Best Online Poker Sites for India Players
Online Poker in India: the full guide for newbies. Terms, rules, tips and the list of trustworthy websites.
India is a rapidly developing country. The well-being of its citizens and the population are constantly growing. Now the population is over 1.3 billion and the GDP is over 2.5 trillion USD per year. Therefore, this is an attractive market for companies in the online gambling sector, especially since such games are technically not illegal there. In this article, we’ll show you how the online poker industry is developing in India; we’ll also give you examples of trustworthy poker websites and understanding the reliable laws.
How to play online poker in India?
Online poker is a traditional card game played through a dedicated website. The Internet resource broadcasts a poker game (there can be any option), and players can place bets in real-time.
The evolution of online poker software has followed this path:
- Games with downloadable programs that the user must install on the computer;
- Online play through flash applications;
- More convenient and faster applications for playing online (based on Java);
- Apps for smartphones and tablets.
Today, mobile and computer traffic on poker websites is roughly equal. But the share of tablets and phones continues to grow.
As experienced players who had the opportunity to compare live and virtual poker note, for the latter, you need to choose a completely different strategy. Players at a real table will devote a lot of time to psychology, trying to guess the opponent’s emotions. Those who like to play cards online use mathematical models and the theory of probability.
Many types of poker are popular in India. Currently, gambling in real casino format is allowed by law in only three states: Goa, Damana and Sikkim. At the same time, gambling establishments can only be located in five-star hotels.
Online poker in India is available literally to everyone; Indian players have dozens of sites available, both local and international. We have compiled the top of those with which a beginner should start: they are designed for players with little experience and can significantly increase it.
Online Poker websites in India: TOP-5 to start playing
But before we share the top of our favorite sites for newbies, it’s worth explaining why we chose them.
What Does a Good Online Casino for Newcomers Look Like?
For users who are getting their first experience of playing at the best online casino India, it is important that the site is as clear and user-friendly as possible. This applies to the interface, technical support, and game rules. We have determined for ourselves the main criteria that allow us to recommend sites to new members:
- Good navigation, convenient arrangement of elements;
- Convenient registration form, quick verification;
- Several payment systems for deposit and withdrawing at the user’s choice;
- Helpful support 24/7 (phone, chats);
- Section with game rules and frequently asked questions;
- Filters to help you choose your game: Best Games of the Week, Player Picks, New, etc.
- Bonuses and promotions for beginners.
If all these conditions are met, the new casino sites for players will quickly go through all the registration procedures, choose the games to his liking and quickly figure out the rules.
Our TOP Online Poker Room
We have compiled a rating of casinos that are suitable for beginners. These online poker sites in India have received good reviews and thousands of players from India come there every day.
Choose your first casino taking into account the parameters that are important to you. But before making a choice, we also advise you to study the rules and make sure that you will be playing the version of the game that you are familiar with.
The Rules of Online Poker
Poker is one of the most popular games since the card games invention. And it has many varieties appearing in different countries and in different centuries. They vary in terms of rules.
The main differences between different types of poker:
- the number of cards in the player’s hands;
- the number of cards on the table;
- bets making;
- bet limits;
- number of betting intervals.
Common to all types of poker:
- the order of the game;
- types of the Poker hands;
- values of the Poker hands.
Almost all types of poker exist online as well. But a beginner doesn’t need to memorize the rules of all 150 games! It is enough to study the general patterns and remember the rules of 2-3 popular types. On the website of any online casino, you can choose the kind of poker you prefer. When you feel confident in the particular games, you can learn new ones and play by different rules. This is the advantage of poker: you can always diversify your gaming experience by choosing a new variety.
Below are poker terms and general rules for all types of online poker game in India.
Number of players
|type of poker||number of players, min||number of players, max|
|Texas Hold ’em||2||10|
|Omaha Hold ’em||2||6|
|Seven Card Stud||2||7|
Terms and general rules
Poker bets: the contribution of each player to the total pot, which ultimately goes to the winner. Bets are placed before and after the cards are dealt; in different versions of the game, either all participants or some of them.
Bets placed before the dealing are “blinds”. They are found in almost all variants of poker; the blinds encourage players to keep playing even if the first cards do not look well.
