Illinois is quite simply a gambler’s paradise. While the majority of bettors will gravitate to Nevada or (Atlantic City) New Jersey, the Land of Lincoln has fast become a leader in gambling finishing monthly near the top for the total amount of money wagered. What makes this so interesting is that when you take a closer look at what gambling options are available in the state, it doesn’t seem to stand out compared to the bigger gambling states. In this article, we will break down what gambling options exist in Illinois, with a focus on blackjack, and outline what each of the “land-based” casinos has to offer.
A Few Facts On Gambling In Illinois
The state of Illinois has a total of seven-horse race tracks. There are also nine riverboat casinos. These “floating” venues are all docked, with none of them traveling up or downstream from where they currently sit. The laws related to riverboat gambling are a bit old-fashioned in today’s betting world, but some regulations are changing to relax several of the restrictions. Plus, there are proposals for more casinos to open in the Chicago area.
Plus, none of these riverboat casinos are open 24 hours. Several have early evening closures. You also must be 21 years of age to legally gamble in Illinois. However, in recent years, gambling options have expanded to include online sports betting. This became incredibly popular during the pandemic when land-based (riverboat) casinos either closed or had capacity limits imposed.
Blackjack Numbers In Illinois
Blackjack is a popular casino game in Illinois. There are currently over 140 blackjack tables distributed throughout the state in riverboat casinos. Most are at the Grand Victoria – Elgin Riverboat Resort. That venue is home to 29 blackjack tables. Naturally, there is online access to additional blackjack tables at countless internet-based casinos that reach into the Illinois market including those operating through live dealer platforms. However, we will just focus on the physical sites that you can visit when you are in the state.
The List of Blackjack Table Sites in Illinois
So, you have a hankering for some live blackjack. As stated, Illinois has many blackjack tables situated across the state in riverboat casinos. Here is the complete breakdown of what you will find in the nine venues currently licensed and operating in the Land of Lincoln.
1 Plaza Street, Alton, IL, 62002-6232
(800) 711-4263 – (618) 474-7400
Argosy’s Alton sits on the lower end of the scale along with most of the other riverboat casinos with only 12 blackjack tables. These do cover a broad spectrum of wagers from $5 to $1,000 bets so blackjack players of all skills are welcome. In addition, the site contains 1,103 gaming machines, poker, roulette, and craps.
Casino Queen and Hotel
200 South Front Street, East Saint Louis, IL, 62201-1222
(800) 777-0777 – (618) 874-5000
The Casino Queen and Hotel has a total of 19 blackjack tables with wagers accepted between $2 and $2,000, which, as you can imagine, attracts a lot of high rollers. The venue also features 1,122 video poker and slot machines along with craps, roulette, poker, and baccarat.
Empress Casino Joliet
2300 Empress Drive, Joliet, IL, 60436-9504
(888) 436-7737 – (815) 744-9400
There are a total of 12 blackjack tables at the Empress Casino Joliet. They range from $5 bets up to the incredible limit of $5,000. The site also contains 1,183 slot and video poker machines, craps, poker, and roulette.
Grand Victoria – Elgin Riverboat Resort
250 South Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL, 60120-6447
This is the place that leads the way in the state with blackjack tables. There are a total of 29 of them here. The Grand Victoria – Elgin Riverboat Resort also has 1,150 slot and video poker machines, and various other table games available.
Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Hotel
151 North Joliet Street, Joliet, IL, 60432-4018
(800) 427-7247 – (815) 740-7800
Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Hotel have several blackjack tables. The site also contains 1,188 video poker and slot machines in addition to other standard casino table games and has become an interesting part of the riverboat casino history in Illinois.
Harrah’s Metropolis Casino
100 East First Street, Metropolis, IL, 62960
(800) 935-1111 – (618) 524-2628
This casino is home to a total of 13 blackjack tables. There are also 1,177 slot and video poker machines located at Harrah’s Metropolis Casino. The venue also features 4 poker tables.
Hollywood Casino – Aurora
1 New York Street Bridge, Aurora, IL, 60506-3317
(800) 888-7777 – (630) 801-1234
There are 12 blackjack tables located at the Hollywood Casino – Aurora. There are also 1,161 video poker and slot machines. If you are a fan of craps, roulette, or poker, you can play these games here, too.
Jumer’s Casino Rock Island
1735 First Avenue, Rock Island, IL, 61201
(800) 477-7747 – (309) 793-4200
This site has 13 blackjack tables. Jumer’s Casino Rock Island also features 729 slot and video poker machines, 3 craps tables, poker, and roulette.
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino
21 Blackjack Boulevard, East Peoria, IL, 61611-2011
(800) 727-2342 – (309) 698-7711
This is one of the bigger blackjack sites in the state with 21 tables. Wager limits run between $3 and $500. Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino also has 1,100 gaming machines ranging from video poker and video keno to slots. Plus, the venue offers poker, craps, and roulette.
The Basics of Blackjack
The primary goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. All face cards are worth 10 points, Aces are worth either one or eleven, depending on how they are being played, and all other cards are at face value. There are countless books and video tutorials that explore various blackjack strategies to give you an edge. The odds in the game of blackjack are some of the best in any of the current casino games which may explain the popularity of this card game. For example, the probability of winning is roughly 42.22-percent. The odds of losing a hand sit at 49.10-percent with the odds of a tie (push) totaling 8.48-percent. As for the house edge, blackjack has one of the lowest of all casino games with 0.5-percent. This means that with a bit of strategy, you have a good chance of winning at the blackjack table.