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Online Poker In Illinois – Compare The Best Real Money Poker Sites In IL

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In recent years there has been a lot of talk about online poker in Illinois. By reading this guide, you’ll understand current and potentially upcoming laws governing IL online poker sites. You’ll also find an updated list of the best online platforms on which to play poker right on right now.

Keep reading to learn how you can also play online poker for real money in Illinois on mobile. We’ll also explain the pros and cons of different payment options, including crypto and eWallets.

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News on Illinois Online Poker Rules

There are some exciting times ahead for online poker in Illinois. Lawmakers are currently debating rules that would make it legal for online casino operators to seek a State license. Below, you can find the latest updates regarding such rules.

  • 2022 – Bill SB2064 is yet to be voted upon. Most legislators doubt that a vote will take place this year.
  • 2021 – Bill SB 2064, also known as the Internet Gaming Act, is present in the House by Rep. Bob Rita. This bill proposes legislation to make finding legal online poker in Illinois possible. It should also introduce legal online casinos.
  • 2020 – Online sports betting apps can now seek State licenses, marking the dawn of legal online sports betting in Illinois.

The Best Illinois Online Poker Sites Listed

Our team of experts has identified the following to be the best sites for online poker in Illinois. You can join any of these platforms in just a few minutes and play in a safe and fair environment.

  1. BetOnline – The Flagship Online Poker Site in Illinois.
  2. Bovada – One of the Best IL Online Poker Sites for Innovative Features.
  3. SportsBetting.ag – Play Online Poker for Real Money in Illinois with Crypto.
  4. Ignition – A Top Provider of IL Online Poker Tournaments.
  5. Everygame – One of the Best Illinois Online Poker Casinos for Promotions.

The Best Sites for Online Poker in Illinois Reviewed

There are numerous reasons why these sites were picked by our experts for being the best. Whilst they are all located offshore, they provide players in Illinois with a convenient way to play poker for real. Discover more about these top sites by reading through our mini-reviews.

1. BetOnline – The Flagship Online Poker Site in Illinois

BetOnline Poker Lobby

It takes a superb mix of features and games to be the best site for online poker in Illinois. BetOnline has this mix and is able to cater to a wide audience, including both new and experienced players with smaller or larger bankrolls. Its poker platform offers a variety of poker variants and is even home to several tournaments with prize pools of $1 million and more.

You can connect to the poker platform directly from your desktop or mobile browser. There is also a mobile app that you can download onto your smartphone or tablet. No matter which way to choose to play poker online, you’ll be able to use BetOnline Casino bonus codes to unlock dedicated poker rewards. These include matched bonuses and poker chips.

Pros

  • Payment limits designed to suit casual players and high rollers
  • Features a variety of variants, including Hold’em and Caribbean Stud
  • Includes a poker app for Android and iOS systems
  • Offers 24/7 live chat support in English to new and existing users

Cons

  • Does not accept PayPal payments

2. Bovada – One of the Best IL Online Poker Sites for Innovative Features

Bovada Poker Lobby

The Bovada Poker platform offers players a variety of exciting features. You can, for example, customize the look of your playing cards and poker tables by browsing through the available designs. There are also several unique tables, such as Annonymous Tables, where you can keep your identity hidden. Zone Poker, meanwhile, allows you to end poker rounds quicker.

In addition to these and other great features, Bovada offers a variety of top poker variants. Popular titles include Hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo, and you can play them either as a standalone game or as part of a tournament. In either case, you’ll be able to use Bovada Casino bonus codes to unlock reload bonuses, free roll tickets, or a variety of other rewards.

Pros

  • Accepts PayPal and other eWallet payments
  • Poker tournaments with prize pools of $1 million+
  • An excellent range of customization options and features
  • Play poker on mobile using the responsive main website

Cons

  • Does not accept Dogecoin

3. SportsBetting.ag – Play Online Poker for Real Money in Illinois with Crypto

Sportsbetting.ag Poker

If you’re planning to play using cryptocurrencies, you should definitely consider SportsBetting.ag. This top crypto site supports payments in 15 different coins and tokens and can accommodate maximum deposits of up to $500k with Bitcoin. Max payout limits are also very high, $100k with Bitcoin, and so this IL poker site is also one of the best high roller casinos.

