Online Poker Rooms for Canadians

Canada poker sites can be found in abundance, and the North American nation is consistently regarded as one of the best locations for online players. While other countries fret about the evils of gambling and spend an inordinate amount of time debating the issue, Canada chooses to devote their energy to more important topics such as healthcare and worker’s rights. In short, they’re about as close as you can get to a virtual gamer’s paradise.

In the following article, we’ll look at the legality of Internet poker in Canada, as well as some of the leading card rooms available to residents. While the information below won’t turn you into the next Daniel Negreanu, it should at least provide you with a decent idea of the options available to Canadian poker enthusiasts.

The Legality of Online Poker in Canada

The federal law in Canada allows each province to operate their own online poker rooms and casinos, if they so desire. The main stipulation is that residents of neighboring provinces aren’t allowed to participate. This has resulted in virtual casinos being created for citizens of Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia, while online lotteries and sports betting can be enjoyed throughout the country.

As for offshore companies offering poker, the laws are less clear. Fortunately, there haven’t been any arrests or prosecutions regarding this matter, and hundreds of card rooms and casinos accept Canadian players. As long as this trend continues, residents of the Great White North can enjoy poker without fear of legal reprisal.

Different Playing Styles

Players in the United States tend to play the “classic’ version of poker, which means that a great deal of the hand is resolved prior to the flop. This style is frequently employed by professionals, and you’re likely to see it on display in most major tournaments.

The European style is quite different, with players preferring to see the flop before battling it out with their opponents. While not the most conventional form of play, it can result in a great amount of excitement for spectators, as well as huge pots for the participants.

So which style are you more likely to find at Canadian poker rooms? Actually, the answer lies somewhere between the two options. Since Canada and the United States are neighbors, the American style of play is highly influential. Meanwhile, Canadian players are readily accepted at European poker rooms, and many adapt their style to match the competition found at these sites.

Sites Accepting Canadian Poker Players

Canadian poker sites are easy to find, as residents have access to virtual card rooms catering to both American and European players. While the following list is far from complete, it’s meant to provide readers with a basic sampling of what’s available.

  • PokerStars – The biggest poker room on the Internet, PokerStars has a wide range of games running 24/7.
  • 888Poker – The second biggest online poker room, 888 is well-known for cash games and casual players.
  • Full Tilt – Despite legal disputes and run-ins with the U.S. government, this poker room remains a major player in the industry.
  • Iron Poker – Part of the iPoker Network, this site offers unlimited rakeback and more than 20 ways to deposit funds into your account.
  • William Hill – Traded on the London Stock Exchange, this British bookmaker also offers online customers a chance to wager on poker and casino games.

Relocation of U.S. Players

On April 15th, 2011, the U.S. government started cracking down on the Internet gaming industry. In addition to issuing indictments against a number of executives from leading sites, they also made it difficult to deposit or withdraw money for the purpose of offshore gambling.

This led to an interesting phenomenon involving American poker players, and it revolved around a website called Poker Refugees. For a fee of $1,200, the site’s owner would help professional online card players from the United States relocate to Canada to continue their trade.

Most of the participating grinders moved to Windsor, while high rollers often resettled in Montreal, Whistler, Toronto, or Vancouver. Now that states such as Las Vegas and New Jersey have decided to offer licensed online gambling, there’s a good chance that some of these expatriates may return to their country of birth. Still, it’s interesting to note that Canada was willing to fill the void following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Final Verdict

Canadian residents have no idea how fortunate they are. While other nations heap gaming restrictions on their citizens, Canada poker sites are available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection.

Thanks to the diversity of options, customers can access virtual card rooms that appeal to both the European and North American markets. This allows them to choose from among the best bonus and rakeback options, as well as compete with players who utilize a wide range of strategies.

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