Online blackjack players were left out of luck when Illinois passed a massive gambling expansion bill that excluded casino games like blackjack online but some online casinos offer a way to play for real money without running afoul of the law.
Illinois passed a sweeping gambling expansion bill that legalized online sports betting and will add casinos and gambling locations throughout the state. The bill will allow sports betting at numerous locations like sports stadiums and add slot terminals at locations like airports.
Though it seems like a no-brainer to include online casinos games like blackjack and online poker, both were excluded from the bill. For now, Illinois casinos will only offer blackjack games in-person.
With gambling establishments expanding in a big way and online sports betting already permitted, it is only a matter of time until online blackjack comes to Illinois as well.
Online blackjack is a simple game that requires a bit of strategy. Each player and the dealer are dealt two cards. One of the cards is face down and only visible to you while the other is face up and visible to everyone. The goal is to get as close to 21 without going over and to have a higher score than the dealer. Number cards have face value while face cards are worth 10 and aces can be worth 1 or 11.
Once you are dealt your cards, you can “hit,” or receive another card or “stand,” and stay with the cards you already have. You can also “double down,” which allows you to double your bet and receive exactly one more card, or “split,” which allows you to split you original hand into two hands and double your bet. Doubling down is common when you are holding 11 and need 10 on the next hand. Splitting is most popular when you are holding two aces.
If you or the dealer go over 21, the hand automatically loses. If you draw 21, that is a natural blackjack and will typically pay out higher winnings.
Since the Illinois gambling expansion left blackjack players in the cold, gamers will have to wait a while longer for lawmakers to consider bringing casino games online.
For now, players can use “social casinos” that use a sweepstakes model to get around state restrictions. These casinos only allow you to deposit money to buy play money but each purchase comes with a “gift” of cash-equivalent coins that you can use to play games like blackjack, video poker, and slots and then redeem for real money when you cash out. Since you cannot “deposit” or “bet” real money, these casinos allow you to win cash without running afoul of state restrictions.
It remains to be seen when lawmakers will approve casino games online but with online sports betting already launched it appears to only be a matter of time.