Different Types of Games at Canadian Poker Sites
Before you ante up to play on the web, you should know that Canadian poker sites offer many different variations of the game. There's Texas Hold'em, of course, and classic variations like Stud and Omaha, to name a few. You've also got your choice of No Limit, Limit, and Pot Limit. Before you double click on a table or tournament, make sure you know what you're getting into. Many of our picks for the best Canadian poker sites will offer you quick tutorials so you know what type of game you're playing before you shuffle up and deal.
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Real Money Poker in a Nutshell
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Poker has been around for years and is undoubtedly one of the most popular online casino card games in Canada. Today, there are multiple variations of poker available to play both online and offline, each with their own unique twist to the classic game rules. But the essence of poker remains the same. To form the best 5-card combination from those you hold in your hand, and those revealed in the flop.
The game is played with a 52-card deck with the face cards (King, Queen, Jack) being high and the numerical cards being low. The Ace is unique in that it can be high or low, depending on the table. Although, it's commonly played as a high card.
Playing cards are divided into four suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades) and the game begins with players dealt an initial hand by the dealer. After which rounds of betting commence and the flop cards are revealed.
Winning card combinations in poker are ranked in a hierarchy. So even if you think you have a strong hand, there may still be another player at the table whose combination of cards trumps yours. Which is precisely why judgement is such an important part of poker. As it's possible your opponent might be bluffing about the strength of their hand to force players to lose their nerve and fold. So it's up to you to read your fellow players correctly and know when to call, raise and fold to minimize your losses.
Play Against Other Canadian Poker Players
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When you play at an online casino in Canada, you're facing off against the house. Whether your bag is blackjack, roulette, or online slots, your only goal is to win money straight out of the casino's pockets. That's true if you're playing for free. And that's true if you're playing for real cash.
But poker isn't like other forms of online gambling. You can't actually win money from the house. The Canadian poker site is simply the host. You're not trying to win their money. Instead, you're testing your skill by trying to win money off other poker players. When you sit down to play online poker at Canadian site, you're playing with other real players from Canada. Just like you, they've made a deposit and brought a giant stack of chips to the cash tables, or they've paid a fee to enter a tournament.
How Do Online Poker Sites Make Money?
So how do online poker sites in Canada make money if you're not actually playing cards against them? It's simple. When you sit down to enter a poker tournament, the cost is broken down into two parts - the tournament entry cost and the fee. For example, a C$55 tournament might be listed as C$50+5. The C$50 goes into the prize pool and the C$5 goes to the Canadian poker room as a fee for hosting the tournament.
Sit down at cash tables or ring games at online poker Canada sites and the casino will take a cut of every pot called the "rake". It's standard practice at both land-based Canadian casino and the top online poker sites for desktop or mobile.
Cash Games or Tournaments?
Canadian poker rooms offer a wide variety of poker games at every stake level.
Tournaments work differently. Instead of bringing cash to the online poker tables and getting a chip stack equivalent, you buy in to the tournament for a set price. Every player pays the same entry fee, and each player receives an identical stack of chips. The last man standing wins the tournament, but there are usually prizes for the next few spots, depending on how many entrants the tournament had. In fact, the bigger the tournament, the more players get paid - potentially, dozens and dozens of players can walk away with cash from the CA poker rooms offering tournaments.
You should also know that all Canadian casinos online offer cash games (sometimes called 'ring games') and tournaments. In cash games, you bring as much cash as you want to the table, usually up to a healthy maximum. You're free to come and go as you please and the game runs continuously, so there's never an end. If you feel like you've won enough, you can just walk away. When it comes to cash games at poker sites, Canada is always well represented at the tables.
Both cash games and tournaments offer online poker players entertainment and the chance to pocket some serious cash. But, when it comes to the crunch, which one suits your poker playing style more?
Play takes place around a single table
Played across multiple tables simultaneously
Players can exchange cash for chips at a value they feel comfortable with
There is a set buy-in amount that all tournament players must meet
You can walk away from a cash game at any point
A tournament ends only when one single player is crowned the overall winner
Blind values stay the same for each consecutive hand
Blind values increase incrementally over a set time period (e.g. every 15 minutes)
If you lose all your chips in a cash game you can buy in again and re-join the action
If you lose all your chips in a tournament then you're out of the tournament
Mobile Poker Rooms & Apps
The beauty about being a Canadian poker fan in 2018 is the convenience of being able to indulge in your favorite real money game from absolutely anywhere in Canada. As part of our reviews process we also test out an online casino's mobile compatibility. Making sure poker isn't only available to play on the latest smartphone and tablet devices. But also that the games run smoothly without dropping out mid-way through a hand.
Because we know Canadians are discerning in their choice of mobile handset we don't just focus our mobile reviews on Apple devices. As well as playing on iPads and iPhones we also test the casinos we rate on other popular tablets and smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy, BlackBerry, Window's Phone, and the Android IOS. Making sure that the experience of playing mobile poker on the move in Canada is equal across every platform.
