When you think of the best places in the United States to play blackjack, Illinois probably isn’t at the top of the list. But Illinois blackjack is offered in many casinos. And some of the biggest players in casino ownership run casinos in Illinois, so you know blackjack games are plentiful
In this post you’re going to learn about the laws governing Illinois blackjack games, where you can play blackjack in the state, and if you can play online.
The gambling laws in Illinois are unique. And this doesn’t make them exactly straightforward. But once you finish this post you can safely traverse legal blackjack play in Illinois.
Illinois Blackjack Laws
Blackjack laws in Illinois are fairly simple. You can legally play blackjack in any of the casinos licensed by the state to offer blackjack. All of the casinos located in Illinois with blackjack tables and games are listed in this post.
You can also play blackjack games for free online. And you can play blackjack in sweepstakes online casinos. But you still can’t legally play blackjack in real money online casinos.
In fact, Illinois is one of the few states that have a law specifically making online casino play illegal.
As far as regulated blackjack games in land-based casinos in the state, only certain games and side bets are authorized.
The following blackjack games, side wagers, and variations are approved by the Illinois Gaming Board:
- Blackjack or 21
- 21 + 3 classic and xtreme
- Bet the set 21
- Casino surrender
- Free bet blackjack
- Lucky ladies
- TriLux super 3 and bonus
- Zombie blackjack
- Alternative blackjack
- Blazing 7’s
- Double exposure 21
- House money
- Perfect pairs
- Lucky lucky
Each casino sets the rules and limits for the blackjack games they offer. And all blackjack tables in a casino don’t have to have the same set of rules.
While Illinois isn’t the hotbed of blackjack action in the US, the available blackjack games are in line with casinos in similar states. For example, the blackjack games in Illinois are similar to blackjack games in Indiana and Ohio.
Online Illinois Blackjack Options
Illinois is one of the few states that have specific laws against online casinos. But the state has laws that allow certain types of online slot machine play. And Illinois also allows sports betting. But currently, you can’t legally play online blackjack in the state at an online casino.
However, Illinois residents can play blackjack online in something called “sweepstakes casinos.” I cover what a sweepstakes casino is in the next section.
To complicate matters more, some offshore online casinos still offer blackjack games to residents of Illinois. And if this all sounds too complicated to you, you’re not alone.
Because the law in Illinois says online casinos are illegal, I can’t recommend playing in one. But I can also give you some information so you can make your decision.
Like most states in the US, Illinois sees a lot more concerned with hunting and prosecuting people who own and run online casinos than looking for gamblers. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s ok to gamble online in Illinois. It’s still breaking the law.
I believe that the state is going to eventually license and regulate online casinos. Illinois already has casino gambling in the state, already lets residents play online slots under certain circumstances, and has sports betting. The state also has sweepstakes casinos and online lottery games.
With all of these things in mind, it makes sense that Illinois will eventually regulate and legalize online casinos. Of course, states don’t always do things that make sense, so I might be wrong.
Illinois Sweepstakes Online Casinos
The only way to play online blackjack in Illinois for something similar to real money is in sweepstakes casinos. But before you get too excited, sweepstakes casinos aren’t a lot like regular online casinos when it comes to winning cash.
Sweepstakes online casinos, which are also called social casinos, don’t use real money. Instead, they use coins, tickets, or tokens for betting purposes. In some sweepstakes casinos you can exchange tokens or coins you win for cash prizes. But the exchange rate makes it almost impossible to make a profit.
Most sweepstakes online casinos give you some free tokens or coins to gamble with. But they also sell coins. If you want t play with the free coins or tokens it’s ok, but I don’t recommend buying them.
And if you want to play free blackjack, you can play at many different online sites.
Illinois Casinos with Blackjack Games
I haven’t played in every casino in Illinois. But from my research, every casino listed below offers blackjack games.
Of course, the Chicago market is the largest in the state, and there are multiple blackjack actions there. But there are other large population centers in Illinois served by at least one casino like Joliet, East St Louis, Aurora, and Peoria.
