Zack is just 22 years old from Queens New York, and he’s already a millionaire! How’d he do it? A web developer by trade, Zack tries to find ways to alleviate the boredom and the daily grind online. Purely by chance, Zack stumbled upon a new thing called social gaming that is taking the world, and particularly curious millennials, by storm.
Social gaming uses social networking platforms like Facebook to connect millions of users around the world to play fun, easy and exciting games online from their computers or mobile devices. What started as a simple experiment shortly after the launch of Facebook has now become a multibillion-dollar industry, resulting in a ‘gold rush’ as more and more millennials begin to explore online social gaming.
Clarissa, another millennial who’s only just turned 22 told me about how she first got into online social gaming. “It was really quite simple”, she recalls over a slow-burn latte. “I signed up with Facebook to connect with friends and family back home. I go to college on the East Coast, and Facebook seemed to be the best way to keep in touch.” Of course, that makes perfect sense since most millennials find it easier to socialise and stay in touch via Facebook or Twitter, as opposed to previous generations raised on phone calling and letter writing.
It was while browsing through various Facebook apps that she first began to notice free gaming apps. “It’s just something I came across while waiting for my sister to respond to my comment,” she remarked. “I saw some fun games that reminded me a lot of the games I played as a kid growing up. They were free, so I figured I had nothing to lose.” She went on to describe a vibrant and colourful game that became a household name all over the world – Candy Crush. However, the rest of her story is what really piqued my interest. “Candy Crush and Farmville were fun games, but I got bored pretty quickly, they were missing something. I found out that the guys that made these games were a company called Zynga, so I began to explore a bit more.”
“I could start playing against other people from all over the world, with free money”
Zynga is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of online social games like Candy Crush, Farmville, Mafia Boss and thousands of others. However, it seems that their number one bestseller, outstripping even Candy Crush is a game called Zynga Poker. Clarissa and Zack are just two examples of millennials who have discovered how easy it is to play Zynga poker online. I asked both of them if they had ever played poker before. “Sure, I played a little” Zack confessed, “But not anything serious, and I didn’t play for money – I’m not that good!” I pushed him a bit more by asking why he decided to play Zynga Poker online if he didn’t feel he was that good in the first place. “Look, Zynga Poker is a bit different to playing poker against your dad and his friends. For one thing, you don’t get made fun of, and you can take your time learning the ropes.”
This makes perfect sense and neatly connects millennials and social gaming apps like Zynga Poker. Clarissa and Zack exemplify how the new generation of youngsters are seizing the latest online opportunities. They think differently, and their approach to learning is sometimes radical. Raised on the internet and mobile device apps that can do everything from teaching you a new language to helping you study for mid-terms, learning to play poker through Zynga Poker is just another example.
Clarissa breaks it down even further. ”I had never played poker before and had only seen it in old movies. It seemed like a game for old guys and cowboys, nothing interesting at all about it to be honest.” I’ve found that most millennials have that idea about older things like poker or landline telephones. “It’s different with Zynga Poker though; it doesn’t have that ‘old guy’ vibe about it. I found that it was actually effortless to play and I got a ton of coins for free. I could start playing against other people from all over the world, with free money, and I made even more for every game I won!”
“as you can probably see, I have millions of coins on my name. I rule this game!”
So it seems that millennials are playing Zynga Poker because it is fun and also easy to play. “You can play wherever you like,” adds Zack. He pulls out his smartphone to show me how he does it. “See? All I do is open my app and start playing. I can take off right where I ended the last time and, as you can probably see, I have millions of coins on my name. I rule this game!” That’s great I tell him, trying not to be obvious about being impressed with his bank balance. However, it’s Clarissa that reveals the biggest attraction to playing Zynga Poker. “I’m still quite new at this game, so I haven’t made millions yet, but I love playing at home in my pyjamas. I’m not really a party animal type. I’d rather chill at home and play Zynga Poker in comfortable surroundings.” She concludes with a shy smile.
The millennials I met while writing this story were all smart, ambitious and consciously aware of every trend sweeping the internet. Based on discussions with them, including the excerpts of conversations with Zack and Clarissa shared here; they all find Zynga Poker to be the best game for them. They see the social aspect to be non-intimidating, the game format relaxing, and it seems to be straightforward to earn in-game currency quickly.
“Most students can play against opponents within a few minutes of learning the rules of the game.”
So let’s break down what the Zynga Poker app is all about. The Zynga Poker app is based on the classic poker variant - Texas Hold’em poker. While there are many variations on the standard poker concept, Texas Hold’em is by far the most played of all modern poker games. One of the main reasons for the games ongoing popularity is that Texas Hold’em poker is fast, exciting and very easy to learn. This is one of the main reasons why Zynga chose Texas Hold’em as the game of choice on their social poker app. The majority of people learning how to play poker for the first time find that Texas Hold’em poker is the easiest to grasp. Most students can play against opponents within a few minutes of learning the rules of the game.
Zynga Poker is more than just a simple poker app. It’s a self-contained ecosystem of players from around the world, competing against each other for massive rewards. The beauty of the Zynga App is that, unlike many other pay to play apps, you don’t need to spend a dime to join up and start playing poker against other players. You don’t need to have any previous experience either since there are plenty of tutorials to show you the ropes of the game. Once you know how the game works and what all the different betting terminologies and hand values are, you’re all set and can start winning vast amounts of coins.
“Joining the VIP program is a smart move since it added a ton of extra rewards”
As soon as you sign up via your existing Facebook profile, you will be given free coins to start playing right away. You can challenge your nearest and dearest friends or family members, or venture out and challenge other like-minded millennials from the four corners of the earth. I found that besides free coins and plenty of tutorials to get you started, the built-in VIP club was a real find. Joining the VIP program is a smart move since it added a ton of extra rewards to my profile that I wasn’t even expecting. The VIP rewards included plenty of freebies like additional coin packs and free level unlocks and even unique game modes to keep things interesting.
Zynga Poker works on virtually any device including your favourite Android smartphone, tablet, iPhone or iPad. The cool thing that I found with this app is that you don’t always need to access it on your mobile device. If you happen to be someone that is office-bound, you can still access your Zynga profile directly from your workstation. If you are looking to sign up with Zynga Poker but don’t like the idea of having to create a fresh profile and have to think of new passwords, don’t worry. Signing in with your Facebook account is all you need to get started, and you can use your existing Facebook username and password to keep things nice and simple.
Finally, I should say that, while this article does revolve around my interviews with millennials that are making millions playing Zynga Poker in their pyjamas, the app is by no means limited to just the millennial generation. You may even be surprised to learn just how diverse the demographics are that play Zynga Poker. I may just have to write a follow-up piece called “Meet the mom and pop making millions in their pyjamas playing Zynga Poker!”