To a poker player, game selection and availability is very important. Online poker rooms realise that the more players they have, the more attractive their poker room is for players. For this reason, many small online poker rooms choose to run their games on a network.
The large networks are iPokerNetwork (Playtech), Prima (Microgaming), CakeNetwork, OnGame and Boss Media (IPN). There are a number of smaller networks which are attempting to build player bases (Everleaf, Merge, etc) - if you wish to try out one of these smaller networks, let us know and we'll investigate and let you know the best offers we are able to pass on to you for these smaller networks.
If the online poker room you play at is part of a network, you will be playing against players from other skins. A skin is simply a poker room that runs their games as part of an online network. For example, oPoker is a skin on the Boss Media network.
In terms of gameplay, there is usually no difference between skins for players. If you like the games on oPoker, you are in actual fact, enjoying the games on the Boss Media network. You could play on a different skin, and the games will be the same. For this reason, skins often engage in rakeback wars which can be very good for players as competition creates efficiency in the market. In response to rakeback wars between their skins, the host network will usually restrict their skins in terms of what percentages they can offer affiliates and players. Many skins ignore these guidelines to stay competitive, but to avoid fines and penalties (a number of large iPokerNetwork skins were recently delisted and penalised respectively by iPokerNetwork for breaching rules), these sites will usually try and keep rakeback deals "under the table". Affiliates cannot publicly advertise these rakeback deals but from time to time, we may have various 'private' offers available for various networks, so feel free to ask our support staff for more information.