The A-Z of Canadian Gambling

Ed Scimia


The A-Z of Canadian Gambling

There are an endless number of topics that are important to Canadian gamblers. In this guide, we’re going to look at 26 of them: one for each letter, in alphabetical order, from A to Z. This overview will help you get a handle on Canadian gambling by giving you insights on some of the most important topics impacting the industry today.

What Is an A-Z?

A man holding symbols representing an A-Z guide

An A-Z is a guide to a subject that tries to cover all of the important information on that topic in a unique way: by presenting it alphabetically, from A to Z. In the days before the internet and mapping software, A-Z guides were often useful for tourists or travellers who wanted to quickly learn points of interest and other useful resources in a location they were visiting.

In this A-Z, we’ll be taking you on a whistle-stop tour of gambling in Canada. Each of these short introductions to an important aspect of the gaming world contains critical information, as well as additional links for those who would like to dig deeper on the topic.

A – Assessing Casino Bonuses

Every online casino heavily promotes bonuses, but not all of these deals offer you the same value. Do you want a big matching percentage or a high maximum value? A no deposit bonus, or some free spins?

That’s why prides itself on being a premium source for casino reviews and comparisons. Our thorough review system guides you through every aspect of an online casino so that you can choose which site is right for you. That includes teaching you how to compare casino bonuses, so that you can find promotions that meet your needs and give you a fair shot at turning a profit.

B – Betting Strategies

a custom compass pointing to the word strategy

A lot of people head to the casino simply hoping to get lucky. There are plenty of games that cater to this style, but in others, strategy plays a key role in whether or not you win on any given spin or hand.

One area of strategy that many players like to work on is betting strategies or systems. These techniques have you structure your bets in certain ways to make it more likely that you get the outcome you want out of a session of play. For instance, the Paroli betting system increases your chances of walking away with a big score, while keeping your risk relatively low.

C – Canada’s Biggest Online Casinos

Canada has long been one of the top markets for playing at online casinos. In recent years, the situation has gotten even better, as regulated provincial markets have only added more and better choices for Canadians to choose from.

Of course, some online casinos tend to stand out from the pack. A few of our favourite options for Canadian players include the following (follow the links for our reviews and the very latest bonuses they’re offering):

Each of these casinos has earned the Casino Bonus CA seal of approval, and our extensive reviews outline why these are the best casinos in Canada today.

D – Deposit Methods

How Much Time I Have Before Paying Back the Casino Marker

Online casinos feature a host of different methods for depositing funds into your account, each with its own advantages and drawbacks:

Deposit Method Pros Cons

Credit Cards

Fast, secure, simple to use

Hard to use for withdrawals


Protects your personal data, can be used to manage money across different sites

Often have fees for withdrawing funds back to your bank account

Prepaid cards

Provides access to players who want to pay in cash, keeps your financial data anonymous

Deposit limits are usually quite low

Online banking options

Securely utilizes your online banking account

Online available through some banks

Traditional bank transfers

As secure as writing a check

Minimum deposits can be higher than with other methods

In addition, cryptocurrency has become an increasingly popular way to make deposits at online casinos. With crypto, you can avoid sharing your banking details and make your transactions relatively anonymous. Many players also favour crypto because transactions are relatively fast and fees are low, while still allowing the actual gambling to take place in Canadian dollars.

E – Environmental Concerns

wind farm and graph against canadian flag

In the 21st century, concerns over climate change has put a spotlight on sustainability in all industries. This includes the world of gambling, where both real-world resorts and online casinos need to be environmentally aware in their operations.

For instance, live casinos are taking steps to become carbon neutral, use renewable forms of energy, and reduce their local environmental impact. Meanwhile, online gambling sites are looking to become more energy efficient while still providing world-class service to customers. We’ve written about eco-friendly gambling at Canadian casinos, and expect this topic to become even more important in the years to come.

