Online Poker for Real Money in Canada
There’s no game quite like online poker. So many ways to win, so many approaches, and so many tricks you can pull off. The excitement is always there and there’s no denying it.
However, the game reaches its full potential when there are financial incentives involved.
Winning is nice, but what about winning and getting a nice payday out of it? Now that’s what we call time well spent.
We reckon that you’re probably thinking ‘Where do I sign up?’, so we prepared this short guide just for that specific purpose.
In the next few sections, you’ll find out what the best real money poker sites are, how to find them, and how to be sure you’re putting yourself in the best position to win.
Top Real Money Poker Sites
You can have the largest bankroll possible and all the skills in the world, but that still isn’t enough to have a 10/10 experience while playing poker. The missing ingredient that people often forget is a good real money poker site.
There’s a difference between playing on a smooth platform and having to endure bugs, disconnections, and whatnot.
To shield yourself from that stress, you need a site that fits your preferences. And we might be able to give you a hand with that.
Below is a list of the best real money poker sites in the US. We tested more than thirty different ones and narrowed them down to make a proper top list.
All of them are safe and legal, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about is the gameplay. Pick a poker site and see if it fits you!
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❓ How Online Poker Has Evolved Over The Past Decade
Up until the early 2010s, online poker was mostly about grinding it out for hours, days, or even months before you get the hang of it. Also, the market was mostly unregulated, so you never knew if you wouldn’t end up rich or defrauded. But things have changed.
Nowadays, online poker aficionados from all over the world are willing to share their tips, experiences, and help one another. Technologically, improvements related to software also made things much easier.
You have programs such as Holdem Manager, which allow you to turn poker into a fine science. With percentages, graphs, predictions, and breakdowns, you don’t have to rely solely on your intuition.
Still, knowing how to ‘sniff out’ how a hand will turn out is useful, but now there are numbers to back your decisions up. You can find out exactly what you did wrong, why did it happen, and how to prevent such this from happening ever again.
Overall, online poker is more accessible than it ever was. On the other hand, it’s also much more competitive because anyone can become good without any Herculean efforts.
Top 5 Tips Before You Sit Down With Real Money
If you’re playing free online poker, you can fool around, try new strategies, and just go ballistic when you think a hand might go your way.
However, everything changes when real money is involved. There’s no more messing around and you have to think about every money you make. This does sound hard, but don’t worry – everyone was a beginner once. Even Chris Moneymaker!
To help you get started on the right foot, we’ve prepared a set of five simple tips. While they seem like obvious things, they work wonders when applied in unison. Try them out!
#1 Look at Training Videos - They Are Often Free!
Yup, that’s one of the wonders of online poker. Players record themselves practicing all the time, and many of them even make long videos filled with useful instructions. They’re readily accessible and almost always free, so you can just sit back, relax, and watch how the pros do it.
Write down things that are unclear, do research, and try to apply those same tricks at small stakes tables. You won’t lose any money and you’ll see how those tactics work against other players.
#2 Start Small and Move Up Gradually
There are a million strategies and approaches one can utilize in poker. You can master them all by practicing and using the right software. Still, nobody began as a pro. Making mistakes and committing blunders is completely normal.
To make those mistakes and blunders painless, play at small-time tables. That way, if you lose a few bucks, it will end up being a small price for the ability to learn a valuable lesson.
Once you notice you’re winning more, and that players find it hard to match you, move up a notch. Do that every time you feel like you’ve outgrown a site or a table.
#3 Take Notes
The human brain isn’t a supercomputer. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also the truth. That means you can’t memorize everything you see while playing at real money poker sites. It’s natural, no need to beat yourself up about it.
What you can do, however, take notes about different strategies and approaches to different situations. That way, you can read up on those notes whenever you want, refresh your memory, and help every new bit of knowledge settle down in your brain with relative ease.
#4 Play at Sites With Weaker Opponents
We can’t stress this enough! Too often do we see rookies think they’re big shots, followed by them playing at pro-infested poker sites. You might win a hand or two, but you’ll ultimately get obliterated by people who have seen every possible outcome a million times more than you did.
Experience matters in poker, especially if you want to make a profit. Therefore, the best way to practice and still win is to play at sites that are a part of a casino or a sportsbook. They mostly contain beginners, so you won’t get destroyed or outspent.
#5 Don't Play More Tables Than You Can Handle
Since you’re playing over the internet, there’s nothing stopping you from sitting at multiple tables at once. This can be very enticing, as you can win more money than you usually would.
Still, this is a risky endeavor. If you overestimate your concentration and attention, you will end up losing a lot because it’s impossible to focus on too many hands and situations at once.
Once you become relatively adept, start with two tables and only move up once you feel comfortable. Take your time, there’s no need to hurry.
Additional Questions To Ask About
Have you found a real money poker site that you like but you’re unsure if it’s any good? Of course, we recommend checking out our top list above for the best choices, but you can still find gems elsewhere.
If you encounter an unknown site, just ask yourself these questions, and the truth will be crystal clear:
Is The Poker Site Legitimate?
The best way to determine the level (or lack thereof) of a site’s legitimacy is to see what other people think. Check out review sites and forums, as well as social media platforms.
Did anyone have a bad experience? Did they get their money? Was the site ever involved in a data leak? Other poker players will gladly let you in on any issues, as it’s in everyone’s interest for illegitimate sites to just go away.
How Fast Do They Pay Withdrawals?
This is perhaps the most important quality a real money poker site can have. If you are able to win a large amount of money, then you should also be able to claim those winnings as soon as possible.
The best sites process payments FAST and only accept stable and secure payment methods. Again, online reviews are your friend here.
Are Player Funds Segregated?
Online poker sites handle a lot of money on a daily basis. And by a lot, we mean amounts that you probably can’t even fathom. Trouble arises when those sites mix your money with their own funds, all in the same accounts.
Not only is this unethical, but it’s also dangerous. If a hacker breaches the site and finds both your and the site’s money in the same account, they’ll probably laugh for 10 minutes straight before stealing every last cent.
Operational funds and players’ money should always be help separately and you should stay away from sites that refuse to do so.
Also, some jurisdictions require operators to have financial reserves equal to the amount of money in all accounts on the website. This is a great way of having insurance, in case something goes wrong.
Where Is The Site Licensed?
Real money poker sites don’t have to be licensed in the US, per se. However, they definitely need a license from a reputable gambling regulatory body.
There are offshore territories that are known for their strict rules and requirements, such as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Costa Rica also takes no prisoners, so you can be certain that you’re in good hands.
If a poker site has a license from a country known for its lax relationship towards regulations and laws, avoid them by any means necessary. Safety first.