Do People Actually Win at Online Poker?

John Mehaffey - January 20, 2012

One of the questions we get asked a lot is whether people actually win at online poker. Poker is what is called a zero sum game. That means that there is no house advantage. Players are playing other players at the table, not the house. The house charges a fee for each pot which is called the rake. Typically the rake in online poker is 5% with a cap of either $1 or $3, depending on the game. Live games charge 10% up to $4 or $5; there is also a jackpot drop of $1 in many poker rooms. This does not count the dealer tips. As you can see, online poker is a much better deal than live poker.

Reducing rake through promotions

In addition to having a lower rake, online poker rooms also offer players better promotions. Some of the promotions online poker rooms offer are first deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, points races, points stores, points to cash, rake races, rakeback and free bankrolls. These promotions help offset the already lower online poker rake. Online poker is also much faster than live poker. Online poker players can also play as many tables as they wish, instead of just one table live.

When combining the already lower rake with promotions, online poker players are already in a better position to win. As players gain more experience they can move up in limits. This helps the player earn even more promotions as well as win bigger pots. The more a player plays, the higher up in a poker room’s VIP program they will be. Higher tiers of VIP programs give players more perks such as bonuses and free tournament entries that go towards a player's bottom line.

How do you compare versus opponents?

The important thing to do is figure out where your skill level is compared to other players in your limits. You must also find weaknesses in your play. Everybody has holes in their poker play, even the biggest winners. There are many ways to improve your poker skills. Besides playing to gain experience, a poker player can buy poker books. Two Plus Two Publishing offers dozens of poker books and e-books related to poker. These books include all limits of play, all games offered at major poker rooms, as well as books that are specifically aimed at online poker.

There are also coaching websites available to online poker players. These types of coaching sites create videos for poker players to watch to give them ideas on strategy. Players can also hire coaches to teach them one on one or in group classes. Coaching websites will also have poker strategy forums where players can discuss hands that they have played and receive advice from poker players and coaches.

Thousands of online poker winners

There are tens of thousands of online poker players making money at online poker. Thousands of those players play online poker as their sole source of income. Some players do it by playing cash games; others do it by playing poker tournaments. Your goal should be to find a game that you enjoy and find a poker room with the best promotions that suit your play. You will also need to decide whether you want to play cash games or tournaments. Remember that even the best players have downswings due to variance. As long as your skill level is above the other players at your table you will win over the long term, just as tens of thousands of other online poker players do.