Popular cards games in India

Card games have been popular for hundreds and hundreds of years. Many of the world’s most popular card games are played strictly for entertainment purposes. In countries where gambling is a legal form of adult entertainment, card games are sometimes played with real cash on the line.

India is like so many other countries around the world. The nation’s residents have adopted more than its fair share of cards games that continue to be popular from one generation to the next. It’s noteworthy that while gambling is generally illegal in India, special laws have been enacted that make it legal to gamble on certain card games. These special laws were passed under the guise that some card games are games of skill and strategy, which makes it near impossible for people to lose their money by chance.

In the sections below, there will be a short discussion about the five most popular card games in India. Note: some of these games legally involve gambling. The list includes:


Aside from poker, Rummy is the most popular gambling card game in India. The most popular variations include Points Rummy, Pools Rummy – 101 and 201 point, and Deals Rummy.

Most variations can be played with 2 to 6 platers. Depending on the number of players, each player is dealt 10, 13 or 21 cards. The objective of the game is for each player to create a full hand of card sequences and/or sets (three or four of a kind). To facilitate this, each player is required to draw and discard one card each time round until such time their hand is completely full of sequences and/or sets. The first person to do this each hand is the winner of the hand. When using point systems, the player with the lowest point total when the first player hits the maximum point total is the overall winner.

Teen Patti

For the most part, Teen Patti is a gambling game similar to Three Card Poker.

The game begins with each player putting up an ante. Thereafter, each player is dealt three cards. Unlike poker, there are no redraws. After viewing their cards, each player is permitted an opportunity to wager on their hand. As soon as one player decides to bet on their hand, every other player is permitted to increase the amount of a subsequent wager, match the amount of a subsequent wagers or ‘pack’ up and surrender their boot or ‘ante’ and leave the game. The winner is the player with the best hand based on poker rules.

Satte Pe Satta (7 0n 7)

This game requires a minimum of two players up to an unlimited maximum. All cards are dealt in equal amounts to players. If more than 7 players, multiple decks can be used. 

The game begins with the holder of the 7 of hearts playing the card. The next player has to play a card in sequence of the same suit, in this case the 6 or 8 of hearts. They can also change the suit by playing the 7 of one of the other suits. If they can’t do one of these two things, they have to pass. Playing in sequence with the appropriate suit continues until one player has played all of their cards. The other players are penalized points based on the number of cards remaining in their hands. Once a player reaches the maximum limit of points, the player with the lowest point total is declared the winner.

Andar Bahar

This is a simple game to learn and play.

The game starts with the dealer placing a card in the middle of the table. That becomes the joker. The dealer then starts placing one card at a time alternating to the “Andar” or “Bahar” (left or right) side of the table. The game continues until the dealer pulls up a card that matches the joker. The players wager on whether that matching card will go to the left or right in sequence.


In popularity, poker is now the most popular card game or games in India. The most popular variations are Stud Poker, Draw Poker, Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hi Lo.

While the playing rules may vary from one variation to the next, the winner is always the player with the best poker hand based on the variation. In most cases, players are required to start each game with an ante. After receiving cards, players can bet, pass, or fold when it’s their turn to make a decision.