How is online poker different from offline poker?

To win at poker you need to show skill and expertise. To win at poker you need to have a really good memory and be great at reading other people whilst all the while maintaining your own unfailing ‘poker face’. Given all this, you have to wonder how online poker rooms can work – if the main skill involved in poker is reading other players’ expressions and body language, then wouldn’t it be incredibly difficult to win against unseen opponents? But this could work both ways, and being invisible to your opponents could make it easier to keep that poker face even if things are going really badly.

Whichever way you look at it, playing poker online is a very different game. If nothing else, poker sites like Party Poker have brought the game to a much wider audience and give them the chance to bet as much or as little as they like. It’s much easier to bluff online, as other players can’t read your true intentions on your face. Of course this also works both ways because you can’t see them any more than they can see you and have no way of telling if they have been dealt a good hand. You have to rely a lot more on memory alone but after a few games you can become just as skilled at online poker as the real game.

The danger of course is that a player who was new to the game and lost a lot of money could be tempted to go back and keep trying to win until it was too late. But provided you limit yourself to betting only what you can afford to lose then online poker games could be a really good way to learn and have fun doing it. The only disadvantage to playing on popular sites like Party, Betfair and PKR Poker is that they make their money by taking a cut of every pot, called the rake, as commission. It’s worth looking around for a good rakeback deal before signing up to a poker room, sites like raketherake.com have loads of great rakeback deals for most of the main online poker rooms.