The digital card deck and how it is shuffled
An online poker room has no dealer, the cards are instead dealt by the software and presented in animations. Which card that are dealt are randomized.
The randomizer by an algorithm will result in a better randomization compared to a human dealer.
A certified Random Number Generator (RNG) is used – you should be able to see the certification document somewhere at the website of the poker room and a link to the certifier.
The shuffling process in a poker room are not like the case with a human dealer. In most cases, continuous shuffling is used as a method. This means that the deck is constantly shuffled and not only between hands.
In practice, this don’t change anything from a the procedure in a brick and mortar casino – the cards yet not dealt from the deck are still unknown, which essentially is the only important matter. Still, in theory, continuous shuffling means that if you wait another second or so before clicking at call/bet/raise the card that is dealt will probably be different to the card dealt if you clicked with a second delay.
The benefit of continuous shuffling is that, in the theoretical scenario that a hacker would get “behind the curtains” of the digital poker room and “see” that card deck, he would still not be able to take advantage of it.
Continuous shuffling are of course only one of many steps in a rigorous process of security in an online poker room.
The dealer is invisible at a poker room and the cards come flying from "nowhere". To give it some touch of reality, animations are used in a majority of poker roooms.
Often, it is called “Instant Play”, when a poker site offers the option to play in a browser.
If the card animations is disturbing you, Party Poker, and many other room have the option to turn them off.