There are generally two types of blinds:
- Small. The first player to the left of the dealer makes the first small bet.
- Large. The next player bets it, he must double the bet.
If there are more than three players, then the rest are not post blinds. However, in some events, the next player can make the straddle raising all the bets at the table. Also, in some types of poker there is an ante bet — it is made by other participants before the deal, it has a small size.
In the first deal, each player receives two cards and evaluates them. After that, he decides whether to stay or leave the game. To stay, they can make a “call” bet equal to the big blind.
Or they can bet higher — this is a “raise”.
“All in” — the rate of the entire amount that you have at your disposal.
“Check” — skip a turn.
The typical order of the poker game looks like this:
|Card dealing||Each player receive two cards, but do not look at them|
|Blinds||Players place first (blind) bets|
|The first betting interval||Players look at the cards in their hand, then place bets or fold and exit|
|Putting cards on the table||If there is more than one person left in the game, three cards (the flop) are put on the table|
|A betting interval||Players evaluate the cards on the table and place new bets|
|Putting cards on the table||In different variations of the game, 1 or 2 more cards are added to the flop|
|A betting interval||Players evaluate the cards on the table and place new bets|
|Cards are revealed||The players reveal their cards and make combinations of the cards in their hand and the common ones. The winner is the one whose combination has a higher price. The winner takes the pot.|
This is an approximate order of the game, in different types of poker, the number of cards and betting rules varies. To play confidently, choose one type of poker and read the detailed rules for it. The most popular Online Poker India games are Texas Poker, Omaha, Hold’em, Stud, Draw, Badugi. You can find them in all the casinos on the list above.
Types of the Poker Hands
The Poker Hand is a key term in poker, because the compilation is the purpose of the game. The winning combination of cards depends on luck, but this is largely determined by the player’s attentiveness.
The hands are the same for all types of poker.
Combination table (ascending value):
|Royal flush||A + K + Q + J +10, cards from 10 to Ace of the same suit|
|Straight-flush||Cards of sequential rank, all of the same suit. For example, 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5|
|Four of a Kind (quads)||four cards of one rank and one card of another rank. For example, 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + J|
|Full House||Three cards of one rank and two of another. For example, 9 + 9 + 9 + J + J|
|Flush||Any five cards all of the same suit. For example, 3 + 7 + 10 + J + K|
|Straight||Five cards of sequential rank; suit shouldn’t be the same.|
|Three of a Kind (trips or a set)||Three cards of one rank and two cards of two other ranks. For example, 9 + 9 + 9 + J + K|
|Two pairs||Two cards of one rank, two cards of another and one card of a third rank. For example, 9 + 9 + 7 + 7 + 2|
|One Pair||Two cards of one rank|
Get the Royal Flush is a real success. Not every player can have this luck in life, because the probability of getting a Royal Flush at a poker table is 1 in 650,000. But such hands as One Pair, Two Pairs, or Three of a Kind happens quite often.
If the combinations of the players are the same, the player who has higher cards wins.
How to win at online poker
In a live game, victory depends not least on the player himself: he must be impenetrable; do not show with a random movement of the card, do not give yourself away with a facial expression. You might think that to play online poker in India, all this is not that important, and tactics and strategy become the main thing. But in fact, your emotions and attention are also the things in Online Poker.
We will not talk about strategies because this is a big topic and cannot be covered in a single article. In addition, strategies are rather interesting for advanced players who already have a good understanding of the game and are quite fluent in terms.
Therefore, we will give some tips to newbies who want to win and receive money through poker. These are general guidelines, but they are especially useful for beginners.
Treat poker like a job.
If your goal is to win, it’s important to focus on the game. Do not drink alcohol before playing; do not play if you have not slept for a long time or are hungry. Only enter the game when your brain is working smoothly and your attention is easily focused. Otherwise, you will lose control of the situation and make mistakes.
Get rid of everything that distracts you.
Messengers, unfinished business, people around — all this tends to deflect attention from the game. Do not play poker while you work; turn off notifications during the game and ask loved ones not to disturb you. Even one distraction at an important moment can ruin the game.
Don’t get excited.
