Poker in Chicago:
Live, Cashgames, Tournaments

gambling for real money in Chicago in Illinois Illinois with 2.704.958 citizens, is only allowed in casinos or poker rooms.

Just in official casinos in Illinois Illinois are real money tournaments of Texas Hold'em legal, because according to law in United States poker is a game of luck. On this page we show you all the various ways to play poker in Chicago and explain you the legal framework in Illinois Illinois.

Legal notice: Is it legal to play poker Chicago ?

Poker Cash Games can fulfill in Illinois Illinois and therefore as well in Chicago the criminal offence of illegal gambling. One can be convicted according to these laws if one hosts public gambling or plays in it.

Is poker in Illinois Illinois defined as a game of chance?

The question of whether poker is a game of luck in the sense of the law has been a topic for decades and there have been many studies on the matter. The law in United States and therefore also in Chicago says however that poker is to be classified as a game of luck. The difference is that state casinos in Illinois Illinois have a permission. Playing poker there is ok.

Poker in bars in Chicago

Attention pubs & hosts! There is possibility of losing the official permission to operate a restaurant in Chicago if you make yourself liable to prosecution.


  • Poker cash games are basically prohibited in United States and therefore also in Chicago.
  • The casinos in United States have a licence.
  • Mostly it is very challenging for the authorities in Chicago to evidence prohibited gambling.
  • Tournaments are considered a game of skill, cash games a game of luck

Please note that the information provided does not constitute legal advice under the law and cannot replace legal advice, as such advice always requires knowledge of all individual circumstances, in particular of the specific individual case.

Cashgames: Real money poker games in Chicago

Real-money games are publicly not allowed in Chicago. If like to participate in poker games for real money in Chicago, you will need to go to casinos & poker clubs and poker rooms in the local area. If you don't like to enter a casino but still don't wanna miss poker cash games, you can evaluate Home Games, which are heavily regulated.

Poker tournaments in Chicago

Poker tourneys in Chicago are not a problem under specific circumstances. Tournaments are legal as long as no real money is paid out, but the prize is a non-cash prize. In Chicago and the surrounding region there are regular poker tournaments. Upcoming tournaments can be seen in the tournament calendar.

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Poker Clubs: The best poker rooms in Chicago

Other alternatives are available by the various poker clubs & poker rooms with tournaments in and around Chicago. In Chicago there is a diverese poker room landscape with regular tournaments with non-cash prizes. Here is a small selection:

Live poker in casinos near by Chicago

You are not able to play live poker in Chicago in any casino in the city center. Illinois Illinois located its casinos mostly in smaller places and outside the heart of the city. It is however not a matter to access them by car or public transport. Most have even their own shuttle facilities. In case you decide to go by your own car, all casinos offer spacious park possibilities for poker enthusiasts. Nowadays, every casino in United States often runs real money poker tournaments. There is a variety of poker tournaments and poker events where you can join. At you'll discover a summary, arranged by federal states, of the best places running poker with their individual games and all other infos. Within a radius of Chicago you will see minimum two casinos with reasonable driving times and attractive live poker games.

Best Poker Players from Chicago

The following list shows you the Top 10 poker players with the highest tournament winnings from Chicago.

Homegames: Pokern for real money in Chicago in private locations

In Chicago the laws of the federal state Illinois Illinois is in effect. If you want to hold allowed poker home games in Chicago, you must follow these rules.

Does the poker game take place publicly in Chicago?

The poker game has to be hosted in public to be criminal liable. A poker event is public after the jurisdiction in Illinois Illinois, if "it is made outwardly recognizably accessible to a not firmly closed circle of acquaintances". The best example of this is the poker for high amounts of money in Chicago's pubs, which usually anyone can join. Attention, this is forbidden!


Even a closed society can be considered public in Illinois Illinois based on § 285 II StGB, if gambling takes place there according to law.If the round takes place regulardy, it is illegal in private rooms in Chicago as well as in public. So, if cash games are hosted for every week on the same day, it does not matter if it is a private room or public. Both are not allowed.

The best Online Poker Rooms in comparison

Please be aware that online poker is regulated in most states. There are currently 4 states that offer legal online poker for real money in the United States – New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Pennsylvania became the latest to join this group when PokerStars went live in the state on Nov. 4, 2019.

  • WSOP/888 US is currently the only poker site that shares online poker players between all three legal online poker states (NJ, Nevada & Delaware). It’s currently the #1 US online poker site by traffic.
  • Poker Stars – New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Party Poker – New Jersey only
  • Pala Poker – New Jersey only
Many of the providers dont have a license for the US, but still accept US players. Playing on this sites is on your own risk. We rated them for you.

Non-regulated online poker sites in the United States are online poker platforms that operate without the oversight of a governmental regulatory body, such as a state's gaming commission. This means they do not have to adhere to the same rules and regulations that regulated sites do, which can sometimes pose significant risks for players. Important considerations for players on non-regulated sites include the potential for unfair games, lack of protection for player funds, and legal risk. Unfair games can occur if the site's software is not regularly audited for fairness. In terms of financial protection, non-regulated sites might not separate player funds from operational funds, which can pose a risk if the company goes bankrupt. Additionally, it is important to note that while playing online poker is not explicitly illegal at the federal level in the U.S., state laws vary widely and some states have laws against playing poker on non-regulated sites. Therefore, players should be well-informed about their state's specific laws before deciding to play on non-regulated sites.

 updated: 26.09.2023
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