Teen Patti – The Indian Poker Game

Teen Patti Poker Introduction

The poker market in India continues to grow and gain popularity year on year. In addition to the normal poker variants, India has some of its own card games that Indians enjoy playing. In this article, we’re going to look at Teen Patti, a 3-card poker variant native to India. I hope this post will be useful for both international and Indian visitors interested in learning other card games.

The Origins of Teen Patti

Before we go into the nitty gritty of how to play the game, I always find it helpful to look at its past. Teen Patti originates to the 1500s in Great Britain. It was known as three card brag, a game still played in England amongst older citizens today.

Interestingly, it was one of the first poker games that involved bluffing. It was and is played with a normal playing deck of cards (52) and involves between 2 and 9 players playing.

How to Play Teen Patti

The game can be played in fixed limit, pot limit or no limit formats; players are dealt three cards face down. Like Texas Hold’em, there is a button and forced bets known as blinds. This drives the action.

The betting moves anti-clockwise. The game is won by a player revealing the best hand or making others fold. To win by showing the best hand there must only be two players remaining. So the pots can get quite large as action develops! There are no community cards so what you are dealt is what you have and that is that.

The key to becoming a good Teen Patti player is to understand hand strength and implementing timely bluffs. As the game is played with only three cards each, it is not possible to make five card hands like in most poker formats. That’s why the hand rankings are slightly different.

See below for hand rankings in order of strength.

Three of a Kind

This is the best possible hand to get with a probability of around 0.24%.

Straight Flush

Three cards of same suit in sequential order. Interestingly, this is 0.22%.

Straight

Three cards in sequence but different suits.  You have a 3.26% chance of getting this type of hand.

Flush


Any three cards of the same suit. Unlike Texas Hold’em, this is less value than a straight in teen patti with a probability of 4.96%.

Pair

Two common cards e.g., a pair of kings. You can expect to get a pair around 16.94% of the time. Remember, the higher the pair, the more valuable.

High Card

This is where you have nothing, no pair. You will get this more often than not, approximately 74.39% of the time. You can see why bluffing is important?

Is it Legal for Indians to Play Teen Patti?

The laws in India are complex ,old and vary state to state. This is not a helpful answer but my research into this article shows that Teen Patti is a primarily lucky based game and therefore not permitted for the most part. However, it is legal to play in some states online. There are also foreign websites that offer Teen Patti to Indians too. In short, if you’re an Indian looking to play real cash Teen Patti, play on a foreign site, or check your local state laws.

Other Teen Patti Variants

In this post we’ve focused on the common and most popular way of playing. Unsurprisingly, there are other variations that exist. Below are some interesting twists:

Draw

Players put in agreed amount in the pot. Then, they are dealt their cards. Each player then has the option to exchange a card. To replace the card, you have to put in the pre-agreed amount. This version can get quite expensive!

2 Cards Open

This version involves two cards being face up and visible to everyone. The third card is face down and only seen by the player. The regular version is adopted for the remainder of the game.

One-Eyed Jack

This variant is a funny one. The Jack of hearts and the Jack of spades are called one-eyed jack and become jokers.

Cobra

Every player is dealt one card and put in a pre-determined amount into the pot. Without seeing, they pick their card and put it on their forehead. Every player can therefore see each others card except their own. This game is usually the final hand of any game and done for fun.

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