Canada Online Poker FAQ

Over the years our experts have been asked 100s of questions by our visitors. From banking to bonuses, some questions crop up time and again; so, we decided to compile an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Below, you can see at a glance the answers to your most common queries. If you've got anything else you'd like to ask, do get in touch!

Is Online Poker Legal In Canada?

Internet gaming laws are still a little grey in Canada. While it's not explicitly illegal to play poker on the web, it's not explicitly legal either. Some major overseas sites have withdrawn from the Canadian market because of this ambiguity. But as of June 2017, Canadians are still free to set up real-money poker accounts online.

Do The Same Laws Apply Throughout Canada?

Some provinces like BC and Quebec run their own legal gaming sites, in terms of prohibiting online poker, Canada is pretty standard when it comes to the legality of Internet poker. That is, no one has ever been prosecuted for playing Texas Hold'em on the net in Canada.

How Do We Review The Different Poker Sites?

At OnlinePoker.ca we run all the poker sites online through a range of tests to see if they pass our strict quality control tests. We time cashouts and quiz customer support teams, check for player traffic at all hours, and gauge whether the welcome bonuses are worth going for.

How Does Playing Online Compare To Playing Live?

The biggest difference of online poker compared to live is the convenience factor. Online you can register for a tournament or open a cash game table in minutes; you can even multi-table to maximize your profits. Online, you can also avoid opponents detecting physical tells as you make the most out of the anonymity of Internet games.

Are My Chances Of Winning The Same?

Yes. As poker is game of skill (mostly) you are playing other players rather than the house or a Random Number Generator. The only thing that changes online is that the frequency of cards you will be dealt over a time period is much greater online compared to a brick 'n' mortar casino. That can mean greater swings (variance) as you simply play more hands. It can also mean you win more, however.

Do The Same Rules Apply?

Generally, yes, although different casinos will operate different rake systems. That's the fee, or cut, that the casino or online cardroom takes per tournament or pot in a cash game.

How Can You Tell When Someone Is Bluffing Online?

Although you can't see an opponent's face online, there are sometimes telltale signs that they are bluffing. Look for how long a player takes to make a decision. Their 'time bank' will run down when they're deciding what to do. If it does, and they make a large raise over the top of your bet, it could be a sign they are weighing up a big bluff. Online tells are as subtle as live ones, but with practise you can work the basic ones out.

Can I Trust Online Poker Sites?

The leading online poker rooms have SSL security in place so that your funds are kept safe, and are regularly audited so that the shuffling of the cards is always kept random.

Collusion can, and does, exist online, but it is usually quickly spotted and investigated by poker sites. If you feel that players at the table are cheating, report the incident immediately to Customer Support.

You can check out our list of blacklisted poker sites to find thes ones to avoid.

What Happens When I Win Online?

If you cash in a tournament, or win money in a cash game and leave the table, your winnings will be credited to your account after you leave (or the tournament finishes). You are then free to withdraw winnings to your bank account or e-Wallet.

Where Is The Best Online Poker For Beginners?

The best places for beginners are usually where the softest games are, and where sites offer daily or weekly freerolls. These tournaments are free to enter and often feature hundreds of dollars in free prize money given away by the site. For cash game players, look to sites with micro-stakes games - usually around the $0.01/$0.02 blind levels. These will attract beginners and casual players.

What Poker Game Should I Learn And Play?

No Limit Texas Hold'em is the most popular game online and attracts lots of beginners and fish (soft players). As such, you will find the most games online in this format.

What Is The Easiest Poker Variant?

The easiest game to learn is No Limit Texas Hold'em. The basics can be learned in a few minutes, but to become proficient at the game takes years. However, with a few basic skills, casual players can earn a steady income at the game in a wide range of formats. At good online poker sites for Canadians, you will find cash games, tournaments, satellites and Sit 'n' Gos in the NL Hold'em format.

Can I Play And Practise Online For Free?

Yes. That's the beauty of Internet poker rooms. Good sites will have lots of play-money tables where you can hone your skills and try out bluffs. You won't win real cash, but most top rooms have regular freerolls which give away lots of money, absolutely free.

What Makes A Poker Site 'Easy'?

