Must-know tips on how to win at online poker

You’ve installed the  on your desktop or mobile, created an account, transferred some funds, and you’re ready to start playing online poker in Canada for real money. 

new casino in louisville, ky

But before you jump into a cash game or tournament, we recommend reading these six simple tips that can help improve your chances of winning. These aren’t complex strategies only learned by grinding away in low-stakes games for hundreds of hours. You can put them all into practice today to become a better player tomorrow -- Guaranteed!

Tip #1: Start Playing at The Lowest Levels

No matter if you , studied strategy books, or are an experienced player migrating from live to online, you should always start playing at the lowest levels of any game or stake to begin with. Even if you feel you’re good enough to sit down at a NL25 or $1/$2 table straight away, it’s still not advisable. 

For example, NL2 (that’s 2 cents/4 cent) is the lowest level possible on PokerStars, but it’s still fast, loose and profitable if you know how to exploit the situation of being up against considerably weaker opponents than you'll find at higher stakes. 

The reason why is because online poker can be faster and looser than you may be used to. Plus there’s plenty of less experienced players who approach the game differently than what you might be accustomed to. So use the lower levels as a way to adjust and take advantage while facing weaker opposition. Once you have a bankroll and confidence to move up, do so. But never skip levels!

Ways to Use Promo Codes at Online Casinos

Tip #2: Take Advantage of Poker Rewards and Bonuses

Online poker offers many benefits compared to live poker, and one of them is access to rewards, bonuses, and VIP programs. 

Internet sites need customers to play on their virtual tables so they entice new players with bonuses such as matching your first deposit, and then keep players loyal with loyalty points, VIP programs, and special events just for members. 

PokerStars has arguably the best program for rewarding loyal players. Not only does the site offer the industry-leading , which gives back a percentage of your rake every month, but there are also occasional tickets and bonuses for playing in special tournaments. 

Rewards and bonuses give you extra value for playing, whether its cash, tickets to satellites, or special events. So make sure to sign up to the best online poker sites in your region and take advantage of what’s available!

Tip #3: Track Your Results

It’s very easy when playing online poker in Canada to get lost in a sea of games and not really know where you stand as a player or which games could potentially be most profitable for you. That’s where tracking your results can come in handy to help you focus on more favorable games, or even determine which variation you’re best at. 

Most regulated online poker sites in the US and Canada require players to have their identity verified (a simple process), which means tracking websites are not allowed. However over the years many companies found ways to track the data from PokerStars (the world’s largest site and the one regulated in Canada and most of the USA) without violating any rules. 

Programs such as PokerTrackr allow players to not only track their results but also link their PokerStars account to improve their Star Code (see more about this in our Stars Reward program section above). Meanwhile, tools such as HM3 allow players to analyze and review their hands to improve weaknesses in their game. 

Tips on How to Approach and Win Live Poker Tournaments in 2023

You don’t need to start tracking your results right away, but once you hit a plateau in your learning curve it’s wise to consider installing software like this to see exactly where you stand and where improvements can be made. 

Tip #4: Practice With Free or Low-Cost Games

A great benefit to playing online is access to free or very cheap games - even in Canada where most real-money games require you to verify your address and creditally. For instance at PokerStars, there are tons of play-money games you can play without even creating an account. And if you want to play for real money there are tiny games like 2c/4c blinds No-Limit Hold’em that cost just four cents to play! 

Obviously the risk factor is low when there's almost nothing on the line, but the advantage to this is being able to try out a new variation, practice a new strategy or simply learn the rules and flow of the game before feeling pressured at higher stakes. 

In fact we highly recommend trying out our free open-table games and small buy-in tournaments to experience what it’s like playing on the world’s biggest online poker stage before you feel ready to play for real. It’s also a great opportunity to try out some of the thousands of real-money games available once you feel comfortable and ready to take the next step - all inside a safe, regulated playing environment. 

of the Best Casino Games in Terms of Odds (By House Edge)

Tip #5: Adjust for Uploading and Downloading

This might be a bit confusing because it only applies to online poker but it’s important to note that when playing over WiFi or other non-direct connections there will be added latency (delay) when playing online poker. And depending on what type of connection you have, you might also experience times of uploading (sending information) and downloading (receiving information) speed. 

When everything is running smooth and fast there’s little difference between live and online poker, except for the fact you’re not seeing faces across a felt table. But during peak hours at popular sites, or if you’re on a weaker WiFi connection, you might notice some lag or delay in the action. Sometimes you might even experience times of uploading (sending info) and downloading (receiving info.) which can slow the action and cause you to miss out on hand. 

