards between the Jack and Ace
Pair
Holding two cards in a hand that has the same rank
Play the board
A hand created only by using community cards
Pocket pair
A pair in the hole in a starting hand
Position
Where the player is located at the poker table
Pot
The centre of the poker table where chips for bets are placed
Quads
Having four of a kind in a hand
Rabbit Hunt
After folding, players get to see the community cards
Rainbow
A starting hand where all cards are of a different suit
Raise
To increase the bet, betting higher than the previous bet
Rake
A portion of the pot taken by the poker room
River
The final betting round and fifth community card to be dealt
Royal Flush
Holding a ten, all face cards and an ace from the same suit
Runner Runner
Building a strong hand by receiving the same suit of cards in consecutive betting rounds
Satellite
A tournament where the prize is an entry into a bigger tournament
Set
Having three of a kind specifically with a pair in the hole
Showdown
Two strong players going head to head and revealing cards to figure out who wins
Side pot
When a player has already gone all-in but a separate pot is created for other players that remain
Sit and Go
A tournament that starts once the poker table has been filled
Small blind
Smaller bet that is needed before any cards are dealt
Straight
A hand of five cards with consecutive numbers
Splash Pot
Refers to physical games where chips are placed in the pot in a disorderly manner
Split pot
A pot awarded to multiple players and usually signifies a tie
Stab
To make a bet when an opponent has shown a moment of weakness
Staking
Money is given to a poker player as a loan where a percentage of the profit, as well as the loan, is eventually returned
Tilt
Playing based on emotion especially fear or anger
Trips
One hold card with three of a kind
Turn
When the fourth community card is dealt
Two-Bet
The second bet of a betting sequence
Under the gun
The first acting player in the first betting round
Underdog
A player or a hand that is unlikely to win
Upswing
Winning over a prolonged period
Villain
An opponent during a poker game
Wheel
The straight holding the Ace to Five cards

Online Poker: A History

Internet poker has not been around for long, but in the short lifespan, there have been some big moments especially in the earlier days of online poker.

1998

The first legitimate online poker site is launched and offers poker tables with $3 and $6 stakes. Planet Poker was the start of something revolutionary.

1999

The market expands and new online poker sites are launched to grow the market and poker offerings online. Different versions of the game are made available to players with some of the first poker tournaments.

2003

A player qualifies for the World Series of Poker by playing online poker. With an initial bet of $86, he was the first player to enter a satellite and win an entry into the prestigious tournament in Las Vegas. The player fondly named Chris Moneymaker went on to win 2.5 million U.S. dollars after winning his 10,000 USD seat at the tournament. This was also the start of a poker boom where everyday online poker players sought to be the next Chris Moneymaker

2006

Online poker in the U.S. takes a hit when then-President George W. Bush signs the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This act banned financial institutions and banks from processing payments related to unlawful internet gaming. Real money online poker was included under the act according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

2007-2010

The online poker industry continues to grow as some online poker sites continue to do business even though the ban was in full effect. Other online poker sites abandoned the U.S. market to seek their fortunes offshore.

2007-2010

The online poker industry continues to grow as some online poker sites continue to do business even though the ban was in full effect. Other online poker sites abandoned the U.S. market to seek their fortunes offshore.

2011

Referred to as Black Friday where the federal government shutdown five of the major online poker sites that were still serving U.S. players. Many of the online poker sites that were shut down have still not refunded the customers they were servicing at the time. The law against online poker sites was subsequently lifted in September of the same year.

2012

Offshore online poker sites go mobile. The optimization for smartphones and tablets experience a boom and online poker sites aggressively start taking advantage of the growth and new customers.

2013

After a slump in the industry following Black Friday, the industry finally starts showing real growth again. States in the US even launched online poker operations which gave rise to Ultimate Poker out of Nevada.

2014

The expansion continues and a compact is signed allowing players from Delaware to compete with online poker players in Nevada. This also included participation from operators in New Jersey. Players needed to be physically located in one of these states to participate in the interactive online poker rooms on offer. Additionally, Amaya Gaming acquires PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in a 4.9 billion USD deal which grows the PokerStars brand significantly.

2017

The legislature in Pennsylvania signs a bill that legalizes online poker sites in the state. Joining Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Additionally, these three states create a new compact that allows for player pools across state lines creating more competitive and bigger prize pools.

2019

The legalization of online poker is signed into law in Michigan and West Virginia. The industry is growing slowly, but Canada had already been ahead of the game in 1996 when plans to create local online poker sites started to roll out.

Online Poker Today

Even with all the ups and downs seen in the U.S. online poker industry, Canada has had more luck north of the border. The industry steadily started growing since the internet started becoming more and more popular. Many Canadian provinces joined in on what would be a promising revenue stream for provinces that opted to legalize the industry.

While there are local jurisdictions that have online poker sites, the international online casino landscape also offers great options for Canadians as well.

Final Verdict

Online Poker and its popularity among players have grown over the years. The innovative twists and variety of poker games players are able to access are what drives the game and of course, the poker sites that offer them new heights.

Players can even choose to test their skills and practice what they have learned by playing free online poker. When you are ready to start betting for real money, there are tons of options to choose from. You will find that there are online poker sites that provide low stakes to get you started and don’t forget about freerolls as well. The different variants allow players to tap into different skills and adjust their strategies accordingly. It is challenging and can be one of the most fun casino games a player has ever played.

11
$500 Bonus
Payout Speed 2 days
Win Rate 98.56%

FAQ

All you need is decent equipment to connect you to an online poker site. You can play on your desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Poker rooms bring together players from all over the world, so make sure that you are using a secure and stable internet connection to play online poker.

These are tournaments that are free to join and you can bet low stakes and walk away with great real money prizes.

Yes, many online poker sites offer free online poker and can be played at your convenience. There are also freerolls to take advantage of so make sure you keep your eye on social media accounts for dates when these tournaments start.

Yes. All reputable online poker sites allow for gaming on your mobile device. These sites are easily accessible through the web browser or by downloading the mobile app for streamlined gaming on the go.

Today online poker sites are strictly regulated and strive toward having fair and random outcomes for each game. Not even card counting will work at an online poker site. Reputable online poker sites, like the ones we recommend, are fully licensed and audited to uphold industry standards.

The same as poker at your local casino: a standard 52 card deck. However, unlike your local casino poker, the same deck is shuffled between each round of the selected poker variant. This ensures a random outcome each time.

Poker games with a limit, only allow bets up to a certain amount. Whereas No-limit poker games do not have any cap and players can bet as much as they want to, so the pot is never determined and can grow as long as players have chips to add to it.

This is a tournament played where the winning prize is your ticket to qualify for a more prestigious game. In a nutshell, it is a qualifying round for a bigger tournament.