Poker’s Rise to Prominence

Poker has been around for more than a century, but it’s really only in the last ten years that the game really saw a spike in popularity. So what’s changed to influence this popularity and where did the game come from to enjoy such popularity?

While the origins of the game of poker are somewhat murky, with links to the Persian game of As Nas and the French game of poque, it is known to have really started to gain ground in the early 19th century along the Mississippi River, with a variety of forms of the game being played on riverboats where gambling was a common past-time.

Throughout the American Civil War and continuing after, variations such as stud poker, wild cards, and community card poker were all introduced tot he game. In Las Vegas, regular tournaments were held in an attempt to draw players willing to play in high-stakes games, but they invariably failed to draw the crowds and money players that were desired, despite the upgrading of casinos to accommodate these players. In the mid 20th century poker tournaments, including the World Series of Poker (WSOP), began in American casinos, finally drawing the type of player that they had desired. The game also started to show up regularly in popular culture, including television shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation and in films like Rounders.

In the 21st century the game saw a huge spike in popularity for a number of reasons. The introduction of online poker allowed anybody to play the game from the comfort of their own homes without the need to put together a group to play or travel to a casino. Also, poker tournaments being televised, along with hold-card cameras, turned poker into something of a spectator sport, with the Texas Hold ‘Em variety of the game benefiting in particular as it has become the most widely played version, especially at the WSOP.

With smartphones and tablets now being nearly ubiquitous, even more people are playing poker than ever before thanks to the availability of free apps to play anywhere or any time. Online poker players can even win seats at major tournaments now, with Chris Moneymaker arguably being the most famous thanks to his 2003 World Series of Poker championship win after winning an online tournament.

As technology continues to connect us it will be interesting to see how the game continues to grow and if it moves away from the casinos and tables and more to keyboards and pixels.

Types of Online Games for Gaming Fun

Believe it or not, online gaming is the biggest thing today. Capitalizing on this huge market, app developers are constantly launching new games with the best graphics and highly engaging gameplay. Not just that, they design and create them in various formats to cater to a varied audience.

Now if you’re a diehard fan of online games, here’s a lowdown on the different genres; something you definitely need to know.

1. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) – Gaming actually saw a spurt when it became social with the introduction of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG). The thrill and adventure lies in competing with other players, playing simultaneously in the virtual world. They are called role playing games because you take up roles as you move through the game. Most of these are not free; you have to pay to access certain premium features or to level up.

2. Real time strategy – As the name suggests, real time strategy games call for an immediate response from the players; it is played in real time. They combine strategy and action and can be highly addictive. Real time strategy includes building the inventory by gathering resources, fighting armies, building base, creating units and exploring areas.

3. Action and adventure – They are set against a story in fantasy worlds or adventure lands. They are fast-paced and involve combats with enemies, puzzles, missions and quests. Completing successive missions result in the character leveling up and earning armor, weaponry, potions etc. Unlike MMORPG and real-time strategy formats, these are generally single-player ones.

4. Casino games – Casino games replicate the real world of the casinos on the World Wide Web. Many of these are played with real cash. It offers the excitement of playing in a casino. There are also real bonuses and prizes to be won.

5. Sports games – If you are a sports buff, sports games will grab your interest. The most popular ones on the web are football, basketball and baseball. They are organized into levels. You can choose to play along, against the computer or compete against another player. Many are modeled on actual sporting events.

6. Simulation games – Simulation games are real-life situations played out in game settings. Think about the number of farming games you’ve played, or that marvelous city you’ve built or the virtual people you’ve cared for, or the pet zoos you’ve managed. If you’re looking for action and adventure, simulation games do not fit the bill. They are about time management, strategy development, decision making. Nevertheless, simulation games promise you good time.

7. Shooting games – If you get a kick out of violent games, shooting games are the one for you. It involves shooting at targets be it objects, animals or people. These games require precision and skill.

In addition to the category of games mentioned above, there are arcade and board games, card games, strategy games and puzzles. Game developers are coming forth with various titles offering hours of unlimited fun and entertainment. Choose your favorite one and enjoy yourself.