If a room has plenty of low-stakes cash games or low buyin tournaments, this will attract lots of soft players, or fish. As long as the site has lots of these casual players there will always be a healthy 'pool' of fish to feed from. It's sometimes good to play at betting sites that have a sports betting or casino wing. These gamblers will sometimes transfer their funds over to the poker room 'to try the games out'. That's where you can take advantage and make some easy cash.

How Will I Know If I Am Ready To Play For Real Money?

If you're making the right decisions at the play-money tables consistently, and forcing players out of pots with your bluffs, you're probably ready to attempt the real-cash tables. Play-money players tend to play more loosely, as they're not risking their own cash, but it's still possible to force crazy players off pots.

What Is The Best Strategy For Playing Online?

For solid grinders, a strong 'ABC' game is good for ensuring long-term profits. Learn to multi-table (3 or 4 cash games at once, or 3-4 Sit n' Gos plus a tournament running simultaneously) and maximize your profits. If you're serious about cash games, consider investing in a HUD (Heads-Up Display) which sits 'on top' of your game screen and displays information based on your opponents' moves.

Can I Avoid Playing Against Professional Players Online?

Yes, as long as you stick to the very low-stakes games. 'Professional' players needn't necessarily be good players; they could well be 'grinders' who ply their trade at the medium-stakes tables and make a regular wage. If you want to avoid these kinds of players and make modest sums, stick to cash games below $0.25/$0.50 and Sit n Gos or tournaments below buy-ins of $40 or so.

What Is a Freeroll?

A freeroll is a free-to-enter tournament that carries prize money supplied by the poker site. You may be playing for prizes like gadgets or tournament tokens, or a few bucks of real money.

What Bonus Should I Choose?

Welcome bonuses give new customers the chance to win free cash, just for playing poker at a room. While hundreds of dollars free sounds good, you need to check the site's Terms & Conditions to see how many player points your earn for different games. You also need to make sure that the deadline is realistic so you can trigger the bonus in good time.

How Do I Claim My Poker Bonus?

Every time you play a tournament, SNG or cash game for real money you will earn Player Points. If you earn enough points in a month you will activate the bonus. Promotions differ slightly from site to site but the aim is the same: play as much as possible to earn free cash!

What Is Stopping Me Claiming The Welcome Bonus On Every Site?

Poker sites generally operate as standalone rooms or as part of larger networks which share player pools. However, welcome bonuses are usually restricted to play at individual rooms.

I'm Already Experienced At Poker. Where Should I Start Online?

If you have been playing poker for a while, it's good to hunt out established sites that have steady supplies of fish to take out. The bigger sites will also offer bigger guaranteed prize tournaments and satellites into major live events. For cash game players, head to rooms that have cash tables that are full at all times of the day. This means you can guarantee longer-term profits, earn lots of 'rakeback' and trigger those bonuses.

Can I Play Poker On My Mobile Or Tablet?

Yes. More mobile poker sites are springing up month by month. The tables are specially tailored to fit your touchscreen, and you will find dedicated apps for download or play via your web browser at special mobile instant-play sites.

Can I Play Other Games With The Same Account?

Some online sites operate casinos and sportsbooks alongside their poker rooms. This means you can easily transfer funds to and from your poker account to a casino account for roulette play, or to a sportsbook account to bet on NHL.

Which Deposit Method Should I Use?

There are many banking options when playing poker online. With so many methods to choose from, you should aim to pick ones that are safe, have proven security so that your transactions are safe, and carry the lowest fees when you cash out to your bank.

Which Deposit Method Is The Safest?

Established global payment methods like VISA and MasterCard are great options for safe banking, as they carry the latest encrypted SSL security on every single transaction. e-Wallets like NETELLER and PayPal, are - if available - great options for seamless, anonymous online payments.

Where Can I Get Help If I Have A Gambling Problem?

If you think your poker playing is getting out of control, and you are struggling financially with losses, there are lots of resources in Canada from which to get help. The Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline (1.888.230.3505) is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Gamblers Anonymous runs helpful phonelines across the country, and there are organizations in BC, Ontario and Alberta which can help.

ProblemGambling.ca