If you value the adrenaline from the online poker real money game in India, then you will be taking unnecessary risks. Excessive excitement and winning are incompatible. Try to satisfy this need in another way, such as extreme sports or action-packed video games, and start your poker game with a cool head.
Control your emotions.
If you worry too much about winning or losing, you can go into a state of passion and lose control. Whatever happened in the last game, take a break and calm down if necessary. Only then continue.
Stick to the plan.
Sooner or later, you will find your own strategy, or even several. But the worst thing is to change tactics during the game and move from one strategy to another. Always stick to the plan you started out with.
These rules look pretty obvious but they really help — if you toe the line. We wish you good luck and big wins!
Best Online Poker Bonuses in India
All online casinos from our TOP, which we have provided above, make interesting offers to new players. As a rule, this is a one-time bonus on the first deposit. Most often, the casino adds a certain amount to the player’s deposit, and also credits “free spins” – free attempts to play at an online casino.
If your goal is poker, choose a site with the maximum deposit bonus and the minimum number of free spins, because they will not be useful at the poker table. When comparing who has more profitable bonuses, pay attention to the conditions:
- Combustible or non-combustible bonuses? In some casinos, the plus to the deposit will burn out in a few days.
- Under what conditions can the bonus be withdrawn? Usually, before withdrawing it, you need to wager it several times, but the exact figure is different.
- From what amount is the bonus calculated? If the casino increases the deposit in multiples (for example, 2 times) or adds a fixed bonus, then usually there is a condition in the form of a minimum deposit.
- What is the maximum amount for bonus accrual?
By these parameters, it is easy to determine the most profitable casino for a new online poker player. But we also advise you to check what bonuses experienced players receive: some casinos do not provide large starting bonuses, but in the long term it is more profitable to play them.
We advise you to read the terms and conditions directly on the casino sites, and not in the articles with reviews, because the loyalty programs are often updated.
Online Poker in India: How to Deposit
To create an account on the casino website, you just need to enter the details and register. But for the first deposit and to play online poker in India for real money, you need to go through verification.
To do this, upload two documents (good quality scans or photos): one with a photo and a name, and one with a name and address. IMPORTANT: these must be two different documents belonging to you. You will find a list of suitable documents in the letter that will come after registration. Most often, verification is checked manually, so confirmation will come in 1-3 business days. As soon as you receive an email about this, you can make your first deposit.
Many online casinos operating in India accept Visa or Mastercard. But we do not recommend sending money from your bank card directly: due to legislative difficulties, banks often reject such transfers.
A quick and reliable way to fund your online poker account is to use an international payment system. Also, some sites work with Indian national currency systems.
Popular payment methods:
You can use any of these systems, provided that the online casino of your choice works with it. Usually, payment methods are listed in the “Deposit” section, in your personal account or on the last screen of the site; you can also make inquiries with technical support.
We advise Indian citizens to use UPI or Net Banking (if the selected website supports them): they are optimal in terms of speed of enrollment and are very reliable. Also very reliable systems include Neteller, Paypal and AstroPay.
If you are not using the casino website, but its application, you can also make a deposit using Google Play or Apple Pay.
How to Withdraw Money
The same payment methods are available for withdrawing money as for a deposit. Pay attention to the rule that operates in most casinos: the payment method for depositing and withdrawing funds must be the same. This is important both from the point of view of the law and for the internal security system: online casinos must be sure that your account is not used by fraudsters.
When choosing a casino, study the conditions for depositing and withdrawing funds and decide how they suit you. Here are the typical challenges faced by online poker players:
- There is a minimum withdrawal amount, and it is inconvenient (for example, from 1000 rupees);
- The withdrawal period is too long: for example, 3-5 days;
- There is a large commission for withdrawing money from the site;
- Keeping money in your personal online casino account is not secure; there are cases of hacking wallets and theft of funds.
The commission for withdrawing money, as well as the minimum amount, may vary depending on the selected payment method. We recommend that you find a method with minimal commissions for deposits and withdrawals, and, if possible, do not store large amounts in your online casino account. Sites from our rating are reliable enough and invest a lot of resources in security. But they cannot achieve the same level of user protection as banks or even international payment systems.
