If you’re under 21 years old, you’ve probably had a difficult time finding a real casino – with real casino games – in your neck of the woods. In most of the US, commercial and tribal Class III casinos are all 21+ establishments, making it hard for 18-20-year-old players to find a safe, fair place to gamble for real money. Fortunately, all the best online casinos offer support for players looking to gamble online for under 21 players.
Of course, these aren’t domestic online casinos. Only three states have those: Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (and you have to live there to use them). Instead, these casinos are operated offshore, outside the reach of US legal jurisdiction. This means that they’re able to accept members under 21 years of age. So if you’re in that age group, read on to get informed about the top places to play all the best casino games online for real money.
Are Under 21 Casinos Legal?
In the US retail casino market, no. The only gambling available to under 21 players are things like state lotteries, certain bingo operations, charity raffle events, and a selection of Class II tribal gambling houses that are not legally authorized to offer table games, slots, or poker rooms. A few under 21 gambling states like California have 18+ card rooms, but these are exceptions. Most players in the US aged 18-20 have no real domestic gambling options.
However, offshore casinos that accept players under 21 are legal to use in most US jurisdictions. There are no federal laws barring individuals from gambling offshore, and only one state, Washington, has explicit (but totally unenforced) laws on their books banning all forms of online gambling for players of all ages. Offshore gambling sites will accept players from WA, but we recommend abiding by all local mandates.
There is one caveat to be aware of: If your state has an explicit legal casino gambling age set at 21, you might consider holding off until you’re at least that age before signing up with an offshore book. This might be overly cautious (we’ve never heard of anyone getting fined or arrested for gambling online at 18+ in such states), but it’s something to keep in mind.
Types Of Games At Under 21 Casinos
Some people think online casinos are “fake” or otherwise less trustworthy than retail casinos like you’d find in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Well, that’s a bunch of hooey, because online operators have way more games to choose from, and they’re all made by the same RNG (random number generator) developers who design the hit games for brick-and-mortar venues worldwide. At any online casino listed here, you’ll get all of the following:
Each site has literally hundreds of themed slots, including 3-reel slots, 5-reel slots, progressive jackpot slots, and 3D slots for extra immersion. Many titles are identical to those you’d find in retail US casinos, and you have the same exact chances to win when cranking the digital handle.
Table games are extremely popular, and all of our favorite sites offer dozens – if not hundreds – of them. You’ll get blackjack, American roulette, European roulette, craps, baccarat, mini-baccarat (aka Super 6), and a host of other unique games and variants. As with slots, these table games are certified for fair iGaming compliance, with the added benefit that younger players under 21 can use Internet resources while playing to enhance their chances to win and learn each game’s unique strategies.
Live dealer games are available at all the top offshore gambling sites for under 21 players. While you can play the table games above in an electronic RNG fashion, you can also head over to the live casino section of your chosen site and play with a live dealer. You’ll get audio and video feeds from the dealer, and you can even chat with them via text as they draw the cards and spin the wheels. If you need a break from the Matrix, live dealer options are great. Always bet on red...pill!
Video poker is in a class all its own. While the sites we list here all offer online poker rooms for players under 21, those are not considered part of the standard casino menu, as they offer multiplayer cash tables and tournament play against other players. Video poker comprises electronic poker games where you play against AI competitors or the computer dealer one-on-one. The best sites have dozens of different themed video poker titles, running the gamut from Hold ‘Em and Omaha to Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, and more.
Bingo is offered at most online casinos, and it’s a game that the under 21 gambling crowd should be familiar with (since it’s one of the only retail gambling amusements available in a brick-and-mortar setting to 18+ players. Online bingo plays the same way, minus the crowded halls and boisterous emcee. And you don’t have to worry about staining your shirt with a blotter (if you even bother to put one on in the first place – you can play from home, after all!).
Lotteries are also familiar to the under 21 crowd in most states, and online lotteries work similarly to what you’re used to. Not every gambling site offers lottery games, but many do, and they can be a fun way to pass the time. You’re not going to get Powerball-style payouts, of course, but let’s be real – you aren’t ever winning the Powerball, anyway.
Specialty games at under 21 casino sites make up the “miscellaneous” category. You’ll often find things like virtual scratchers, pull-tabs, and video-based skill games that don’t fit into the above markets. These include things like sudoku, keno, and unique one-offs, all of which can be played for real money. Fittingly, specialty games are a particular specialty at offshore gambling sites.
Best Deposit Methods For Players Who are Under 21
Most of the industry’s best offshore sites offer a number of different under 21 banking options. These include the following, though each site has different supported methods, banking limits, transfer fees, and so on.
- Altcoins (Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash)
- American Express
- International Visa gift cards
- Cashier’s checks
- Money orders
- Bank wires
- Person-to-person transfers (MoneyGram, et al.)
We recommend depositing at gambling sites with Bitcoin (BTC), as this virtual currency is nearly instant, has no added fees, comes with the biggest casino bonuses, and is the only same-day withdrawal option available. If you’re under 21, you probably already own some cryptocurrency, and it’s the best way to fund your online casino account.
It is also important to note that when you make 18+ online gambling deposits with Paypal or other P2P apps, you must use those services to buy vouchers from other players. Vouchers are instant and therefore one of the fastest deposit options available online.
Fastest Payouts For Players Who are Under 21
Most casino sites offer a few different payout options. No site does card chargebacks anymore, but you can still request your withdrawals via things like courier checks, bank wires, and money orders. However, the fastest way to claim your casino winnings is to use Bitcoin.
