You can now enjoy real money poker games through apps. There are apps for iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones and tablets. You can access cash games, tournaments, fast-fold games and the new lottery sit and go games through poker apps.
With the biggest and best online poker brands all legal in Canada, you have a big choice of poker apps to download. They include sites like PokerStars, partypoker and 888poker. These sites give you a choice of playing for real money — or practicing your skills in play-money games. With bonuses, promotions and freeroll tournaments available through the apps, you can get your poker bankroll off to a flying start.
This page has you covered for getting the best from Canadian poker apps. You will find how they complement the desktop clients below, what kind of games are best for apps, and how to safely download the latest apps for different devices.
Best real money poker apps in Canada
You will find the best poker apps from the biggest poker sites listed below. Each app has a unique mix of games, promotions and software. You will find welcome bonuses available at all the sites below. Check them out for yourself today, and find out which app is best for you:
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How to download Canadian poker apps
There are three things you need to check before you install any poker app. You need to find the best site(s) to play on, to find the best available bonuses at those sites and to make sure you have the latest version of the app with the best security and features.
Checking all these boxes is simple. If you are not familiar with the brands, then our poker site reviews will show you where to find the best cash games and tournaments. Once you have selected a site, you should follow our links to its website using the mobile device you want to install the app on.
This will make sure you get the best available welcome bonus — and the latest version of the app.
You will see a “download” button. Tap this to begin the installation process. This will only take a few minutes. Once the app is opened, you can register, claim your bonuses and check out the different areas of the app. You can make deposits in all poker apps — there is no need to use a desktop to do this separately.
Poker apps include geolocation technology and require location detection to work. Online poker is legal in Canada as long as you are 18 or older. If you go into the US, you will not be able to access real money poker game apps. Local apps are available in selected states there.
Some sites — for example Global Poker — use instant-play browser clients instead of apps. While this does give you access to the games, this is not as stable or reliable as apps that have been created with iOS or Android devices in mind.
Free poker apps vs. real money poker apps
There are two distinct types of poker app.
One includes games like Zynga Poker and PokerUP. These are social poker games, where no real money is at stake. They are entertaining apps, though with everyone playing for fun (and rarely folding), they do not resemble the dynamics of poker when real money is on the line.
Real money poker apps let you play for penny stakes, right up to $100,000+ at a time. In cash games, the chips you bet have a real monetary value. Tournaments regularly see players competing for $1 million+ prize pools.
Many people enjoy real money online poker for entertainment. As you climb the stakes, you will find professional players and “grinders” who make a living playing multiple tables and harvesting a small profit from each one. If you have only ever played poker on social apps, then you should study some basic strategy before trying the real money games.
There are “play-money” areas of poker apps from PokerStars, 888poker and Party Poker. These let you experience their software and different poker formats without risking your money. There are ways to win real cash without any risk, too. You can enjoy no deposit bonuses or enter freeroll tournaments, where you get (small) cash prizes if you make a deep run.
The play money games on real money poker apps make an excellent bridge into the real money format. While still loose and wild, play is of a better standard than the “crazy” all-ins of social poker apps. You can also get used to the different formats — for example, the new pooled “fast fold” games.
List of top Canadian poker apps 2021
When it comes to traffic, PokerStars is the biggest site by a significant margin. While you get the biggest choice of games, there is an important caveat: The best players end up there. So while you will find novices, amateurs and grinders at all the sites, what you will see is that the second tier (in traffic numbers) can be noticeably softer than PokerStars.
Here is what to expect in terms of software, games and bonuses from the three most popular Canadian online poker apps:
- PokerStars: The world’s biggest poker site supports multi-tabling through its apps. There are quick seat options and hand replays available. You can play cash games, tournaments, Zoom poker and Spin and Go tournaments on mobile devices. PokerStars has a separate “PokerStars TV” app to follow its live events from around the world. You can choose from $30 in tokens for a $20+ deposit or take a matched welcome bonus of up to $600.
- partypoker: This site recently released a new version of its poker app, and it now supports multi-tabling (up to four tables). Home of recreational players, you will find the cash, tournaments, fast forward and spins games softer at Party than at the other large sites. New players get $22 in tokens for tournaments and cash games, with a minimum deposit of just $10. You can also choose from a long list of avatars to represent you at the tables.
- 888poker: You get a choice of instant play (browser) mobile poker or apps at 888. The apps are recommended, with a quick seat option, new support for multi-tabling and access to all the game types. You can choose cash games, tournaments, SNAP poker or BLAST poker (lottery sit and goes) at 888. This site offers a no deposit bonus of up to $88, along with a matched welcome bonus up to $600 for new players.
- Global Poker: This site works differently from those covered above. The Global Poker app is open to Canadian (non-Québec) and US players. It uses a sweepstakes model for its games. This means you play with “Sweeps Coins,” which you get free when you buy “Gold Coins.” There are no native apps, though you will be able to enjoy cash games and tournaments via the browser window of your mobile devices.
