Recommended by Bob Ciaffone
Here are some Internet sites where you can play games of skill like poker, chess, bridge, and backgammon.
You can play poker on most of these internet sites either for money or for fun.
ChecknRaise Poker This site will come online in November, 2004. It will be a great place to play poker. Their philosophy is to put a lot of emphasis on KEEPING their players, rather than simply getting traffic, which means they are offering more benefits to their players than any of the other poker sites. I have worked with their software programmers with the aim and expectation of producing the best poker interface on the internet. Their site features a lot of my columns and other material, and I am their Cardroom Director. They will be the most innovative site on the internet; they have highly creative leadership and staff. Please contact me if you would like more info on this nice new place to play poker online.

Party Poker This is the most popular internet website for poker players. It is hosted by my good friend Mike Sexton, now a poker television star, one of the most honest and gentlemanly people involved with poker. I am an affiliate of this site. This means if someone registers to play there using my bonus code, TheCoach, they receive some bonus money, and I get credit for a referral. You will find this site to be one that attracts a lot of new players to poker, desirable opponents to play against. If your game is limit holdem, this site is a must-play.

Empire Poker This is the companion site to Party Poker. It uses the same internet platform, but is run by a different company. I am an affiliate of this site as well. If someone registers to play there using my bonus code, PCSITE, they receive some bonus money, and I get credit for a referral. (I picked these code letters because they have the required six characters, which stand for “Poker Coach Site.”)

Royal Vegas Poker This South African poker site is a steadily improving one. I am associated with it as one of their “Experts,” and play there under my own name. Check out their no-limit tournaments on Wednesday nights. I finished second on March 10, 2004, getting back about $1500 on a $22 investment. In July I won the event.

Internet Chess Club There are a number of places on the Internet where you can play chess. The ICC is the best-known and most extensively used. A membership in the ICC costs $50 a year and gives you useful benefits such as an established rating and an e-mail message with the scoresheet of your games. However, anyone can log on as a guest and play chess. To play, the best thing to do is go to the ICC homepage and download the BlitzIn interface (free) so you have a chessboard to play on. Then all you have to do is click on the BlitzIn icon and log in, and you are in action. Opponents are from all over the world, and range in skill level from beginner to grandmaster.

The First Internet Backgammon Server This is a good place on the Internet to play.

Cyberarts This site is maintained by a group of top backgammon players.

NetGammon You can the download graphics and play for a 90 day trial period for free.

e-Bridge This is the best internet site for tournament bridge.

OKBridge You can practice with your favorite partner or find three other people looking for a fourth.

PlaySite This site is put up by the same group that publishes “Inside Chess” magazine. At present it offers chess, checkers, backgammon, and reversi.
WorldPlay Entertainment This network of AOL’s is totally devoted to playing games. It has a wide range of competitive games available, including poker, bridge, backgammon, hearts, gin, and chess. A membership fee is required.

MSN Gaming Zone The Microsoft network sponsors this site, which offers many types of games.