Origin of poker playing is highly debated, however recent excavations lend a helping hand to the doubt about its beginnings. Cards in Egypt have been found belonging to the late 12th century, while another school of thought credits India to the land where poker originated. There are other pieces of evidence that suggest that poker might not have originated in Egypt or India but in the western world.Documents maintained since early days in the American civilization show that poker was a much favoured game with the upper class citizens. Legend has it that the game began in New Orleans and spread all the way to Ohio and Mississippi. It was further popularised when extensive rail networks began to develop throughout the land. The game underwent several modifications to be called by nicknames like stud, straight and draw poker which gained fame during the time of the Civil War.In Europe, the demise of poker was marked as the year the wild card concept was introduced. An example of the wild card was the Joker card and it led to further modification of the poker game. Court ruling in Nevada declared games involving betting as illegal and gamblers could be arrested for getting involved in such acts. California however favoured this game, and gave it legitimate grounds to play the game. Draw poker was favoured because, the player’s skill mattered most and the laws that prevented gambling anywhere within the state were powerless against it. Stud poker was not that favoured due to its dependence on luck of the player over his skill. Due to this, draw poker became the nation’s favourite game and Nevada went along with the tide, cancelling the laws that banned the game. It went so far as to legalise gambling in casinos.From these bits of evidence it can be inferred that the poker game has stood the test of time and is still the people’s favourite. Although it is a highly modified form that is being played now, it is historically rich, with its own set of stories and puzzles.– Along came online pokerDuring its formative years, only the upper-class men played poker mainly because of the affordibility and placing the high stakes. The commoner was a mere witness to it and the situation was worse for those who had just begun playing. A person who wished to play poker had to have a bundle of cash on his person, and also a technical knowledge about the game. Even if their chances of winning are nil, they have to keep a straight face in order that they may not give themselves out to the opponent.Online poker changed the scenario, and is now a force to be reckoned with, seeing the number of participants turning up for the Poker series. The how’s behind the growth of the online poker game can be easily defined. Online poker has the advantage of having a smaller over-head cost, a player can increase or decrease the number of opponents according to his skill. Online poker is also credited as being more user friendly and requires less skills to play. A player’s current status in the game is flashed to him at regular intervals.Probably the most important feature in playing poker online, is that there is no need to wear a mask and play the game. There is no need to fear about face-reading when your draw is bad or when you’re about to win. Since its all done through the software, the risks are minimal while the stakes soar high.
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.