When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.
Poker is one popular card game that has conquered not only the casinos but also online gaming. In fact, there are a lot of tournaments these days on poker and it has become one of the most exciting card games that you can play, and of course, make money from as well.If you are new to the game and you want to learn how to play it, you may want to start with the basics of poker, particularly learning the different poker hands.Know you lowest and highest cards. In poker, your lowest card will be 2 and the highest will be the ace. However, in poker, you also have to understand poker hands. These are your card combinations that may contain a pair, two pairs, three of a kind etc. Here are the basic poker hands that you have to master to be able to play good poker later.Straight flush. This is the best hand you can get in poker and this contains any five cards of the same suit that are in sequence. The best you can get is a straight flush of 10, J, Q, K and the ace.Four of a kind is another poker hand that can also be considered a good hand. This consists of four cards having the same rank. Of course, having four Kings or Aces is better than having four 2s.Another poker hand that you need to master is the full house. A full house is a poker hand in which three cards of the same rank and the other two of another rank. Say, you have a full house if you have three 8s and two 6s or three Queens and two 4s, etc.If you have all cards in the same suit, you have a poker hand called Flush and if you have any five cards in sequence, you have a Straight. Three of a kind on the other hand is if you have three cards of the same rank and the two not being a pair. If you have a pair along with it, you are having a full house.You can also have Two Pair if you have two pairs of cards of the same rank and One Pair if you only have 2 cards of the same rank in your deck of 5 cards.Remember that a poker card has five cards and the order of which is best and worst often is ranked according to the probability of getting such card combination. Of course, the least probable combination can be the best hand and the most probable combination of poker hands is the least valuable as well. This is one basics of poker that you have to understand.Aside from learning the poker hands, it is also important that you learn their rankings. A good understanding on whether your card has a high possibility of defeating most of the possible combinations can help you make good decisions later when playing poker. Of course, you have to make good decisions in poker – whether you will fold early or you can raise your bet and that depends on the poker hands you are having. Although you are allowed to bluff, which is one of the beauty of poker, stick to the basics of poker first before employing those advanced strategies.