Marc Saltzman
November 10, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Let’s face it: computer gaming can be an expensive hobby. Not only do PC games hover in the $50 range, but then you get nailed for a joystick, a better graphics card, extra RAM, perhaps even online gaming fees. Well, before you launch into another mind-numbing game of Windows Solitaire, bear in mind that the Net now features some fine free gaming sites.

This is a bookmark must for its colossal collection of single and multiplayer games, ranging from You Don’t Know Jack: The Netshow to Hoyle’s collection of classic card and board games. It can also launch games (like chess and backgammon) instantly over ICQ. As an added incentive, gamers win ”flips points” to exchange for prizes.

With 13 million-plus registered users, this is one of the Web’s stickiest entertainment sites. Virtual versions of such faves as euchre, hearts, and solitaire are here, but the real treats include addictive puzzler Poppit!, football simulation Pigskin Paydirt, and a handful of bingo and casino diversions to play for real cash.

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