A Beginners Guide to Online Poker

IntroductionThis article is a guide to help people that are considering playing online poker for the first time. The game of poker has enjoyed a huge rush of popularity since 2003. It was in that year that Chris Moneymaker went from being “average Joe” to winning 2.5 million dollars in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. This single event may have contributed very heavily to poker’s current popularity. Online poker has been around since the late 90′s, but in the past couple of years has exploded in popularity. Millions of people worldwide play poker online, some of the most popular poker sites boast memberships in the hundreds of thousands.Poker RoomsThere are a large number of poker rooms available to online players. Unfortunately, many of these poker rooms do not allow US players because of funding regulations imposed by the US government. What this means is, it’s not illegal to play poker online but, government regulations do not allow federally regulated banks to fund online gambling accounts. It can still be done legally, it’s just a little more difficult. The two most popular rooms available to US clients are; Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker. There are many more poker rooms available, including more that allow US players.GamesOnline poker rooms offer a wide variety of games. By far the most popular is No-Limit Texas Holdem. Other popular games include: Omaha, Stud, Draw and newer games like H.O.R.S.E and Razz.Betting StructuresBetting structures in poker are often unique to a specific game. Texas Holdem and Omaha have both limit and no limit betting. Stud is a limit game with it’s own unique betting structure. Players should have a solid understanding of betting structures, especially before attempting to play in real money games. All online poker rooms offer play chip games, play these games as they are a fantastic way of learning the ropes, and it won’t cost a penny.StrategySince no-limit Texas holdem is the most popular poker game, let’s look at some strategies based on that game. In holdem, each player is dealt two cards face down, these are referred to as “hole cards”. Five community cards are then dealt, three on the flop, and one each on the turn and the river. Players use a combination of their hole cards and the community cards to make their best five card hand. Action is guaranteed because two players must post forced bets or “blinds” before the beginning of every hand. Players must decide whether they will fold, call or raise in order beginning with the player immediately to the left of the big blind, this is where game strategy begins. Players make the decision to fold, call or raise based on the quality of their hole cards. As a rule, the payers in early positions should have very strong cards or they should fold. Players that are in later positions can play a wider range of hole cards. Which cards should be played in each position at the table is something that beginning players should learn very early on. One of the biggest mistakes made by beginning players is playing marginal hole cards. Learning what cards to play and where to play them is very important, and quite frankly, should be analyzed by players at all levels.ConclusionPoker, whether played live or online, has become immensely popular. The game of poker is enjoyed by millions of people on a daily basis. But poker is also a sophisticated game with many obvious strategies and many subtle nuances. For people who enjoy games that are mentally challenging, poker fits the bill nicely.

