Online poker has become a staple of internet gaming, and Illinois residents are keen to join the action. While traditional online poker remains off the table, Illinoisans are finding alternative routes to enjoy this classic card game.
Is real money online poker legal in Illinois?
Illinois state law does not permit the operation of traditional real money online poker sites. However, this does not leave Illinois poker enthusiasts without options. Sweepstakes poker sites are a legal alternative and are available for use in Illinois.
Best Illinois sweepstakes poker site
While traditional online poker has not been legalized, Illinoisans can use sweepstakes poker sites as a legal alternative.
These sites operate under the premise of sweepstakes law, which allows players to participate in poker games for a chance to win real prizes without directly wagering money. This legal workaround allows poker enthusiasts in Illinois to play online.
How to sign up at an IL online poker site
Signing up for an online poker site in Illinois is a straightforward process, typically involving the following steps:
Types of games on Illinois poker sites
Illinois poker sites, particularly those operating under the sweepstakes model, offer a variety of games that cater to different preferences and skill levels.
These platforms provide an array of poker experiences, from the classic formats to more modern variations. Here's a look at the types of poker games you can indulge in online.
Poker apps vs. poker websites
In the digital age, poker players in Illinois have the luxury of choosing between playing on dedicated poker apps or accessing poker games through websites. Both platforms have their unique advantages and cater to different player preferences.
While poker apps offer convenience and mobile access, websites provide a more comprehensive experience with the benefit of a larger display and full feature set.
The choice between the two will depend on personal preference, play style, and whether the player prioritizes mobility or a richer, more detailed poker environment.
Illinois casinos with poker rooms
While the digital felts of online poker in Illinois are yet to be fully legalized, poker enthusiasts have the opportunity to shuffle up and deal in person at four Illinois casinos that offer poker rooms across the state.
When will online poker be legal in Illinois?
The question of when online poker will be legal in Illinois is a topic of much speculation and anticipation. As of now, Illinois does not have any online poker sites that are regulated and licensed by the state. However, there is a legislative momentum for legalizing Illinois online poker. The good news for poker enthusiasts is that both the House and Senate introduced online casino bills in 2021, which included online poker in the texts. This indicates that if online casinos are regulated in Illinois, online poker is likely to follow.
Despite this progress, neither online casino bill passed during the May legislative session, but the issue is expected to be revisited in future sessions. Therefore, while there is no definitive answer as to when online poker will be legal in Illinois, the introduction of these bills suggests that the state is moving toward legalization. For now, poker players in Illinois can use promotional sweepstakes sites or wait for the state to launch domestic real money online poker.
Expert tips when playing poker online
Playing poker online in Illinois, while limited to sweepstakes sites like Global Poker, still requires strategic thinking and a disciplined approach. Here are some expert tips to enhance your online poker playing experience:
Remember, while the current legal framework for online poker in Illinois doesn't include traditional real-money play, these tips can still be applied to sweepstakes poker sites and will be invaluable if and when the state legalizes full-fledged online poker.