Online poker, which is the card game poker played on the Internet, has been rapidly expanding in popularity, and has introduced many more people to the game. Revenue from Internet poker was around 90 million in 2001 and had reached over 2 billion just 4 years later. The poker rooms and casinos where poker used to be played exclusively were always somewhat intimidating for novices, and they can be geographically far from many potential players, and it was hard for these venues to make much of a profit. Online poker venues are easily available to all, and allow people to pay for very low stakes. In addition, the overhead costs are much lower than for the brick and mortar venues. As a result, profits for companies such as PokerStars have been quite large.Online poker, along with most other types of online gambling, is illegal in the United States, and the law is enforced primarily by prohibiting gambling websites from conducting transactions with American banks and other financial institutions. However, many Americans have figured out ways to get around the prohibition and gamble online. Online poker and other forms of online gambling is legal in many countries, such as the United Kingdom.Online poker holdem games, such as Texas Holdem, are among the most popular types of poker games. In Texas Holdem, two cards are dealt to each player face down, and then the first bets are made. Then three community cards are dealt face up, followed by more betting, and then two more face up cards are dealt one at a time, with more betting occurring each time. With seven cards being available to make a five card hand, high value hands are common, and with players being able to see so many of the cards, the ability to time bets and bluff effectively is more important than with other poker games such as seven card stud, where most of the cards are hidden.There are different varieties of online poker holdem games. Holdem Limit and No Limit differ in that with No Limit, a player can bet all of his or her chips at any time. This is the kind of holdem you usually see on TV and it can be very exciting when a player goes “all in”, risking everything. However, novices should try Holdem Limit, in which the amount you can bet in each round of betting is limited. Usually the limit is higher in later betting rounds, and you are limited to a certain amount of raises. The strategies you use in each game are very different. With No Limit, much more bluffing is involved, while with Limit, you are playing the percentages a lot more. Holdem Pot Limit is a variation of online poker Holdem Limit in which the maximum bet you can make is the size of the pot. The pot in this case is not just the amount of money in the middle that everyone has bet so far, but also the amount of the bets that have just been made plus the amount you must bet to call. For example, if the pot on the table is $50 and the two players before you have bet and called $10, then the amount you can raise is $50 plus $10 plus $10 plus your call of $10 or $80, and the total bet is $90, which is the amount of your raise plus your call.
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.