So what do you do? Well online poker cards never see their flops (instantly receive them), so communicate to others at the table if you start experiencing weak internet conditions. They will wait for you. Meangingfully double-tingling check raises also takes longer on the internet so consider raising sooner (after the flop) to avoid missing out on a hand.

Great US Sites That Offer Free No-Limit Holdem Poker

Tip #6: Don’t Install Third Party Software

There’s a lot of third party software available for online poker including trackers, training software, odds calculators and more. Some are clearly against the terms and conditions of most poker sites and will get you banned if caught. Others seem to be OK since many pros and huge volume grinders appear to use them. 

Problem is by installing third party software - apart from the fact you’re breaking the rules and could be stealing if you’re using hand histories - is that you’re getting access to information the house doesn’t provide you. That might seem cool at first but remember online poker rooms are the ones providing you with games, so if they catch you doing something naughty you’ll get banned. Not to mention the fairness factor of sitting at the same table as someone who has access to information you don’t. 

Our recommendation is to avoid third party software unless a site specifically provides it (like PokerCavUTools on PokerStella or the  on partypoker). If you’re struggling with your game or looking to improve, read poker books and watch videos or consult with forums with like minded players. 

Start Playing Poker Now!

18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply

How Do I Learn More About Online Poker?

We’re glad you asked! PokerListings offers dozens of pages filled with online poker strategy tips to help you master the basics and advance your skills. Here are few great places to get started:

  • Beginner Strategy - Our comprehensive guide to the basics of winning poker
  • Texas Holdem Rules - A quick refresher course on the most popular poker variation
  • 101 Basic Poker Strategies - A plethora of solid tips for beginners and intermediates
  • Poker Odds - An overview of the maths involved in holding cards
  • Poker Hand Rankings - A list of all winning hands in standard poker

And don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily strategy tips and advice from some of the world's top pros! Good luck at the tables!

ways you're playing slot machines wrong - and how to correct it

What Are the Most Popular Poker Variations?

Great question! Every online poker site will offer Texas Hold’emOmaha and 7-Card Stud in some format. From there here’s a breakdown of the most popular poker variations you’re likely to find:

  • No-Limit Hold’em: By far the most popular form of both online and live poker. See  for a basic rundown of the game.

  • Pot-Limit Omaha: Seen as the “fair” game of poker because a strong starting hand is not as important as in Hold’em. See  to learn the basic rules and strategy tips.

    Top-Rated New Online Casinos in the UK (2023)
  • 7-Card Stud: A traditional game that is making a comeback online thanks to its simplicity and lack of complexity compared to Pot-Limit Omaha. Check out  for the basic rules.

  • Fast Fold Poker: Also known as Cash Game or Blitz Poker. This is Hold’em or Omaha without any waiting for good hands or watching others fight over aces. When you fold a hand you’re instantly whisked to another table (with a new hand) and straight into the action. Our  page has more details.

  • 6+ Holdem: Also known as Short Deck Hold’em. This variant removes all cards 2-5 from a standard deck of cards. Our  page has more details.

  • Tournaments: Self explanatory but view our dedicated page for more details on the most popular format of poker.

  • Zone Poker: A No-Limit Hold’em variation where you are immediately moved to a new table with a fresh hand each time you fold. Read our  page for more details.

  • FastFORWARD: This is a cousin of Zoom Poker but it’s only played No-Limit Hold’em and is very popular in Europe. As soon as you fold a hand you exit the current table and are transported to another table with a new hand right away. The “FORWARD” feature also allows you to fold two consecutive hands without having to click fold a second time. Read more on our  page.

  • Sit & Go’s: Basically just a simplified version of a multi-table tournament where you are playing against a fixed number of players. Typically 3-10 players per game and when one player remains, the prize distribution is set accordingly. 

  • High-Low Games: In addition to Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo games are also very popular online. 

  • Courtesy of PokerStars

  • Boost: A fast-fold style poker game with enhanced features (such as bigger ante bets) played in a mini bubble (four to a table; 16 players total). Games are 3-Handed SPINS format with a random multiplier prize pool (x2, x4, x20 or x100) paying out immediately after the final hand. All winnings are doubled with ante bets meaning big action and lots of excitement!

    2023's Guide - Which Casino Games Have the Best Odds of Winning?
  • Short Deck Holdem: Also known as 6+ Holdem. This variant removes all cards 2-5 from the deck.

  • Badugi: A four-player stud game where the aim is to make the lowest hand possible.