Bitcoin payouts (and other crypto payouts) have no added fees, have extremely high withdrawal limits, and can be in your hands within just a couple of hours. Remember, BTC is the only way to get same-day payouts from offshore sites, but you have to deposit in Bitcoin to withdraw in Bitcoin.
Online Casino Bonuses For 18+ Players
Another benefit of gambling online – in addition to being able to do so under 21 years of age – is the bonus models these sites use. Brick-and-mortar venues have rewards programs, but these are stale peanuts compared to the deposit and reload bonuses you get at online venues.
Typically, when you make any deposit at an offshore gambling site, you can claim a deposit match bonus. Bovada’s Casino Welcome Bonus is one of the best in the business, matching your deposit dollar-for-dollar for up to $3000. Of course, if you use Bitcoin to make your first deposit, that bonus goes up to $3750. Most sites offer extra bonuses for BTC, which is just one more reason why cryptocurrency is king.
Note: Casino bonuses come with playthrough or rollover requirements. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of any bonus you’re considering accepting, because you cannot withdraw any winnings before meeting these. For infrequent players, we recommend skipping all casino bonus offers.
Mobile Casino Apps For Players 18 and Over
Nobody under 21 is going to use an online casino that isn’t fully accessible via mobile. That’s a fact of life, and the best operators know this. So even though you won’t find official apps for these sites on the App Store or in Google Play, you can still enjoy every single casino title on offer through your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or other mobile product. As long as you have an Internet connection and a modern browser, you can access your favorite games from anywhere in America.
Even better, because these sites are all mobile optimized and have responsive web app interfaces, there’s never anything to download or update. Just launch Safari or Chrome (or any other secure browser), log in to your site of choice, and hit the digital felts!
Live Dealer Casino Games For Players Under 21
Most of the games at overseas online casinos are RNG (random number generation) products designed and deployed by the industry’s top developers. But if you want the human touch, several popular table games have live variants. These include:
- American Roulette
- European Roulette
- Super 6 (mini-baccarat)
- + More!
Live dealer games allow you to play in front of a real dealer over one-way video in real time, and many sites also allow players to talk directly to the dealers through a text chat window.
While most of the casinos we recommend offer free-to-play demo versions of their electronic table games, live dealer games are exclusively played for real money. New players under 21 might want to practice with these free variants before moving to real-dealer games.
FAQs About Online Casinos Accepting Players Under 21
Unfortunately, many online casinos are less than honest. However, all the sites we recommend have been at the top of the industry for years, and each one is reputable, legitimate, and committed to fair play compliance, third party auditing, and total transparency.
As long as you use one of the operators we link to here, you are guaranteed the same odds to win as you’d get in any state-regulated brick-and-mortar casino.
RNG stands for “random number generation,” and this concept is what’s behind all electronic casino games, whether played online on in-person at a brick-and-mortar casino. In fact, the best offshore sites use the same exact RNG developers that major land-based casino chains do, including Realtime Gaming (RTG), BetSoft, Mircrogaming, and other companies.
These brands are all highly regarded, and their products are consistently and rigorously audited for fair play iGaming compliance. If an online casino doesn’t tell you who makes their software, you should probably stay away.
The age to enter casino venues online varies based on where those sites operate. Domestic US sites in the three states that allow them all require their members to be 21 or older, but offshore casinos only require their members to be 18 and up.
Ha! We see what you did there! But no, in our opinion, there is no reason for blackjack – or any legal casino game – to be limited to those aged 21 and up.
In the US, you are considered a legal adult at 18, and it doesn’t seem right that some entertainment amusements would be withheld from young adults – not even when it would make for a really good pun. After all, in 21, the dealer has to stand on 18, so you should be able make your stand at 18, too!
Young first-time players (i.e. those under 21) have probably heard plenty about card counters and their big wins. Card counting is a major movie and TV trope, and it’s well known that casino pit bosses will break your kneecaps if they catch you engaging in this.
However, online blackjack – like retail blackjack – uses multiple decks in their digital “shoes,” which means that you have virtually no chance of counting those cards. Further, each new game comes with a new shuffle, which means that any counting you were able to accomplish is obviated before you can ever put it to use.
Actually, no. Baccarat is historically a game for the older crowd and folks that tend to be high rollers. The most played variant of the game, punto banco, is extremely rigid, akin to a lottery in the way that it removes all choice from the gambler. Every possible hand is governed by rules that dictate what you do.
So why is baccarat so popular with anyone? We blame Hollywood, James Bond, and the glitz and glamor associated with gambling in front of an audience. Of course, the online game features none of that and is thus more accessible to younger 18+ players, so perhaps the next generation of gamblers will get on board (or on pallet!) with the game. And, of course, there’s always mini-baccarat to play, too.
There are several popular roulette numbers, but none of them are based on any increased statistical likelihood of hitting. These commonly include 7, 17, 23, and 24. If you’re looking for any rhyme or reason for this, you’re going to have to keep looking.
Roulette is mostly random at brick-and-mortar casinos (though sharps can get edges if they closely track individual croupiers in how hard they spin the wheel and the timing of their ball drops). With the online RNG game, there is no secret for how to beat roulette, and new players under 21 should not give much merit to online guides that claim otherwise.
There is no evidence whatsoever that players aged 18-20 are more prone to gambling addiction than players who are 21 years of age or older. However, gambling addiction can affect players of all ages.
If you’re looking for how to stop gambling, you can start right now by closing this guide, deleting your online casino account, and calling or texting the National Council on Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-4700. You can also call 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537).
Both help lines also offer live Internet chat at the sites linked above, and neither will ever penalize you or report you for being under 21.