With crypto or USD in your account, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of poker tables and games. You should, however, check out the latest SportsBetting.ag promo codes before depositing funds. This site focused mainly on Texas Hold’em and Omaha, but there are also other variants. Numerous tournaments are also available, including ones with high-value guaranteed prize pools.

Pros

  • Supports payments in 15 cryptocurrencies
  • No platform fees for crypto deposits or payouts
  • Offers a variety of poker tournaments, including Sit & Go’s
  • Provides mobile poker through a mobile-friendly website

Cons

  • Fewer poker variants than on other top sites

4. Ignition – A Top Provider of IL Online Poker Tournaments

Ignition Poker Tournaments

Ignition provides a varied choice of poker tournaments that are well-suited for both casual players and high rollers. From Knockout Tournaments to Sit & Go’s, you’re sure to find the competition that matches your skill level and availability. You can even use Ignition Casino bonus codes to receive free roll tickets or other bonuses that can be used for tournaments.

If you’re looking to learn how to play poker online, Ignition is one of the best Illinois online poker casinos for that too. The site offers an extensive library of video tutorials and strategy guides to help you learn the basics as well as develop advanced strategies. You can also practice playing a variety of top variants for free or join tables featuring low-stakes betting.

Pros

  • Offers free roll tickets for eligible crypto deposits
  • Learn how to play online poker for free
  • Includes poker tournaments with 1,000x prizes
  • Accepts a very good selection of USD and crypto options

Cons

  • No downloadable mobile app is available

5. Everygame – One of the Best Illinois Online Poker Casinos for Promotions

Everygame Poker

All our featured sites for online poker in Illinois reward players in different ways, but few offer as many rewards as Everygame. On this site, players can receive a variety of welcome and ongoing rewards with every deposit. They can also avail of 36% fixed rate Rakebacks and no deposit bonuses provided through the loyalty program.

In many cases, all you need to do to unlock a reward is enter the appropriate code. You can find an updated list in our Everygame promo code guide. Once you’ve received your reward, you can use it on eligible poker games, including Hold’em. In some cases, you can also use bonuses on one of the daily, weekly, or monthly poker tournaments available.

Pros

  • A very good variety of poker promotions are available
  • Offers low-stakes tables with $0.02 and $0.04 blinds
  • Several poker tournaments are available every day
  • Features a fixed rate Rakeback of 36%

Cons

  • Does not accept eWallet payments

Online Poker in Illinois Frequently Asked Questions

Is Illinois online poker legal?

Is it legal to play poker online in Illinois?

Which is the best Illinois online poker site?

Which Illinois online poker casino is best for beginners?

The Best Online Poker Sites in Illinois Compared

There are numerous reasons why these sites have been selected as the best for online poker in Illinois. The following table should help you identify the platforms that best match your preferences.

Poker Room Poker Bonus Freerolls Casino Poker Qualifiers Live Poker
BetOnline 100% up to $1,000 16+
Bovada 100% up to $500 4+
Sportsbetting.ag 100% up to $1,000 10+
Ignition  150% Up to $3,000 6+
Everygame 200% up to $1,000 1+

Is Illinois Online Poker Currently Legal?

Illinois online casinos are not currently legal. As a result, finding legal online poker in Illinois is impossible. A bill that has the potential of changing the situation is being discussed, but no one knows if or when it will be passed.

As a result, the best and safest way to play online poker is to use offshore sites. These platforms are located outside of the State and country and are not included in current poker regulations.

It is possible to play poker at one of the land-based casinos in the State. However, there aren’t many available. By the end of this guide, we will list the best three land-based poker rooms in Illinois. To visit these establishments, players must be 21 years or over.

Laws Governing Illinois Poker

Illinois online gambling and land-based gambling laws can be confusing to understand. Below, we list the most important rules governing poker in the State.