F – Free Play

One of the most intimidating aspects to online casinos is getting started with games you’re not familiar with. After all, real money games require you to spend your own funds, which means you’ll be learning at your own expense.

Thankfully, free casino games allow you to try games before you jump into the deeper waters of real money play. Free play can help you get familiar with the rules of a game, find out if you like a slot machine, or even practice new strategies without any risk at all. Almost all casino games are available to play free online, including most of the top slot machines on the market today.

G – Gaming on the Go

woman thinking with mobile phone

Online casinos were a revelation that allowed people to play their favourite gambling games from the convenience at home. However, mobile casinos have done even more to expand the boundaries of the gaming world.

Today, you can get all of the excitement of a luxury Las Vegas casino right in the palm of your hand. New mobile casinos feature the same games, graphics, and features of their desktop counterparts. Developers now create every game with mobile play in mind, making online casinos more enjoyable than ever on mobile phones and tablets.

H – High Rollers (VIPs)

Just like at real world resorts, online casinos go out of their way to cater to high rollers. VIP casinos offer special perks for loyal, high-stakes players who are willing to bet big on their sites. Some of the benefits you might see as a casino VIP include:

  • Access to a personal account manager
  • Specialized bonuses and promotions just for VIPs
  • Cashback rewards on play or losses
  • Free bets to use on your favourite games
  • Faster withdrawal times

These are just a few of the many ways in which VIP casinos treat their top players. From special real life events to exclusive gifts, the sky is the limit for high rollers!

I – Indigenous Culture


First Nations tribes play an important role in Canada’s gaming industry. Canada’s indigenous populations have chosen a variety of different stances on how to approach gambling, with many opening live casinos on their own lands.

Many First Nations casinos inherently reflect their communities. That means architecture, attractions, and even rituals that reflect the culture and history that is important to indigenous Canadians. Often, the profits from these casinos are used to help improve conditions for local communities on reserve land, from funding charitable organizations to providing medical aid to those in need.

J – Jackpot Slots

We often recommend slot machines to players because of a fun theme, an interesting special feature, or a strong return to play. But there’s one attraction that brings more players to the slots than any other: a huge jackpot.

Jackpot slots offer players the chance to win a lifechanging sum of money on a single spin. Some of the largest jackpots in Canada have rewarded players with millions of dollars! Jackpots of this size are available at many online casinos, where progressive jackpots rise every time someone plays a machine until the lucky winner hits the right combination to win the whole pot.

K – Knowing Your Limits (Responsible Gambling)

Gambling should be a fun, exciting, and safe pastime. However, it can only stay this way when we practice responsible gambling. That starts with knowing your limits, not chasing losses, and sticking within a reasonable budget that allows you to have a good time without worrying too much about losing your stake.

For some individuals, it can be difficult to control gambling habits without help. There are many Canadian institutions that help individuals and families suffering from gambling addiction. If you believe you have a gambling problem, you can also apply for self-exclusion programs that will prevent you from playing at casinos.

L – Law

a gavel, scales and law books

It’s important to understand the laws that apply to you when gambling in Canada. In most cases, that means looking to the laws in your specific province, as these rules vary across the country.

For instance, the legal casino gambling age is usually 19. However, in provinces such as Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta, you only need to be 18 to play casino games. Other rules apply across the board, such as laws that make most gambling winnings non-taxable in Canada.

In addition, there are numerous laws that apply to various aspects of the industry, such as the legal aspects of online casino bonuses. New rules in Ontario have restricted how such promotions can be advertised, for instance, by banning the use of professional athletes in online gambling ads.

There are thousands of slot machines from dozens of different software providers available at online casinos in Canada. However, a few games stand out as the most popular among Canadians.

For instance, fantasy themed slots are among the most popular games in Canada, with machines like Thunderstruck 2 and Dragon’s Myth constantly bringing in big audiences. Rainbow Riches is also a popular option, with many sites offering free spins on this machine in most provinces.