Online Poker Industry in India: is it legal?
We are usually asked “is online poker legal in India?”. But it is a really complex question, Gambling is prohibited in India and there is a punishment for organizing it. There are legal casinos in the country, but they are really very few in number; they can only be located in luxury hotels so they are mostly focused on foreign tourists.
However, the law was adopted long ago and has not been amended since then. Therefore, in fact, it only applies to “real” casinos and points of acceptance of bets. The concept of “online casino” is not spelled out in the legislation and now it is a so-called “gray zone”.
This has three important consequences:
- Companies registered outside India and also licensed in other countries may provide gambling services to residents of India;
- Formally, online poker is not prohibited (although it can be classified under the general category of “gambling” by a court decision);
- Online poker players cannot be prosecuted or fined as there is no punishment for gambling via the Internet.
In Indian jurisprudence, there are precedents when the court qualified poker not as a game of chance, but as a skill requiring game. There is also the Information Technology Act of 2000, which highlights the difference between a card game and an online casino.
All of this creates a favorable environment for online poker in India and the industry is booming. In 2019, the volume of the industry was estimated at $ 50 million, and every year the amount is growing by 10-15%.
The increase in the audience of poker rooms is due to the generation of the “economic boom” — wealthy people, as well as elderly Indian people who become users of computers or play on smartphones via casino’s APK.
In some states of India, poker is already officially recognized and regulated by law: these are Goa and Sikkim. The latter even has a licensing system for virtual poker rooms. There is reason to believe that the rest of the Indian states could admit online poker in the future.
Poker is a popular game in India. But in most states, it is possible to play it for real money only in online casinos: gambling is officially prohibited.
Gamblers from India have access to many online casinos, both global and local. The casinos developed by Indian teams consider the specifics of the country and the preferences of its citizens.
It is possible to start playing online poker even if you have never played this game with real cards. But you would better choose for the first games a reliable casino with non-fraud algorithms, a user-friendly interface and a secure system for depositing and withdrawing funds. We recommend Casino Guru, Chumba Casino, Yabby Casino, Megapari Casino or 10CRIC.
There are many types of poker, which vary in the bets, the number of cards and the course of the game order. It is better for a beginner to choose one and study it well, and only after enough practice, move on to the next.
An online poker player does not need to spend years learning how to make a “poker face”: on the web, you don’t need to. But you need to be able to concentrate and hold your emotions: this is very important if you want to win money, not just have fun.
Are there places in India where you can play “real” poker?
There are nine “real” casinos in the country; they are all located in poker-friendly states: Goa and Sikkim. But only four out of nine casinos offer poker. These are two Casino Pride establishments in Goa, as well as Sikkim Casino in the state of the same name and Mahjong Casino. Each has 6 to 8 poker tables.
How long does it take to start playing online poker for real money?
No matter if you play online or real poker in India — poker is a game with simple mechanics, regardless of its type. You will remember the rules and will be able to play without making mistakes in them after a few games. But difficulties begin when you begin to master strategies, tactics and learn to behave at the card table like a professional. Depending on the time you spend playing, practicing and studying articles and videos, this will take from six months to several years.
Who is the most famous poker player in India? How much does he make?
The most famous Indian in the poker world is Vivek Rajkumar. He won the 2008 World Poker Tour for $ 1,424,500. This instantly made him a star, and now, more than 10 years later, Vivek Rajkumar is still famous in the industry. By 2021 he had finished his career and is now running a business.
Is there an age restriction for playing online poker in India?
Even in states where poker is legal, the minimum age of player is 18. If this condition is not met, the company (owner of the poker room) will receive a large fine. That is why we ask players to verify by submitting documents.
Do I need to pay taxes on my winnings?
Online poker is in a gray zone, but the law requires tax on large winnings. There is a general rule for all states of India: online poker players 30 percent income tax on all winnings in excess of Rs 10,000.
Can money in an online casino account disappear due to legislative reasons?
We are not aware of any cases where poker player deposits or winnings have been seized. Sometimes transactions (deposit or withdrawal) are not made because the bank declines them. But in this case, the money is returned to the account from which it was sent.