Always play at a secure, reliable, and licensed online poker site we've recommended
Pick a betting limit that's comfortable for you and never bet beyond your means
If you're new to online poker freerolls are a great way to gain experience
Read up on poker strategy, use one of our guides, and invest in some poker books
Perfect your judgement; listen to your gut and don't feel you have to play every hand
Take time to analyze your play and that of your opponents - it's the only way to improve your game
Familiarize yourself with poker pot odds - an online odds calculator can help with this
When you've nailed basic poker strategy move on to learning how to multi-table
Never forget that poker is about the long game and a big win might be just around the corner
Study Sit'n'Go strategy and get to know the most common poker systems players today use
We Know the Best Online Poker Sites in Canada
If you've heard rumblings about the online poker laws changing, don't worry. That's the situation further south in the USA. Canada looks at online gambling a lot differently. It's easy to find a poker room friendly to Canuck players. In fact, it's too easy. Dozens of Canadian poker websites are willing to take your money. But not all of them are willing to give it back when you score a big win. But don't worry. We've got your back. When you choose legit poker sites in Canada that we recommend, you don't have to worry about playing somewhere sketchy.
OnlineGambling.ca - The Best Canadian Casinos Online
Looking to discover the best Internet card games online in Canada? With OnlineGambling.ca you can count on our Canadian casino recommendations 100%. Not only does our team test Canadian online poker sites to find the best real money action, including big names like Full Tilt, PokerStars, 888, PartyPoker and bet365. We also take time to thoroughly investigate a casino's security, customer service, and banking methods. Ensuing our top sites are ones it's safe to place your chips at.
This process also helps us identify those poker sites Canadian players should steer clear of. We're proud that year on year our expert opinions are valued across Canada, and our poker room recommendations help thousands of Canadian online poker players like you enjoy a better experience gambling for real money online. So read our comparisons, scan our site ratings, and within minutes you'll know exactly where to go - and which casino sites to avoid at all costs.
When it comes to online poker we've only just scratched the surface here. So if we've peaked your interest in playing online poker for real money in Canada, here are some helpful resources you can use to beef up your knowledge even more.
bicyclecards.com is a great place to learn basic poker strategy and discover the different types of online poker available in 2018.
Alternatively this site also explains the basic rules of poker in a simple step-by-step guide that's easy for new players in particular to understand.
This Wikipedia entry offers a detailed explanation of income tax rules in Canada. Helpful for existing and prospective online players to familiarise themselves with.
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Online Poker FAQ
Where can I play for real money?
Although you can play some poker variants against the dealer in online casinos, Canadian players will usually be looking to sign up with a dedicated online poker site for the largest range of games, best bonuses and most players to pit their skills against.
Sign up with any dedicated poker site and, once you've downloaded their online poker client, claimed your welcome bonus and made your first deposit you'll be presented with a huge list of games you can join, at any time of day or night.
Which game is the most profitable?
Many players from Canada, and all over the world, begin their poker career playing Texas Hold 'Em. With many inexperienced players around, you can make some real money playing the game against players who have only just started. If you're also a poker newbie, a low stakes Hold 'Em game is a good place to practice your skills.
Omaha can also be very profitable in that you can figure out a great deal of information about how good other players' hands are based on the face-up cards. Until you've developed your skills, we recommend that you avoid Omaha so you don't get taken for a ride.
What game is the most popular?
We'd have to say Texas Hold 'Em. This is the case because the game is so prominent in popular culture, featuring in countless movies and television shows, as well as being the game of choice in many high profile poker tournaments.
However, five-card draw is also a very popular variation. One of the simplest variations of poker, it's another game that many beginners choose to start with. Some players enjoy the game so much that they stick with it throughout their poker playing days, even if they add other variants into the mix too.
Can I play with friends?
Yes and no. Arranging to meet friends at a certain table on an online poker site is frowned upon because it encourages collusion. Talk to your friend about your hand or what you're planning to bet while you're playing, and that's cheating. If you're not talking to your friend, there's not really much point in being at the same table as them.
Many poker sites in Canada offer what are known as 'home games'. These are private tables you can play with your friends at and schedule games or tournaments, effectively creating your own poker club. If you're hoping to recreate poker night with your buddies, this is definitely your best bet.
Can I play for free?
Yes, all of the top online poker sites offer a 'play for free' option by providing players with practice chips. To mimic the real money experience, new practice accounts are credited with a certain number of chips and you can only buy in to games that match up with your bankroll - you'll have to win more if you want to make it into practice games with more experienced players.
Some sites also offer high stakes practice poker games and allow players to buy chip bundles in order to partake. Be aware that, even if you've paid real money for a large bundle of practice chips, they have no value outside of the site. We wouldn't want you to be disappointed if you tried to cash them all in!
Are online poker sites safe?
Provided you're playing at a legitimate Canadian site, which is all we'll ever direct you to, you're perfectly safe playing online poker. Sites closely monitor games to check for collusion or cheating and won't hesitate to ban players who try to create multiple accounts in order to artificially build up pots and make the game easier for themselves.
The best sites use bank grade security technology to make sure that your personal information and payment details are encrypted and remain under lock and key, making online poker sites as safe as or even safer than checking out at any online store.