In the era of hi-tech video games, classic board and card games have almost become a thing of the past. Playing a game of Scrabble amongst friends is now something of a retro and quaint event, as opposed to the common pastime it was before the advent of computers. Roleplayer games like Dungeons & Dragons are often regarded as remnants of a different time, when huddling around a table with dice, paper and books was equally as exciting as logging on to World of Warcraft. 

However, it needn’t be an either-or situation. Why choose between the social and relaxed feeling of a tabletop game, or the faster-paced excitement and convenience of an online game, when you can combine the two? Here are some of the best classic board and card games to play online, with information on the best place to get your retro tabletop fix.

Scrabble

Scrabble is one of these games that is considerably less fun if played against a computer. The word-based game requires competition from real people, hence why Facebook is an excellent platform on which to play the classic game. You can choose between challenging your real life friends to play on the social media site (with a chat box function and unlimited turn time) or you can invite strangers to a duel. The official Scrabble for Facebook is created by EA Games, however ‘Words with Friends’ is a popular variant because of its user-friendly design. If you’re not much of a Facebook user, the most indisputably respected online Scrabble variant is found on Pogo.com. The best thing about playing on Pogo is that you can make an account and keep track of how your average score improves over time.

Poker

Poker has arguably experienced the highest degree of popularity in the digital realm. Millions of people from around the world regularly play poker online – some for free, others betting with real money for the authentic gambling experience. As online poker is such a big industry, there are a lot of poker sites to choose between. Poker is a game with a lot of variants, so the best site will depend largely on what type of poker you enjoy playing – read some poker site reviews for a better picture of what the most famous ones offer. In general, sites such as PokerStars and 888poker are widely considered the most comprehensive, professional and fun.

Monopoly

If you want to improve your Monopoly tactics before the next family gathering when the estate-based board game is invariably brought out, you can hone your business skills through the variant on pogo.com or the official hasbro.com which offers the appropriately thematic ‘digital banking’ edition for online players.

Chess

Possibly the second most popular traditional tabletop game to play online; Chess has been loved across the world for centuries thanks to the enduring appeal of its complex and strategic nature. Those who play regularly pride themselves on continuously improving upon their technique. As such, a good chess site should allow users to keep track of their progress. Chess.com is an excellent place to start – this 15 million member site lets you challenge your friends or choose to practise against the computer, keep note of your score and take advantage or training tools. If you are a more advanced player, you might be better paying to join the ICC (Internet Chess Club) which lets you play against grandmasters and other titled players.

GO

Chess is not the most complex strategy game you can play online, however. Try the ancient Chinese game of GO for even more of an addictive challenge. The number of outcomes in GO is more vast than the number of atoms in the visible universe. Since GO is primarily played in Asian cultures, it can be difficult finding a decent English language site to play it on. Gokgs.com is one English site which you can try. If you are new to the game, you can learn how to play here.

Dungeons & Dragons

The biggest community of online Dungeons & Dragons players can be found at dnd.wizards.com. One of the reasons many prefer to play the iconic and highly influential fantasy RPG online is because it does away with the need for the fiddly accessories and manual organisation.

Risk

The game Risk appeals to the strategically minded and geographically interested – and it can be played online on numerous sites. Warlight.net offers a modern take on the classic game, but there are plenty of other online alternatives to the traditional world map board. Check this list to find your prefered variant.

It’s difficult to beat the feeling of real cards, tiles or game pieces in your hand. It’s even harder to beat the social fun of interacting with those you’re playing against. But for when it’s not practical to start a time-consuming tabletop game with friends, rest assured you’ll find your favourite card or board game experience online too.