Unlike their neighbours to the south, Canadians have a wide range of poker sites that they can legally play on. While Americans are required to choose from small poker sites with varying degrees of shadiness, Canadians have their pick of both small and large poker sites. For most Canadians, the choice is between the largest poker site in the world, PokerStars, and one of the smaller boutique poker sites.
Pros and Cons of PokerStars
Obviously, playing on the largest poker website in the world means the greatest game selection. Not only are there stakes ranging from penny bets all the way up to 5- (and occasionally 6-) figure buy-ins, but the game style varies as well. All of the major poker variants (including stud and draw games) and dozens of tournaments starting almost every minute make PokerStars a great place to play. PokerStars is also well-known for its excellent customer service, fast and reliable pay out and deposit options, and industry-leading software.
Perhaps the biggest problem with PokerStars is that because it is so successful, the proportion of professional poker players taking up seats at the tables can make for a particularly difficult game for less serious or recreational players. In addition, PokerStars rewards and promotions are aimed at high-volume players. This has the doubly negative effect on recreational players of making the best rewards hard to attain while filling the tables with professional reward-grinders.
Pros and Cons of Smaller Websites
The biggest problem with playing poker on websites like 888.com and some of the other second-tier sites is that the player pool, and therefore the game selection, tends to be reduced. While it used to be true that the software on the second-tier sites was not very good, it has become increasingly acceptable for casual players.
The most significant benefits to playing on smaller sites is that there are far fewer professional players, and the rewards and promotions tend to be attainable for the average recreational player.
Before choosing a site to play on, it is worth downloading the software and making a small deposit or using Freeplay options to see where you are most comfortable.