Just Play: Enjoy These Bare Bones Games with No Hassle
So many online games require me to jump through hoops: set up accounts, log in, remember passwords, answer questions, make choices as to the type of game, download an app, dig out my credit card, etc. Sometimes, I just want to open my phone and play a game without dealing with all that. Maybe I’m sitting in a doctors’ office and he’s half an hour late. Maybe I’m at the beach and it’s too windy for a real board game. Maybe my kid is bored and we’re not at home and I just want to open my phone and challenge him to a game of checkers. If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate this article!
I’ve gathered links to some of the best ‘Just Play’ offerings I could find. You’ll find Backgammon, Bridge, Crib, Hearts, Gin Rummy, Chess, Checkers, Othello, and Yahtzee as well as links to some bigger game sites. Enjoy!
Bare Bones Gaming Fun VS Robots
This page presents a board, game pieces and dice and that’s it! No login required. However, if you do scroll a bit, you’ll also get the rules which might come in handy. Note, you’ll be playing against a robot opponent.
This is a free solitaire bridge game currently residing on the Bridge Base Online platform. There is no login required. Simply click the link and start playing! Because bridge requires four people, you’ll be given 3 robots to play with. As bids are made, their meanings will show up – so you can learn while you play! Have fun. If you don’t know how to play bridge, Great Bridge Links is a very good place to start and has a page specifically for learners.
This page opens with Easy, Standard, Pro options, you draw to see who goes first (you or the robot), and then the game is on. Clean, simple, and easy. This game is created by the same group that created the Backgammon game above, and also includes rules and scoring information below.
This site is very straightforward. Although there are a few google ads, their kept off to the side and out of the way of the playing board.
One more card game for you! Similar to the Gin Rummy site above, the playing area is clean and easy to navigate.
Bare Bones Gaming Fun Portals
Many of the games below have the option to share a link over the internet and play with a friend in far away places. Some also have a ‘play in real time’ options for those time when you’re sitting next to someone and wanting to play a game together. At these times, your tablet or phone becomes a game board with pieces that don’t blow away! We’ve gathered links to big sites which you can explore and bookmark your favourite games. We’ve tried to find sites that are kid friendly and not filled with ads.
Free Board Games has a whole bunch of great games that you can simply click and play. The list below links to games that you can play against a robot. OR You can share a link with a friend and play over the internet. OR you can simply sit together with someone and use the game to play in real time, passing the board back and forth. Perfect world!
Othello – my personal favourite!
Bridge – I don’t recommend this version of Just Play Bridge. If you’re looking for good bridge solitaire your best options are either Fun Bridge (choose the Series Touraments) or Bridge Base Online and choose Solitaire. Both platforms require you to set up an account an login though – so they’re a bit outside the promises of this article. However, bridge is such a great game, we highly recommend doing this.
For anyone interested, Free Board Games lists their code for their games on GitHub. And they have a Discord where you can join a community of gamers.
What about Solitaire?
We haven’t listed any of the many fantastic online solitaire games in this blog, that will be something for a future article! While you’re waiting you might enjoy Katie’s Ode to Solitaire article.