Here’s a quick overview of the best Illinois blackjack casinos:
DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St Louis
The DraftKings at Casino Queen used to be called Casino Queen. Located at 200 South Front Street in East St Louis, the former casino joined with DraftKings when sports gambling was legalized in the state.
DraftKings at Casino Queen offers blackjack tables. Other gambling options include slot machines, craps, roulette, three card poker, Mississippi stud, and Ultimate Texas holdem.
Harrah’s in Metropolis
Harrah’s Casino in Metropolis is owned by Caesars Entertainment. The casino is located at 100 East Front Street in Metropolis.
In addition to blackjack tables, Harrah’s also has Mississippi stud, mini baccarat, three card poker, high card flush, roulette, and craps.
Harrah’s in Joliet
Also owned by Caesars Entertainment, Harrah’s Casino in Juliet is located at 151 North Joliet Street.
Harrah’s in Joliet offers blackjack, slot machines, video poker, roulette, craps, Ultimate Texas holdem, Mississippi stud poker, three card poker, mini baccarat, and high card flush.
Argosy in Alton
Owned by Penn National Gaming, the Argosy Casino in Alton is a riverboat casino. The casino is located at 1 Piasa Street in Alton.
Argosy in Alton offers blackjack tables, slot machines, sports betting, craps, roulette, Ultimate Texas holdem, three card poker, and 21+3.
Par-a-Dice in East Peoria
Located at 21 Blackjack Boulevard in East Peoria, Par-a-Dice is owned by Boyd Gaming and is a full service casino and hotel.
Par-a-Dice Casino has blackjack games, a FanDuel sportsbook, slots games, mini baccarat, Mississippi stud poker, three card poker, roulette, and craps.
Hollywood in Aurora
Penn National Gaming owns the Hollywood Casino in Aurora. Hollywood Casino is located at 1 West New York Street Bridge in Aurora.
You can find 21 table games including blackjack, craps, roulette, three card poker, mini baccarat, and Mississippi stud poker. Hollywood Casino in Aurora also has slot machines, sports betting, and a poker room.
Hollywood in Joliet
Also owned by Penn National Gaming, the Hollywood Casino is located at 777 Hollywood Boulevard in Joliet.
Blackjack is the leading table game at Hollywood Joliet, but you can also play craps and roulette. You can also play slot machines and video poker and bet on sporting events.
Bally’s in Quad Cities
Bally’s Quad Cities Casino is located at 777 Bally Boulevard in Rock Island, Illinois.
With nine blackjack tables, it’s easy to find a seat. The blackjack tables offer TriLux Bonus Blackjack and TriLux Super Blackjack side bets. Other available table games include craps, roulette, three card poker, Ultimate Texas holdem, and Mississippi stud poker. Bally’s also offers slot machines and a poker room.
Grand Victoria in Elgin
Another casino owned by Caesars, the Grand Victoria in Elgin is a riverboat casino and sportsbook. The address for the riverboat is 250 South Grove Avenue in Elgin.
In addition to blackjack, the Grand Victoria has a poker room, slot machines, sports betting, baccarat, high card flush, Mississippi stud poker, three card poker, roulette, and craps.
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines
Rivers Casino is located at 3000 South River Road in Des plains.
You can play blackjack as well as Spanish 21, three card poker, high card flush, Mississippi stud poker, craps, baccarat, mini baccarat, and roulette at Rivers Casino. They also offer slot machines, a poker room, and a sportsbook.
Overall, Illinois is simply an average state for blackjack play. The state has several nice casinos, including a few riverboat casinos. If you’ve never gambled on a riverboat casino, you should give it a try. It’s an interesting experience.
But there’s nothing about Illinois blackjack that makes traveling to the state worthwhile. If you live in Illinois or travel there, you can find blackjack tables. But if you live elsewhere, there are plenty of blackjack options that are just as good or better closer to home.
Until the state changes its online gambling laws and starts offering online real money blackjack play, Illinois is just another state with some land-based casinos. The good news is that now that online sports betting is legal in the state, maybe online casino play will be legalized soon.