Canadian poker players making deposits to their online poker accounts are starting to feel the heat of the Canadian government’s attempts to either ban or regulate online poker and casino play. Where once Canadians could deposit with all sorts of different eWallets and payment transfer methods, like direct bank account debits to their poker accounts, now that there is talk of closing up poker room’s that face the Canadian market, deposit methods are getting scarce.
Canadian banks have reportedly started blocking Canadian access to online poker room transactions, but more and more creative deposit methods are arriving to take the place of the traditional bank transfer. With prepaid credit cards and online payment transfer methods requiring a lot more work than Canadian poker nuts are used to, many are still looking for the simplest (and cheapest) way to legally put money in their Internet poker room account
The Ultra prepaid phone card is that inexpensive and easy to use method for many Canadians looking to play poker online. For all intents and purposes, Ultra prepaid phone cards act like credit cards that Canadians have to load from their bank account and use to transfer those loaded funds to the poker room of their choice.
Yes, you’ll have to register (one time), but once you’re established with Ultra, you may find that using your Ultra prepaid phone card to make a real-money deposit is even easier than using your bank account. The biggest knock on the Ultra card is that the transaction fee of 3% can really take a bite out of smaller deposits.
What Are Ultra Prepaid Phone Card Poker Deposits?
Deposits made using your Ultra prepaid phone card to your chosen poker room are perfectly legal, as of this writing, for Canadian citizens. Some American customers have even found themselves able to transfer cash to poker rooms that normally don’t accept American wagers, though the legality of this kind of transfer for our southern neighbors is very much a question mark.
Using the Ultra card to deposit money into an online poker room is nothing more than a little white lie: you’re pretending to buy phone minutes on the Ultra prepaid phone card, but really you’re using your personalized PIN code at a poker room’s cashier to turn phone minute funds from your prepaid phone card into poker money at your online poker account.
The Ultra card is rising in popularity as a deposit method for online poker room accounts, since many Canadian banks are on the lookout for transactions aimed at gambling of any kind on the Internet. According to Ultra, their prepaid phone cards have a 99% approval rate online, thanks in no small part to the fact that they lack those nasty red flag codes bank transfers contain that indicate your purchase is going to an online casino.
Requirements for Canadians to Use Ultra Prepaid Phone Card
The Ultra prepaid phone card can be reloaded as often as you wish, and depending on the size of your deposit, you’ll probably earn instant rebates of a few bucks. Ultra also allows you to manage your account online, so there’s no need to use your actual phone at all.
What information will you need to open your Ultra account? The basic personal details: address, phone numbers, and a few other pieces of non-sensitive information. Of course, you’ll also need to hand over your checking account number and the bank routing number to both verify your identity and provide access to your bank account through Ultra. Make sure you read the terms and conditions, too, so you don’t miss out on any time playing because you signed a deal you’re not satisfied with.
The next portion of the application process exists as a backup security method. Ultra will automatically ask you a short series of personal questions based on the information in your public record. These questions may seem a little bit Big Brother, but they are just used as a security measure.
Once you’ve answered the questions satisfactorily, Ultra will send you a PIN and Control Number via your email address. Any time you want to move money from your Ultra prepaid account to a poker account, you’ll need these numbers, so make sure to keep them in a safe place. The poker room’s cashier will use these numbers to fund your account from Ultra: you choose a deposit amount and within seconds that amount is deposited into your player account.
There is a transaction fee of 3% of the deposit, which is a big chunk of change if you’re depositing $100 or less. But once your money is there, it is time to start playing poker with your Ultra-loaded funds.
Canadian Ultra Prepaid Phone Card Poker Sites
These three sites are the best-reviewed and overall favorites among the many online Canadian poker rooms now accepting Ultra prepaid phone card deposits. These are our favorite, have all been around long enough to justify using them for poker action, and are happy to accept your Ultra deposit.
Blink too often and you’ll miss the changes in online poker. New names, new software, new partnerships—everything happens at a faster pace when it comes to playing your favorite game on the Internet. Bodog is now Bovada Poker. Get used to the name change, because it appears to be a permanent one. Besides the name, everything else at Bovada appears the same as it was at Bodog, including the site’s willingness to accept Ultra prepaid phone card payments.
Bovada Poker offers only Texas hold’em, Omaha, seven card stud, and five card stud. Cash tables start from $0.02/$0.05 and go up to $30.00/$60.00, with tournaments in the above games beginning at just $1.00 all the way up to a $162.00 buy-in for the $100,000 weekly guaranteed tourneys.
Use your Ultra prepaid phone card to load your account at Bovada Poker and you’ll have sixty full days to clear a 100% match bonus worth up to $1,000.
The Intertops brand has been around since 1983, with an online presence since the dark days of the Internet in 1996. Intertops claims to be the first company to take an online bet and no one has come forward to dispute that. The Intertops poker room is on the Cake Poker Network, has good poker room traffic, and a famous loyalty program that lets you earn tourney entrances, Intertops branded gifts and stuff, and even cash money.
Intertops Poker offers Texas hold’em, Omaha, Omaha hi/lo, and seven card stud in traditional and split pot formats. Tournaments come 10-seated, 6-seated, and heads up. Since Intertops is both part of the Cake Network and known as a sportsbook, the competition is generally very soft.
Intertops Poker is offering Canadian players who make deposits using their Ultra prepaid phone cards a 110% match on their first deposit up to $1000.
Part of the iPoker Network and online since 2004, Celeb Poker is aimed at poker players from all over the world. Celeb Poker allows transactions in all sorts of world currencies, from the US dollar to the Euro and Pound Sterling and many others.
Celeb Poker offers Texas holde’m, seven card stud, and five card draw. The stakes vary more at Celeb than at some of their competition, with a mix of low and high stakes table limits from $0.05/$0.10 up to $50/$100. Celeb Poker is known for high flop percentages and larger pots than your average poker room. Right now, Celeb Poker is offering Canadian players who deposit with their Ultra prepaid cards a chance to earn $200 in bonus cash just for playing in raked cash games.
Canadian Law & Ultra Prepaid Phone Card
As of this writing, there is no law or regulation on the books that outright prevents you from making a transaction from Ultra prepaid cards to online poker rooms. The only thing that may prevent you from making that transfer between your bank, your Ultra card, and your online poker site is the random refusal that all payment transfer methods suffer from occasionally, since no Canadian laws are out there to prevent you from transferring cash this way.
A day will probably come where legal loopholes like using a prepaid phone card to add cash to your poker bankroll don’t exist anymore. The Canadian government is making increasingly serious statements about regulating online poker within the Canadian border and getting their fair share of the dollars now flowing out of the country like so much maple syrup.
If online poker is regulated and controlled by the government, bank transfers and other deposit methods besides the Ultra prepaid phone card will probably come back to life, but with big bites taken out for taxes and other fees. So use your Ultra prepaid card (and its 3% transaction fee) as much as you can. The future of online Canadian poker will probably see us paying much higher fees than that to the government’s coffers.