Is online poker a different game to the real thing?

To win at poker you need to show skill and expertise. To win at poker you need to have a really good memory and the ability to accurately read other people whilst all the while maintaining your own unfailing ‘poker face’. Because of all these factors you have to wonder how online poker is so successful – if the main skill involved in poker is reading other players’ expressions and body language, surely playing online against unseen opponents would make it impossible to win? But it could work the other way around too, and knowing that other players can’t see you might make it easier to hide your intentions behind that poker face even if things are going really badly.

Either way, 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 telling if they have been dealt a good hand. You have to rely a lot more on memory alone but with a little bit of practise it’s possible to become as good at online poker as you can offline.

The danger of course is that an inexperienced player who lost money on a poker site could be tempted to go back and keep trying to win until it was too late. But as long as you’re careful and only bet what you can afford, 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 have loads of great rakeback deals for a number of different poker sites.