  • Online poker laws: There are currently no laws that permit online poker sites in the State. As a result, casinos offering online poker in IL are all located offshore.
  • Offline poker laws: It is possible to play poker in person in Illinois. To do this, you need to find a legal land-based casino or poker room.

What do I Need to Play at an Offshore Illinois Poker Room?

Joining any of our recommended sites for online poker in Illinois is easy. As long as you’re located in the State or across most of the US, you should find no difficulty accessing the site and start playing poker online.

Even though our featured sites are all located offshore, they support players from Illinois and let you pay using USD or cryptocurrency. All these sites will require you to register an account by providing your information. Before making a payout, you will need to provide a government-issued ID to verify your details.

The Differences between Legal and Offshore Poker Sites

When we discuss online poker in Illinois, we mention both legal and offshore platforms. In the following section, we’ll explain their main differences as well as the benefits of using licensed sites.

How to Tell a Legal Poker Site from an Offshore One

The main difference between legal and offshore casinos is licensing. A legal platform is one that is licensed by the State authority responsible for online gambling. However, since there are currently no laws permitting online poker or casino games, finding legal online poker in Illinois is impossible.

Offshore casinos provide the best alternative, but not all of these sites are licensed. The ones that we’ve featured in this guide are duly licensed by competent jurisdictions. They include some of the best Costa Rica and Curacao casinos in the US and have a long track record of supporting players from this country.

Bovada Curacao Licence

You should be able to tell whether a poker site is legal or offshore by scrolling down to the bottom of the website. On the footer, you should find licensing details along with a seal of approval. Unlicensed sites wouldn’t show any information, but both legal and offshore platforms that are licensed would normally include a license number and other details.

How Fair and Safe are Legal and Offshore Poker Sites in Illinois?

One of the main purposes of any competent authority is to safeguard players. No matter whether a platform is licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board or another authority, it must continuously prove that it offers a safe and fair gambling experience.

The responsibilities of regulating authorities and poker site operators include the support of responsible gambling. This is a process by which players are able to keep their playing activity fun. There are several ways to play responsibly, including only spending money that you can afford to lose and taking frequent breaks during gambling sessions.

BetOnline Responsible Gambling

On all our featured sites offering online poker in Illinois, you’ll find a page dedicated to responsible gambling. Here, you will find helpful resources to help you stay in control of your gambling activity. You will also find options to set voluntary limits on losses or session times as well as links to charities and organizations that can provide you with expert support.

How to Stay Safe Whilst Using Offshore Illinois Poker Sites

Playing online poker in Illinois using our recommended offshore sites is simple and safe. These sites fall outside of the State’s online gambling laws, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty joining them and playing with real money.

Even though they are located abroad, these platforms have implemented numerous measures to protect users and funds. Nevertheless, you should always seek to stay safe whilst gambling online. From choosing strong passwords to using prepaid cards or other options, such as Vanilla Visa, there are several ways to keep yourself secure.

Are There Plans to Ring-Fence Poker Players in Illinois?

Ring-fencing groups together poker players from one or more states and prevents individuals from outside the fence to access it. Common in states that have legalized online poker, there are no known plans to introduce ring-fencing in Illinois.

The Main Ring-Fencing Advantages

Poker operators that ring-fence their players create a simple way to adhere to laws in different states. By excluding players where playing online poker is not legal, platform operators are able to administer their shared player pools in a more efficient way.

The Main Ring-Fencing Disadvantages

Ring-fencing is not popular among most online poker players as it limits the potential number of users for games and tournaments. Moreover, since operators don’t have access to the same potential number of users, they are unable to offer the same high-value rewards as offshore poker sites.

Joining an Illinois Online Poker Site

Before you can start playing online poker in Illinois you need to register an account. Registration is an important way to prevent underage gambling, reduce the likelihood of fraud, and comply with licensing requirements. Using BetOnline or other top poker sites, you can sign-up and place your first deposit in under five minutes. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Create a Poker Site Account

Visit BetOnline using and click or tap on ‘Join Now’. Provide all the necessary personal and contact information and complete registration by following the on-screen instructions.

BetOnline Register

Step 2: Verify Your Email Address

You should receive an automated email requesting that you confirm your email address. Complete this step before proceeding to make your first payment.