Most popular poker apps for iPhone and iPad
With a fast, stable and secure operating system, iPhones are the go-to for millions of Canadians. Mobile poker apps are optimized for iOS — with all the major sites offering dedicated downloads.
iPhone (or iPad) poker apps include a lot more than just the basic poker games. You will be able to register, claim your bonuses and manage your account via the app. There is a full cashier, which allows you to deposit, manage your balance and make withdrawals. You will also get access to promotions and the loyalty rewards for each app.
The types of poker and your ability to play multiple tables varies across the app. With tournaments (especially the five-hour-plus ones) less suited to mobile devices, some poker apps focus on cash games, fast fold poker and the different types of sit and go. Sites recommend a minimum of iOS 10 to run their apps.
To make sure that you get the latest version of the app and best available bonus, follow our links using your iPhone or iPad and hit the download button on the poker site. You will find that apps from all the big three poker rooms work seamlessly on your Apple devices. You can find out how the different games work by checking out the play money versions before you play for real money if you wish.
Most popular poker apps for Android
Android powers more smartphones and tablets than any other operating system. Poker apps are available from all the major sites that work with your Android devices.
To get the best available bonus and latest version of the poker apps, you should follow our links to the poker websites via your phone or tablet, then follow the installation instructions.
Each app is unique, though the following areas are in common:
- Registration: You will be able to sign up for an account, choose a screen name and avatar, and manage your preferences under the account page.
- Games: You will find the games listing divided into cash games, fast fold poker, lottery sit and goes, and regular sit and goes. Depending on the site, multi-table tournaments may also be available.
- Cashier: This section lets you deposit and claim bonuses. Canadian players will find a range of deposit options (see below) to make up for any difficulties with credit card payments.
- Rewards/promotions: Loyalty rewards and promotional offers are managed through the app.
- Other forms of gambling: Some apps let you access casino games and sports betting from within their app; others have links to download separate apps.
All recent Android phones will work with the poker apps. If you have an older phone, then you might need to upgrade to get the best experience. The sites recommend Android 5 or better.
Choice of real money games on Canadian poker apps
Online poker is dominated by No Limit Texas Hold ’em. You can enjoy this game in several formats via your poker app. The only other game that sees a wide choice of cash games and tournaments is Pot Limit Omaha. If you prefer more traditional poker formats, you will find a small selection of stud poker and draw poker at the bigger sites.
Here are the main game formats you can enjoy on poker apps:
- Cash games: With chips in front of you having real money value, this is the original form of poker. You can play cash games with penny stakes (1 cent/2 cent blinds) on poker apps all the way to the “nosebleed” stakes where you will find high-rollers and celebrities. Cash games are two-, six- or nine-handed. Some apps offer deep stacked cash games, where skilled players have a bigger edge.
- Fast fold poker: This format is ideal for iPhones and Android smartphones. You get a lot more hands per hour without needing to navigate multiple tables. Players sit in groups (pools) at their buy-in level. As soon as you fold, you start a new hand with others from your pool. Fast fold poker is up to four times as fast as regular cash games.
- Lottery sit and gos: This newer format is ideal for a quick poker session on your mobile device. The games are three-handed, super turbo and in tournament format. The prize pool, which can be up to 10,000x your buy-in, is only revealed after the games begin.
- Sit and go tournaments: The most common sit and go is one nine-handed table, with three players getting prize money. These games are short enough to work well via poker apps. Turbo, knockout and 50-50 variations are available.
- Multi-table tournaments: Fans of larger field tournaments prefer desktops over apps. These games give you a shot at big money from a small buy-in. Online tournaments with huge prize pools run on Sundays. Look out for events such as the WCOOP, which can be accessed via apps.
Are poker apps safe and fair?
Apps from the major poker sites are safe. They use the latest 128-bit SSL encryption. You can deposit securely — with the license terms of all European gambling jurisdictions ensuring that player balances and operating costs are separated by the operators.
The shuffle of cards is handled by RNG (random number generator) software. All the poker sites have their shuffle audited regularly. Look for links to certification from eCOGRA or Gaming Laboratories International in the footer of the website.
There have now been billions of hands of real money online poker dealt. Zero evidence can back up any claims that the deal is unfair. Tracking services and audits show that online poker apps give you a completely fair deal.
Banking on Canadian poker apps
All apps from major poker sites in Canada have full cashier functionality. This means you can deposit, withdraw and claim your bonuses without needing to separately access a desktop poker client.
Real money poker is legal in Canada, though the banks are not gambling friendly. This means that credit and debit card deposits will often get declined. If this happens to you, then there are plenty of alternative payment options to fund your poker account.
Here are the key deposit methods listed on Canadian poker apps:
- Credit/debit cards: Visa and Mastercard are universally accepted (though many banks decline these payments), Amex and Discover are also available at some sites.
- Interac: You can make a transfer using Interac from most Canadian banks.
- iDebit: This electronic wallet account gives you a secure way to pay merchants online.
- InstaDebit: You can use this payment gateway to make transfers directly to your bank.
- E-check: Writing an electronic version of a paper check is not the quickest deposit option, though it will get your money on board.
When you make your first withdrawal, you will need to supply the poker site with ID verification. This helps keep real money poker clean — protecting players as well as the sites. Most sites will also insist you withdraw the same way you deposited, as long as your payment method supports this. You can withdraw directly through the “cashier” section of the poker app.