While some machines capture the public’s imagination all year long, others are more seasonable. For instance, Turkey Revolt and Plucky Lucky are two of the top Thanksgiving slots that help players get into the seasonal spirit each autumn.

robot hand with dice

Online casinos aren’t the only place where the gaming industry is undergoing significant change. Land-based casinos are constantly trying to stay on top of the newest trends in order to compete in an everchanging landscape.

From e-tables to cashless payment systems, the future of land-based casinos in Canada will continue to implement systems that help them compete with online gambling while also complying with changing regulations as well as both economic and environmental challenges.

Meanwhile, things are changing rapidly online as well. Internet casinos are increasingly adding more social interaction through live dealers, and are also implementing new technologies like virtual reality games in an effort to attract new players.

O – Online Slots

A slot game being played on a laptop

We talk about online slots a lot, but that’s only because they’re a huge part of the gambling landscape. The vast majority of games at online casinos are slot machines, as they remain the most accessible and popular options for most people.

Slots are easy to play and don’t generally require any special knowledge or strategy to enjoy. They offer some of the largest prizes you’ll find anywhere in the gaming industry, and can be customized to feature different themes, media properties, and features to appeal to diverse audiences. Whether or not you love them, slots will be the backbone of the online gambling world for the foreseeable future.

P – Progressive Jackpots

In our jackpots section, we briefly mentioned the allure of progressive jackpot slots. These games work by contributing a small amount of every spin bet to one or more jackpots, which continue to grow until someone wins them. By making the top jackpots difficult to win, this allows these prizes to grow for months or even years, eventually paying off in a huge score for one lucky winner.

Progressive slot machines are some of the most popular games in the gambling industry today, for one simple reason: they give players the hope of winning a massive prize on any given spin. Sure, the odds may be daunting, but the potential to win millions at any moment makes the top progressive slots timeless and consistently popular among players.

Q – Quick Withdrawals

When you win money at an online casino, you will want to collect your earnings as fast as possible. That’s why quick withdrawal methods are important to players. We’ve put together a guide to the fastest online casino methods for you to read. In addition, you can check out the chart below in order to get an idea of the fastest online casino withdrawal methods.

Method Withdrawal Time Pros Cons



Fast withdrawals, doesn’t require sharing sensitive financial information

Mining fees apply to all transactions, coin value is highly volatile


Instant – 24 Hours

Can be used at many casinos, offers protection for personal financial data

Requires other funding methods to put money in your wallet


Instant – 24 Hours

Can be funded with cash and purchased at retail outlets

Low limits on purchases for each card


One business day

Easy to purchase in Canada or online

More popular for deposits than withdrawals


One day

Allows secure deposits into your bank account

Requires a Canadian bank account to use

If you’re looking for a fast, trusted, and time-tested method to get your payouts quickly, we’d recommend trying Skrill, which is among the most popular withdrawal methods in the casino industry.

R – Roulette Strategy

While roulette may traditionally be seen as a game of luck, that doesn’t mean that strategy can’t help you in this casino favourite. While you may not be able to change the odds of any particular number coming up on the wheel, you can try to structure your bets to get the outcomes you want.

For instance, you may prefer to play for big wins even at the risk of taking a number of small losses along the way. In that case, the Paroli betting system might be right for you. For those who want to book regular small wins at the risk of the occasional major loss, the Martingale is one of the best strategies around. No matter which type of player you are, there’s a roulette strategy for you.

S – Software Providers

playing cards and poker chips on laptop

Software providers are the companies that are responsible for bringing you every game that you play at online casinos. These developers are responsible for creating perfect recreations of table games and video poker machines, while also imagining new and innovative online slots that push the envelope of what’s possible for casino sites.

While there are dozens of software providers out there, some are most trusted than others. For instance, Microgaming has been one of the most important and beloved game creators since the early days of the online casino industry. Other companies like NetEnt may be newer, but have provided hundreds of games that are used by many of the top casinos in the online gambling landscape today.