Step 3: Choose Your Preferred Payment Method

On the BetOnline ‘Cashier’ page you’ll be able to select your preferred banking option by clicking on the appropriate logo. You can fund your account using either USD or one of 15 cryptocurrencies.

BetOnline Make a Deposit 1

Step 4: Claim Your First BetOnline Poker Bonus

Enter the amount that you wish to deposit and any other information requested by the payment provider. Include the appropriate BetOnline Casino promo code for Illinois to get rewarded with your first deposit. Follow the on-screen instruction to complete your first deposit.

Step 5: Start Playing Poker Online

When your funds have reached your poker site account, you’re ready to start playing poker with real money. Choose one of BetOnline’s poker tables or join one of the available tournaments. You will find instructions and rules for each game on the game’s own options menu.

BetOnline Super 6 Poker

Illinois Poker Site Payment Methods

To play online poker in Illinois with real money, you can deposit both USD and cryptocurrencies. Here are the main pros and cons of using different banking options.

Using Cryptocurrencies at Illinois Poker Sites

By using Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies available at the best Bitcoin casinos you can benefit from several perks. Crypto payments are normally cheaper and quicker than most USD options, especially for payouts. Many poker sites also provide you with higher-value rewards.

Using eWallets at Illinois Poker Sites

eWallets, including PayPal and ecoPayz, offer a quick and convenient way to transfer USD. Since they are expensive for operators to accept, they are becoming harder to find. As a result, players are opting to use prepaid vouchers or other options that are supported at the best gift card casinos.

Using Other Payment Methods at Illinois Poker Sites

Our list of the top sites for online poker in Illinois includes many of the best credit card casinos in the US. These sites let you use traditional options, such as debit/credit cards and bank transfers. In many cases, you will need to use one option for deposits and another for withdrawals.

Illinois Poker Site Bonuses

Here are some of the most popular casino bonuses available at the best platforms for online poker in Illinois.

Poker Site Matched Deposit Bonuses

Matched deposit bonuses top up the value of your payment by a percentage. For example, a 100% match bonus would effectively double the value of your payment, providing you with a bankroll that is twice as large to play with.

Poker Site No Deposit Bonuses

Other popular casino promotions don’t require any deposit. Instead, you can get rewarded for placing eligible wagers, logging into your account, referring your friends, or completing another simple task.

Poker Site Free Roll Tickets

This specific poker bonus allows you to participate in tournaments without needing to pay the relevant entry ticket. As a result, you’ll be able to join competitions with high-value prize pools and play with your full bankroll.

Ignition Free Roll Bonuses

Illinois Poker Apps and Mobile Sites

You can enjoy playing online poker in Illinois directly from your mobile device. Throughout this guide, we have listed some of the best tablet casinos in the country, and none of them require you to download any software to play. Instead, you can use the mobile-friendly main website.

BetOnline Poker App

The Pros and Cons of Mobile Poker Apps

There are several advantages to using mobile poker apps, such as the ones offered by BetOnline, and mobile-optimized websites, such as the ones offered by all the top sites.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using mobile poker apps and sites over desktops:

Pros

  • It only takes a few seconds to start playing poker on your mobile device
  • You can access the full range of games and tournaments as on desktop devices
  • All platform features, including live chat support and bonuses, are accessible on mobile
  • Some offers are exclusively available to users who have downloaded the mobile app
  • You can play poker from anywhere, even if you’re commuting

Cons

  • Downloadable mobile apps are only suitable for supported operating systems
  • Playing poker in noisy environments can make it difficult to concentrate

Steps to Help You Download a Poker App

  • Visit the BetOnline website using any mainstream mobile web browser.
  • Select the appropriate operating system and version by tapping on the correct buttons.
  • If prompted, agree to begin downloading the installation package and install the BetOnline Poker app.
  • When installed, you should find the BetOnline Poker app on your app menu. Tap it to launch it.
  • Either sign in or sign up in order to start playing poker on your mobile device.

BetOnline Mobile Poker

Five Pro Tips to Help You Play Illinois Online Poker

The following tips can help you enjoy a better experience when playing online poker in Illinois.

