A screenshot of gin rummy at hlml5games.org

Save time and avoid computer viruses: Play free online games with no downloads required! Below are links to free arcade games, card games and word games in HTML5.

Part 1: Free Arcade Games

Play 1970s and ‘80s arcade games without spending your quarters. Your computer is a retro arcade just waiting to happen…

Atari Arcade

A stack of free Atari games to play online, including Super Breakout, Asteroids and more
A stack of free Atari games to play online

Atari was the major player in 1970s game arcades. Releasing Pong in 1972, this northern California tech company became the first to challenge Pinball for room in arcades. In 1975 Atari introduced game consoles for home use. 

Pong is an addictive game yet very basic in terms of coding, and companies were quickly able to copy Atari’s idea. This pushed Atari to design more advanced games, laying more foundation for what we have today. Playing classic Atari games in order of their release, you can see how electronic games evolved through the 1970s and ‘80s.

The Atari virtual arcade features Pong, Asteroids, Centipede and five other fan favorites. Some games can be multi-player.

You can play Atari games ad-free in Internet Explorer, or with ads in other browsers.

Pac-Man Online

A user-generated maze at the World's Biggest Pac-Man websitePac-Man came to the US via Tokyo 1980. This instant hit by Namco was revolutionary for moving away from Atari’s shooting-focused game style. Pac-Man’s mission is to eat!

Basics of Pac-Man: As Pac-Man chomps through mazes filled with Pac-Dots and other treats, four ghosts try to end the fun. Each ghost (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde) has a distinct set of behaviors to help keep the game exciting. When Pac-Man eats a power pellet and the ghosts all turn dark blue, he can eat them to score extra points. 

To play Pac-Man online free without any ads, visit memory.psych.mun.ca/tech/js/pacman/. This free HTML5 game is not produced by Namco. 

You can also make Pac-Man mazes, and try other people’s designs, at WorldsBiggestPacMan.com.


Part 2: Free Card Games

If you had a desk job pre-Facebook, then Solitaire was likely your partner in procrastination. Now you can play Solitaire, blackjack, poker and other free card games with no download.


It couldn’t be easier to play Solitaire free online: Just go to SolitaireForFree.com and start clicking cards! The game is ready to go:

Screenshot: SolitaireForFree.com by Paul Harrington
Screenshot of SolitaireForFree.com featuring a game by Paul Harrington


Sometime around 1860 the game euchre introduced Jokers to our modern card deck. Euchre is a four-person game that people play in pairs. Each round has a trump suit, and partners strategize to take tricks. Card game rules are explained clearly at of the best pages for playing euchre free online: TrickstersCards.com/game.

A screenshot of euchre from TrickstersCards,com
A screenshot of euchre from TrickstersCards.com

Gin Rummy

A screenshot of gin rummy at hlml5games.org
Play gin rummy online free at html5games.org

Gin rummy is a fun strategy card game for kids and grown-ups. Your main objective is to collect three-card and four-card sets before your opponent.

Click over to html5games.com to play gin rummy online free! The play is truly instant, as you play against a computer.

The same website also lets you play blackjack, hearts, multiple versions of Solitaire and several other free card games with no download required.

Part 3: Free Word Games

Online word games are often inspired by crossword puzzles or the board game Scrabble. Below see where to play Scrabble and other word games online for free… instantly with no download required.


Captionable is our free online word game inspired by Instagram and Wheel of Fortune. It’s unique for featuring word games created by players, using their own pictures.

Like Instagram, Captionable.com gives viewers an endless scroll of pictures. Better than Instagram, each picture has a word game!

Captionable puzzles are organized with channels and hashtags, so it’s easy to find word puzzles about topics you enjoy: dogs, cats, politics, travel and so forth.

With social functions and a free iOS app too, Captionable is part word game, part social media. Click to play fun word games instantly!


Scrabble Online

An image of playing Scrabble online
Play Scrabble online without waiting for a slow opponent

Play Scrabble online anytime, instantly. The website FunkyPotato lets you play the official HTML5 version of Scrabble for free.

You play against a computer, so there’s no waiting around for a human’s slower computations. Also, Scrabble Online lets you cheat! You can peek at the computer’s letter rack whenever you please.

But if you’d rather play Scrabble against a human, see CrosswordsArena.com or check out Words With Friends when logged into Facebook.


A screenshot of WordTwist, a free online word game inspired by Boggle
A screenshot of WordTwist, a free online word game inspired by Boggle

WordTwist is a free online word game inspired by Hasbro’s Boggle, the wordsearch game with 16 “letter dice” arranged in a grid.

WordTwist.org lets you play online anytime without a download. Roughly 100K people use the site regularly, so you won’t need to wait long for an opponent to try the same game board.

You can play WordTwist without logging in. If you do log in, you can save your scores and climb the rankings.

What free online games would you recommend to friends, and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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