  • Draw: Many forms of "low" draw games such as Vegas Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, Two-to-Get-Two

  • Mixed Games: A combination of multiple poker games such as 8-Game (a mix of No-Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Omaha High, Stud Hi-Lo, Stud, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razz and No-Limit 2-7 Triple Draw)

  • Chinese Poker: Players are dealt three hands - two opponent hands plus one personal hand. Player must fill their own best hand and the middle hand, with the opponent supplying the worst hand. Points are awarded based on the rank of the hands at showdown. First to reach a predetermined number of points wins.

  • Pineapple: Like typical Texas Hold’em except each player is dealt three hole cards instead of two. Players must discard one after the first betting round.

  • Prediction: A unique poker format where players attempt to guess the outcome of a streaming card feed from the server’s random number generator. Players can bet on the suit and rank of the next card, or attempts to hit specific sequences.

free online vegas slots no downloads

As you gain more experience you can always branch out to more obscure variations like BadugiDraw games or Mixed Games. There’s literally hundreds of different ways to play poker so don’t be scared to explore once you have a good understanding of the basics.

Now, Where’s an Online Poker Site Near Me?

If you’re looking to play poker online for real money in Canada the best site to choose is . It’s the biggest, safest, most trusted and boasts the most players online at any given moment. Thus offering the most games, biggest tournaments and best competition for your skill level.

To get started simply click on 'PLAY NOW!' in the banner to the right of this page (or at the top of this page on mobile) to create a PokerStars account. Once you deposit and play any real-money hand you’ll also qualify for a ton of free bonus items to further welcome you to the site - all without having to make a deposit!

You Have Successfully Subscribed to Poker News Ontario

† New customers only. 18+. Online registrations at or via the PokerStars app for mobile. Minimum deposit ¥100. When you use a Bonus Code, it must be entered before making a deposit to validate the Bonus. Unused Bonus expires 120 days after it is awarded to a customer. All bonuses, freeroll entries and Spins awards subject to exercise Play Through. Further T&Cs apply. Click 'Play Now' for details. Gambling can be addictive. Play responsibly.

18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply

find casino games
  • Is it Legal to Play Real Money Poker Games Online in the USA and Canada?

    Yes. Online poker is legal in the USA and Canada provided it’s operated and regulated locally. That’s why we’re now seeing a resurgence in online poker in the USA and Canada as states and provinces begin to legalize and regulate online poker. Please see our  pages for the latest licensed and legal options in both regions.

  • How to Play Poker Online for the First Time?

    Our recommendation is to download the top-rated poker software at PokerStars PA (or your local site) to experience the best online poker games have to offer. From there create a new account and take advantage of their generous welcome package without even making a deposit! You can install the poker software on your phone, tablet or computer to get started.

    draftkings casino bonus code pa

    Once you’ve installed the software you can create a new account (take your time with this as you’ll need to verify your identity at some point so use a email and password combo you won’t forget). Then simply navigate to the cashier to make a deposit (if you want to play real money poker games). Please see our dedicated section on  for more information.

    Once you have an account and funds in your account you can browse all the available real-money poker games available (there’s thousands!) or **click on the ‘Beginner’ or ‘New’ tab to find games for you. **Start small to adjust to the software and speed of online poker. Each site also offers an abundance of soft play rules to protect beginning players from sharks. Once you have some hands under your belt you can gradually work your way up the stakes. Please see our  for more information.

    Finally please remember to play responsibly. Set limits for yourself and never chase your losses. If you stop having fun it’s probably time to take a break.

  • Can I Earn Awards Just for Installing the Poker App?

    Yes! Just for  you’ll receive a FREE SPIN on the SnG Fever Wheel of Fun. Prizes include FREE TOURNAMENT TICKETS to exciting SNG tournaments with guarantees ranging from $2,500 to $25,000! You’ll also earn 300 PI Points (loyalty rewards) and be entered into a draw to win a SnG Storm trophy! Note that prizes from the Wheel of Fun are added immediately, PI Points will be awarded within 72 hours, and the PI Points and free ticket can be forfeited anytime in the PI Lobby.

  • Where can I Play online poker in the USA and Canada?

    Online poker is legal in the USA and Canada provided it’s operated and regulated locally. That’s why we’re now seeing a resurgence in online poker in these regions as states and provinces begin to legalize and regulate online poker. Please see our review pages listed below for the latest licensed and legal options in your area:

  • How Does Poker Stacking Work on the PokerStars App?

    On a desktop or laptop (like PokerStars) you can only sit in one seat at the table. However on an app (like the ) you typically have limited space so you can stack multiple tables on one screen. In this case you’re technically “seated” at one table but you can open additional tables (called Waitlist) and when a seat becomes vacant you’ll automatically be moved there. This is safe and common practice and everyone else in the game is in the same boat as you. In fact most serious online players use stacking techniques to maximize their amount of games and ensure they are always playing against fields they want.

newest uk online casino