Online Games – Can We Make Money Playing Them?

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.

Learning To Understand Poker Hand Values

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One of the most important skills you can acquire during your poker career is understanding poker hand values and how they vary at different stages of the game. Indeed it’s this skill that separates the pros from the amateurs.Let me explain in more detail.When playing texas holdem you obviously have two cards dealt to you and you need to make a decision about what action to take next, based on your chances of winning the hand.This decision is obviously determined largely by the strength of your two cards. A common mistake amateur players make, however, is that they understand what kinds of hands are strong and which are weak, but they don’t alter this mindset at different stages of the game.For example, a pair of 2′s is a pretty average hand in a 10-seater game, and is not going to be a clear favourite to win the hand, but in a 2 or 3-seater game this suddenly becomes a much stronger hand and one that you can be more aggressive with.It’s always important to understand how your odds of winning with any hand can differ based on the number of players you are up against. This becomes increasingly important when you start playing heads-up games, or you start getting to the final stages of tournaments.When there are just 2 or 3 of you left in, then you need to completely reassess the strength of your hand compared to say a 6 or 10-seater game you may be more familiar with.Previously weak hands suddenly become slightly more playable, as you will often find 2 low, but live cards regularly overcome stronger hands.Similarly, average or marginal hands suddenly become hands you can play with, and even raise with, depending on the circumstances.Also, if you get a strong hand like a high pair in heads-up play, then this obviously becomes a monster hand and one you can be very aggressive with.So to conclude, if you’re serious about becoming a successful and profitable poker player, then you have to understand poker hand values and how they differ at different stages of the game. Try experimenting with poker odds calculators and you will see for yourself how the probabilities vary as you change the number of players.After all it’s no good taking part in tournaments, becoming good at reaching final tables, only to never emerge victorious because you haven’t acquired the skills needed to master heads-up play.