Horse Fun and Games – The Making of a Card Game

For those of us who love everything equine, horses and games make a great entertainment combination. Creating a horse-themed card game is hard work and requires a lot of careful consideration. This article talks about the early days of discovery for the developers at Funleague Games as they embarked upon the journey of designing their very first card game called “Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!” Naturally, as with many things, the game started out as an idea. We wanted to create a fun horse game that was fanciful and stylized, yet still stayed somewhat true to the experience of riding a horse. Representing the idea of racing at high speed across country on horseback through a card game presented its share of challenges. We experimented with a lot of ideas and several times we experienced moments of “aha! This is it!” and away we’d go full-steam…only to discover a problem. The gameplay logistics were the main sticking points. We were cutting some new ground with this card game; it wasn’t closely based on any other specific game so we didn’t have a tried-and-true template to work from. Rather, we referenced bits and pieces of gameplay elements from other games we’d played and from our own vision of how we thought things should work considering the experience we were trying to emulate. Two other resources that have definitely been invaluable are Board Game Geek and Board Game Designer’s Forum. Thanks to everyone there who has posted such excellent info! Here are some examples of things we had a tough time figuring out: Our card game is essentially a race across country on horseback. You jump obstacles along the way…how do you represent that? Do you use tiles? Do you lay the cards out all at once, or one at a time? Face-up? Face-down? That kind of thing. Another element we struggled with was how the rider order was represented during the course of the race.If you were in first, but then dropped back to third, how would you know? We tried a bunch of things such as using charts, placing a token amongst the jump cards, etc. After a lot of trial and error, we eventually figured out a system that wasn’t confusing (unlike our earlier versions). We also struggled with trying to inject some strategy into the gameplay. We definitely didn’t want this game to be all about “luck of the draw”. We wanted the players to have to evaluate each situation and choose a best course of action. Strategy does add depth to a game, but on the flip side of this, a bit of chance can really spice things up and keep you wondering as you draw that next card. As this was a racing game, we didn’t want the players to get too bogged down pondering their options. That would detract from the idea that you were all moving at high speed over terrain in a dash for the finish line. Those were just some of the many things we needed to figure out as we developed our initial idea into something fun, functional and richly thematic. After emerging from the idea phase, we entered a stage of development where we needed to examine more practical business considerations: How big should the deck be?That has proven to depend upon a few things such as number of players, how many variables we were prepared to deal with, printing costs and art costs. We wanted the deck to have substance, yet still maintain some kind of control on the budget.
What should we price the game at?Now that one is ongoing. Naturally we need to make some sort of profit as a reward for our hard efforts and the main way to estimate what kind of pricing is involved is by breaking down the “per-unit costs”. For example, we make an initial assumption that the first print run might be about 5000 copies. Therefore, we would get a printing quote for 5000 copies of the game. And then add to that the cost for artwork creation. And legal fees. And advertising. That sort of thing. Add all those costs together, and divide by 5000. That will be our per-unit cost.How should we package and present the game?We need to look at a couple of key things here. One is; what kind of presentation will be most appealing to people? We want the theme to be immediately recognizable and we want to convey the message that this is a quality game. A game where it’s a high-calibre entertainment experience made of durable materials that will be a pleasure to handle. The other consideration is how much will the packaging and materials cost? Printing/manufacturing costs are arguably THE most expensive part of creating a board or card game. And the quotes will vary widely with each print shop we approach.Legal stuff?A board or card game is a creative product. It’s art and entertainment, meets commerce. There’s intellectual property, copyright, trademarks and other basic business considerations. We recognize that it’s a good idea to protect our hard work and ensure that all communication is organized and in writing. Legal stuff is not only about protecting what’s ours; it’s also about being clear about obligations when engaging in business with another party. When it comes to hiring artists to create artwork for a game, copyright ownership is one of the biggest key factors. It’s important to ensure clarity about who owns the art. Paying an artist to create artwork doesn’t necessarily mean we actually own it. It’s essential to have an “Artist Agreement” in place. This is a legal document that details the rights and obligations between Funleague Games and the artist. Artists work hard to do what they do best (we know this firsthand…Jeff and I are both professional artists) and naturally will want to be clear about all the details involving the work they do.What kind of art style am I looking for?This is an important thing to figure out, but it can be a tough one. The style of art is heavily influenced by the style of the hired artist(s) working on your project. It’s important to choose carefully who will be creating the visuals for the game. Arguably good art will sell more copies of a bad game than bad art on a good game. People like things to look “cool” or “beautiful”. Make sure you deliver in spades in this area by having a strong vision for what your game should look like and by only hiring artists who have an art style compatible with that vision. Art style should also take into consideration the target market your game is aimed at. In the case of Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!, I’m going for a style that is distinct from other games on the market. I also want the style to be inclusive and appealing to the full range of my target audience. For example, I need to avoid an art style that is too “young” as my target audience are people ages 7 and up. I want to feature artwork that has a fun innocence to it, but at the same time possesses enough refinement to appeal to a more mature audience.Who’s our audience?This is important right out of the gate (now there’s a theme-appropriate expression :) . Even at the earliest design phase it’s important to know our demographic. For example, if we designed a game to include a lot of deep and subtle complexities or tons of arithmetic, chances are that kids under 7 years of age could find the game too difficult. As for Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!, I feel that this will be a game that can be enjoyed by almost everybody, but the primary audience will likely be people who love horses. And as there is an element of strategy to the game, the very young may struggle with some of the gameplay concepts.Marketing?This is SOOOOoooo important. If Jeff and I never bother to get the word out about our really cool game, how are we going to sell it? Entire books (and even university degrees) are devoted to the topic of marketing, but suffice it to say it’s important that we learn a little bit about how to promote our product. Not only will we not sell any (or very few) copies, but so many people will never get the chance to enjoy a super-fun horse-themed experience! As our game is very strongly based on a specific theme (or niche) one of the first things we’ll do is seek to get the word out at places where the horse-loving public like to visit such as horse-themed websites, tack shops, equestrian magazines, etc.As you can see, we have our work cut out for us, but the creation of this card game has been a wonderful journey so far. We look forward to the time when the game is complete and ready to be enjoyed by many!

Three Strategies to Win Sonic Online Games

Sonic the Hedgehog shot to fame in the 1990. It was Sega response to Nintendo popular Mario. If you are an avid video game player, then you must have tried to play a Sonic game or two. Right now, he can be found on different movies, TV shows, and a lot of merchandise. However, nothing makes Sonic ever more popular among the players of the new generation other than the Sonic online games that are still available up to this day.It’s easy to play Sonic online games from the hundreds of web gaming portals over the internet. There are many Sonic-inspired games that are easily accessible today, with most of them simply played just by using a web browser. These online games are offered free of charge too. And very much like the Sonic games that you have grown to love, these strategy games need technique in order to be enjoyed fully and be finished in no time with flying colors.There is only one denominator when it comes to play Sonic games. While the backgrounds and the missions vary from one installment to another, the thing that is common to all of them is the fact that Sonic moves in the exact same way. He also possesses the same superpowers. The challenge is to make the full use of his abilities every time you play online games of this type over the internet.The first thing that you should know by heart when playing Sonic online games are the signature moves of this beloved character hero. He can perform a mad dash, spin into a ball, and practically move with the wind. It is so important that you master all of his moves, even the simplest one, so you are able to go through all the game hurdles with total ease. This is not so hard to do. All you need is adequate practice.The next important strategy you want to apply to your game is an advantage provided by Sonic friends. He does not always work alone. He is usually assisted by his loyal friends whom he loves back with all his heart. Try to play with Sonic friends a little better so you employ some of their special abilities in certain situations. Depending on the Sonic online game you’re playing, the participation of his friends may or may not be that prominent in your mission.Nevertheless, it is always critical that you use all the resources available to you when playing Sonic games so that you can complete your goal as fast as possible. This is a third strategy that you have to keep in mind. In all Sonic games you find items in all levels that you should pick up. These can help you in your quest. Never disregard their importance, more particularly those significant gold rings that he has to collect in every outing. Be sure that you do not miss a ring as you walk, run, and jump on the game course because those rings could save Sonic life.Being an avid Sonic online games lover, you must learn all these secrets in improving your playing skills. Sonic would like you to unleash all his special powers. With the help of these tips, you can make that very easily indeed.


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