How is online poker different from offline poker?

Good poker players need a good deal of skill and expertise. To be a successful poker player you need to have a faultless memory and be great at reading other people whilst always keeping your own feelings hidden behind your ‘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 knowing that other players can’t see you might make it easier to hide your intentions behind that poker face even when you think you’ve got no chance.

Whichever way you look at it, online poker 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. Playing online it’s much easier to bluff and take risks, as the other players can’t see you so won’t be able to tell if you’re telling the truth. The downside to this is that you can’t see them either and have no way of knowing what hand they have. You need to rely heavily on your memory but after a few games you can become just as skilled at online poker as the real game.

The danger of course is that an inexperienced player who lost money on a poker site could find themselves going back again and again trying to win until they have nothing left. But provided you limit yourself to betting only what you can afford to lose then playing poker online could be a great chance to have some fun, make some money and learn something new. The only disadvantage to playing on popular sites like Party, Betfair and Absolute 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 offer good rakeback deals for a number of different poker sites.