  • Use welcome bonuses first – This tip might seem obvious to some, but welcome bonuses are only available once to new players. You should never skip them for an ongoing offer as you won’t be able to bring them back once you’ve claimed another offer.
  • Take time to develop your poker skills – Playing and winning online poker in Illinois involves just as much luck as it does skill. Use free resources to improve your game and learn new strategies.
  • Don’t play every hand – It’s impossible to win every poker hand you’ve got, so don’t bother to play every single hand either. Cheat sheets and strategy guides should help you understand which hands are worth playing and which are not.
  • Bluff, but not too much – Raising with a weak hand can give you the advantage, but bluffing too often will, at best, risk depleting your bankroll, and at worst, make you a target for players with an aggressive playing style.
  • Start playing poker on low-stakes tables – If you have no or little experience playing online poker in Illinois with real money, start by joining low-stakes tables. These tables are a great way to experience playing for real without costing you a fortune.

Online Poker vs Live Poker: Which is Better in Illinois?

It’s no secret that online poker in Illinois is oftentimes better than live poker. You can launch an online game in just a few seconds and you don’t need to worry about opening hours or traffic. Moreover, you can fund your account using your favorite instant payment methods, and these may include cryptocurrencies.

Land-based casinos are normally only able to attract players that live up to an hour away. This means that they are often frequented by a small group of players. As a result, player bonuses and tournament prize pools are usually smaller than online poker sites. Even the number and variety of tournaments are usually greater at the best online casinos.

Playing poker is also better online. As you’re playing, you can keep helpful guides and resources at hand. If you were to play in person, you would need to memorize this information and even keep a convincing poker face.

Live Poker in Illinois – Casinos With Poker Rooms

There are a handful of land-based casinos and poker rooms available in Illinois. The following are three of the best ones.

Rivers Casino Des Plaines Chicago

  • Address: 3000 S River Rd, Chicago IL 60018.
  • Opening hours: All day.

The Rivers Casino Des Plaines Chicago offers 10+ poker tables along with several other popular card games. This establishment offers several variants, including Mississippi Stud and Tri Card, but poker tournaments are rare.

Jumer’s Casino and Hotel

  • Address: 777 Jumer Dr, Rock Island IL 61201.
  • Opening hours: All day.

The Jumer’s Casino and Hotel offers just over 42,000 square feet of gaming space. Visitors can sit at numerous poker tables, including ones featuring Pai Gow and Texas Hold’em. It is possible to participate in some poker tournaments, but entry may be subject to fees.

Hollywood Casino Joliet

  • Address: 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet IL 60436.
  • Opening hours: All day.

The Hollywood Casino Joliet offers a little more than a handful of poker tables and practically no tournaments. Nevertheless, this 50,000-square-foot establishment provides the third-best facilities for poker players in Illinois.

Successful Poker Players in Illinois

  • Connor DrinanDrinan has so far won over $11.5 million from poker games and tournaments. He ranks 1st in the Illinois All Time Money List, but on a global scale, his Poker Index Ranking is 1,246th.
  • Mohsin Charania – Charania lived his entire life in Illinois and has won over $6.5 million from poker so far. He ranks 2nd in the State’s All Time Money List and 15,537th on the Global Poker Index Ranking.
  • Gavin Griffin – Having won just over $5 million from poker so far, Griffin ranks 3rd on the Illinois All Time Money List. He also ranks 158th on the United States All Time Money List.

The Overall Best Poker Site in Illinois

BetOnline is the overall best online poker site in Illinois. If you only intend to join one site, this is it. On this powerful platform, you’ll be able to play your favorite variant and choose between standalone games and tournaments. You will also be able to develop your poker playing skills and play with other players from across the country.

By registering a BetOnline account today, you’ll also be able to claim generous rewards and bonuses to use on eligible poker tables. These offers are available for both USD and crypto deposits and can be accessed directly from the mobile-friendly website or the dedicated apps.

Sergio is a very experienced writer based in Malta, one of the world's iGaming capitals, who is an expert in all things gambling.