T – Table Games

Table games have been an important part of the casino experience for centuries. While they may not be as popular as slot machines, classic table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat are cornerstones of any good online casino.

There are also newer additions to the table game collection, with popular options like Three Card Poker and Caribbean Stud Poker finding their way into the rotation at virtually every online casino. Many gambling sites offer special casino bonuses that allow you to try these new games.

In addition, online casinos have taken steps to make their table games feel more like the games you would play in a real world resort. Live dealer casinos allow you to play your favourite table games with real, human dealers and actual casino equipment over a live video feed, with chat features that provide a social element formerly confined to live casinos.

U – Understanding Payout Rates

Every casino game can be fun, but not all of them offer the same odds to players. We use payout rates to determine which games give you the best chance to win – and which ones promise the best return in the long run.

There are two main ways to calculate payout rates. Return to player shows you the percent of each bet that you can expect to earn back over the long run while playing a game. House edge is similar, but from the casino’s perspective, expressing the percentage of each bet the house expects to keep over time.

Here are some of the games that offer the best payout to players:

Game House Edge



Video Poker




French Roulette




V – Visiting Casinos

A Canadian flag with casino chips

Obviously, we love helping our readers choose online casinos. However, there’s still nothing like visiting a real world venue and playing your favourite games in person, alongside friends and strangers who are winning and losing with you on every bet.

On that note, we’ve created a guide to planning your Canadian casino road trip. The guide will show you some of the most popular road trip routes in the country, as well as the great casinos you can find in various parts of the country. No matter where you are in Canada, there are great resorts and community casinos ready to help you play slots, table games, and more.

W – Welcome Bonuses

Online casinos are always looking to attract new players. The most common way they do this is by offering welcome bonuses that provide extra value to players who make new accounts at their sites. Some of the most common welcome bonuses include:

  • Matching bonuses: The most common form of welcome bonus, this type of promotion gives you bonus funds based on the amount you are depositing into your casino account.
  • Free spins: A free spins bonus gives you a number of free plays on a popular slot machine, after which you can use your winnings in the casino.
  • No deposit bonuses: These are bonuses that require no deposit at all, allowing you to try a casino while also having the chance to win real money in the process.

X – Xpert Advice

Okay, we may have cheated a bit when it comes to the spelling of this entry. But we wanted to emphasize the fact that expert advice is invaluable when it comes to playing at online casinos.

We have hired a team of expert authors to help guide you though your journey in online gambling. Whether you’re looking to find the casino that’s perfect for you, or if you want to learn the best strategies for a particular casino game, our team will give you accurate, trusted information to help you get the most from your time at online casinos.

Y – Yield, Taxes and the Economics of Casinos

coins piled with economic graph

One of the more controversial topics in the gaming industry is how much casinos help local and national economies. In Canada, casinos pay a variety of taxes, from licensing fees and corporate income tax to taxes on their gross gaming revenue, among others.

The economic impact of casinos in Canada doesn’t stop there. Casinos provide jobs, both during construction and ongoing careers at the resort itself. Many casinos also motivate local governments to make improvements to local transportation and infrastructure, providing benefits that stretch well beyond the venue itself.

That’s not to say there aren’t downsides as well. Problem gambling can negatively impact individuals and families, both reducing the overall buying power of the public and requiring public funds to treat impacted gamblers.

Z – Zero-House Edge

The house edge is one of the most important numbers you can learn about any casino game. This number – which is also expressed as return-to-player (or RTP), shows you how big the advantage is for the casino on the game you are playing.

In many games, you can reduce the house edge by employing proper strategy. For instance, you can reduce the house edge in blackjack by memorizing the basic strategy for the ruleset and number of decks you are playing with.

In other cases, some games may have no house edge at all. For instance, taking or laying the odds in craps comes with no house edge, meaning you’re making a completely fair bet with the casino. The same comes with some forms of baccarat, which offer zero-house edge bets to players.