What are the Popular Card Games in India?

Card games are an important part of the culture of family life in India. It is a significant part of families and local communities’ social fabric and has remained popular despite the growing penetration of video and online gaming. Card games have also been recognized as one of the most enjoyable ways of bridging the generation gap when extended families come together. Playing card games first arrived in India with the Mughal Empire when they introduced a ‘Ganjifa’. it is not popular now, but here are a few famous card games in India that are perfect for family time.


India is the next region in the world to experience a poker boom. Poker in India is on the top, and it is now one of the most popular card games in the country. In India, the poker industry is said to be worth more than $120 million, as players have successfully sought an alternative to Teen Patti, which is the Indian poker variant with its own poker rules. Indians are increasingly accepting poker as a game of skill. But, legislation in India has meant restricted gambling games that are not seen as a skill game. Furthermore, with the adoption of smartphone and tablet devices, it has made it easy for Indians to play online, along with home games and friends.

How to play poker

How to play poker is the most common question. There are two to seven players in traditional Indian poker games. The dealer deals the players with two cards at the beginning starting with the person on his left. That player will be the first player to start each round. Then the player has two choices: bet or check.

If any player chooses to place a stake, then the others have the option to:

  1. a)     Call, i.e., equal the amount of the wager.
  2. b)     Fold, i.e., drop from the game.
  3. c)     Raise, i.e., make a bigger bet than the current round. Then all the players have to equal the raise.

The round then continues until everyone has called or all bets are in the pot at the table.

At the end of the first round of betting, the dealer doles out three or more cards facing the table. They are called community cards, and anyone on the table can take them. It is then called the flop. Those who are still at the table were allowed to bet, raise, or fold.

After all the player has their turn, then the dealer places a fourth card which anyone can use. It is called the turn.

Once everybody gets their chance to bet / check / raise / fold, the dealer places a fifth card on the board which anyone can take. It is known as river. Again anyone can get a chance to bet / check / raise / fold for the final time.

If more than one player is still left in hand after a final betting hand, then the cards are exposed, and the player who has the highest rank wins the pot.


It is known as one of the longest standing card games which are played in India. Rummy is an intriguing game that needs players to use their mathematical and analytical skills to prevail. It can be played by as many as six players and as little as two players, depending on your group’s size.

Indian Rummy can be played using either 13 or 21 cards each as it is a drop-and-discard style of card game. The main aim of the game is to create sequences and sets with the cards in hand. A sequence must contain at least three cards of the same suit in order. A set is also based on the three or four cards of the same value but different suits. There are also striking similarities between Indian Rummy and Roulette in terms of the high number of variants.

Teen Patti

Teen Patti is a simplified version of the age-old card game, Poker and it is also more akin to the British-inspired game, 3 Card Brag. Using a traditional 52-card pack, each player must put a minimum stake into the pot before the cards are being dealt which is known as the boot. The dealer then dishes out the cards until each player has three cards in their hand.

Players can bid more than the boost based on the strength of their hand. It is much more like playing blackjack, where players are allowed to surrender, ending the hand immediately and forfeiting some or all of their bets. Teen Patti also allows its players to surrender and remove themselves from any hand.

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