We know that slot machines or pokies hold a special place in the hearts of Canadians who gamble. They are some of the most beloved casino games in the world, and for good reason.

They can generate some pretty impressive payouts, of up to 20,000 times the bet value on a single spin, they are a  lot of fun and whatever them you can think about, there’s probably already a slot machine designed around it.

The variety of themes, designs, payout structures, mini games, bonus features and free spins features makes slot machines irresistible to Canadians. But is there a particular one that’s been an all time favorite? Let’s see.

What’s a pokie?

In case you’re one of the very few people who don’t know what a pokie is, don’t feel bad, I will explain. A pokie is actually a slot machine, a gambling device with spinning reels. The purpose of the game is for the player to manage to match winning symbols in the correct positions and combinations on the reels at the end of a spin.

Spins are randomized through complex RNGs that determine the outcome of each one and the payout is calculated according to the bet value, symbol value and positions on the reels and the paylines activated.

While the categories of pokies can be split in tens if not even hundreds of taxonomies, two big ones stand out: online pokies and offline slot machines available in land based casinos.

Do Canadians prefer online pokies or regular ones?

That is actually a question for the ages. It’s really hard to tell whether online pokies or land based ones are the Canada favorites. That’s because an official statistic doesn’t exist. While the number of people and the amounts they wagered can easily be tracked when it comes to land based pokies, things are quite different with online casino games.

Since Canada doesn’t allow any local companies to operate online casinos, all the online gambling is done in offshore online casinos operated from different places of the world. That means that it’s virtually impossible to officially tell how much and how often Canadians play on these particular platforms.

What’s the most played pokie in Canada?

Out of the thousands of slot machines that have been played and are still being played by Canadians every day, there are a couple that stand out. Whether it’s because of the theme, the possible wins or simply because they touch the right combination of elements to match the Canadians’ taste, it’s hard to tell.

What’s important to know is that as soon as Canadians set their targets on a particular slot machine and it becomes a favorite, either in bars, clubs, casinos or even online casinos, that pokie will be played for years and years. That’s because Canadians are loyal players, both in terms of the location of their games and the actual games they play.

In an unofficial report issued by an online casino back in 2018, it was shown that out of all the nationalities that played online pokies on this particular platform, Canadians were the cheapest players to retain and the ones who played the smallest number of games (despite the relatively large amounts that have been wagered on these slots). The explanation was simple: Canadians don’t like change and prefer to play the same pokie that they know they like rather than trying new ones.

That is a very valid point to take into account when we look at the most popular online pokie in Canada, which, perhaps surprisingly, is Starburst.

Starburst is a no-nonsense online pokie. The design is simplistic, even minimalistic, the gameplay is straight-forward and the payout structure is as classic as it gets.

Launched by NetEnt back in 2012, Starburst features a 5×3 reel structure with 10 paylines and has a more than decent 96.09% RTP. It is considered a low volatility slot and in terms of symbols and bonus features, nothing seems to stand out.

While some might consider it a relatively aged and less exciting pokie (especially when compared with more recent games which are a lot more complex and offer more winning possibilities), Canadians are just in love with Starburst and cannot get enough of it.


Next time you have the chance, hit a couple of spins on Starburst to see what all the fuss is about. Chances are you’ll be impressed.