Everybody likes to get something for free. But what if you had to play games to earn it? Sounds tough, right? The Pit Boss said "do it!" and I plunged into the world of Free Casino Games.
Truth is, it's kinda been a while since I had this much fun. The Free Games scene is not as polished nor cutting edge as the regular casino beat, but then we're talking about free money and prizes. What I found was a mixed bag of pretty entertaining stuff, a little something for everyone.
Virtual Vegas: Easily the most advanced site I visited on my tour, Virtual Vegas offers some really spiff games. Of course I hit the regular casino games right off. The Blackjack is nice, plays fast and there's a variety to choose from. Rack up the virtual chips, trade them in by batches of 500 for tokens and then trade the tokens for cash and gift prizes. Can't complain about that. But don't stop with the "serious" games. You gotta try their Fashion Slots: it's a fashion runway complete with MC calling out "it looks mah-velous Dah-ling!" Good looking site, easy to use, fun games, easy to play. Be there or be square.
POGO: Not gonna win any awards for cutting edge gaming, but if you're into free money for playing bingo and keno, then head on in. POGO has a mess of other, non-casino games, but the keno and bingo offer cumulative jackpots that were as high as $2200 when I was there. The number of players at POGO at any give time can be pretty astounding and they've divided it up into virtual games rooms in order to handle the crowds. Pick a game by your age group or one of the open games and pull up a seat. Good luck and have fun. They'll be offering a Video Poker section in the near future so maybe I'll see ya there.
Gamesville: "Wasting your time since 1996" they say, right on the front page. You gotta know these folks don't take anything too seriously and from what I saw, the games are organized on exactly that principle. I tried one of their Blackjack games and found myself in a sock race with 900 other players. You start out with 100 points and you've got 14 hands to crank it up to 500. First one to break 500 wins the pot. When I played the pot was around $750 and I got up to 390 points, not enough to beat the leader at 475 points and no one took the pot. Playing speed Blackjack was a real novelty for me.
Gamesville has quite the wide selection on the menu: Bingo, Blackjack, Quick-Draw Poker, Acey Deucy, Sports Trivia, etc, etc. The games are divided into cash prize games, "win a trip" games and a variety of other prizes like Superbowl tickets and a seat at the Daytona 500. Everything is stated on their front page so you know right off what'll interest you. The game interface is pretty low-tech but whataya want for nothing? Fun site and real novelty value.
Last but not least: All of the free sites ask you to register in order to receive your prizes. Well, I've also been receiving a lot of junk mail since I gave 'em my info so you might want to be prepared for that. I'd recommend getting a disposable email address, something like Hotmail or Usa.net, so your regular mailbox doesn't get choked with spam. It's free, easy to do, and then you can join all the Free Games sites you want. One good freebie deserves another. And hey! Let's have fun out there.