When playing cards came to India, people embraced them wholeheartedly. Many card games were introduced and became widely popular on the Indian subcontinent. They became an integral part of our culture and tradition. Be it a wedding party or a Diwali party, a game of cards is a good way to spend time and bond with your friends and relatives.
Card games are a great source of entertainment, but our busy lifestyle leaves little room for playing cards in the real world. So people are turning to online card games due to their easy availability and scope for winning real money. Plus, you can play online games anytime at your home or during free hours at the office or anywhere you like to play them.
To help you pick the right card game, here are top 10 card games that are very popular in India.
Rummy tops the list of most loved card games in India. It has been entertaining us for centuries and the millennials have also started playing the game online. Also known as paplu, rummy is loved by people for its simplicity and quickness. A beginner can also learn to play rummy quickly and start playing even cash games after playing some practice games. You need analytical and reasoning skills to win at rummy.
Today online rummy is dominating the charts as the top skill game in the country. Many rummy platforms on the web offer daily cash games and tournaments. You can participate in these games and win real money in prizes.
Let’s understand more about rummy.
Rummy is a multiplayer card game played by 2 to six players. Generally one or two standard decks plus a Joker (53 cards in each deck) are used depending on the number of players. Unlike other card games, rummy makes use of Jokers: printed and wild Jokers. Each player is dealt 13 cards, one at a time. The remaining cards of the deck form the closed deck and the open deck. The closed deck is kept face down and the open deck is placed face up.
The objective of the game is to create sequences and sets using your 13 cards. There should be at least two sequences out of which at least one has to be a pure sequence. Let us understand sequences and sets:
Sequences: A sequence is a combination of three or more consecutive cards from the same suit. In rummy, there are two types of sequences:
Sets: A set is a group of three or four cards of the same rank/value but different suits. Jokers can also be used in a set. For example, 5♣-5♦-5♠ and K♥-K♣-K♠-K♦.
Below is an example of a valid declaration:
|Pure Sequence||Impure Sequence||Set 1||Set 2|
In rummy, the cards rank from high to low as follows: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. The face cards and aces are worth 10 points each and the numbered cards are worth their face values. The winner of the game gets zero points.
Rummy game is available in three different formats: 10 cards, 13 cards and 21 cards. Each format has more or less the same objective. Out of them, 13 card rummy is the most popular and there are different variants of the format.
Points Rummy: In this variant, the game is played for points, which have a pre-decided rupee value in cash games. The player who makes a valid declaration first, with zero points, is the winner. Winnings in cash games are calculated using the following formula: sum of all the points of the opponents X rupee value of each point.
Deals Rummy: The game is played for a fixed number of deals and each player is allocated an equal number of chips at the beginning of the game. The winner of each deal gets chips from the losing players based on their points. The player with the highest number of chips at the end of the final deal is the winner of the game.
Pool Rummy: It is available in two formats: 101 pool and 201 pool. Players who reach 101 points (in 101 pool) or 201 points (in 201 pool) get eliminated from the game. The player who is left alone at the table in the end is the winner.
Lately poker has created a lot of buzz in India. This is because the game is already popular in the West and it is featured in many Hollywood movies. Poker is a casino game that requires a control over your emotions. The game has captured the interest of many old card game players.
Poker is packed with loads of fun and entertainment. A player should have a basic understanding of the hands and betting to play and win the game. Poker is played using 5 cards and the hands from highest to lowest are as follows:
Five of a Kind: It is a rare hand in poker. It consists of all five cards from the ten to aces from the same suit. Example: A♥-K♥-Q♥-J♥-10♥.
Straight Flush: It consists of five consecutive cards from the same suit. The odds of getting this hand are 1 in 650000. Example: 4♠-5♠-6♠-7♠-8♠.
Four of a Kind - This hand consists of four cards of the same rank. The fifth card could be a random one. Example: 3♣-3♠-3♥-3♦-A♠.
Full House: This hand consists of three cards of the same rank and a pair of another rank. Example: 6♦-6♥-6♠-4♣-4♥ (three 6s and two 4s), or 7-7-7-K-K (three 7s and two Kings).
Flush: When you have five cards of the same suit irrespective of the sequence, it is a flush. Example: 2♣-K♣-5♣-9♣-A♣.
Straight: Five consecutive cards of different suits make a straight. Example: A♠-2♥-3♣-4♦-5♥.
Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank and other two cards of different ranks make three of a kind. Example: 5♥-5♣-5♦-3♠-6♥ (Three 5s, a 3 and a 6).
Two Pairs: As the name suggests, this hand consists of two pairs of the same rank (each) and the fifth card may be of a different rank. Example: K♦-K♣-9♠-9♣-A♥
One Pair: This hand consists of only one pair of cards of the same rank. Example: 2♦-2♣-4♠-7♥-8♣.
No Pair: This hand consists of no consecutive cards or pairs of the same rank. When one or more players have no pair, the highest card is considered for rating. For example, if you get an ace and your opponent gets a King, you will be the winner.
Texas Hold’em is the traditional poker game. In this game, players get two options: bet or do nothing. If a player decides to bet, he/she has three options:
Call: The player has to equal the amount of wager.
Fold: The player can drop out of the game.
Raise: The player can increase the amount of the wager and make it more than the previous bet. The remaining player has to call to play the game.
The objective of the game is to use hole cards and community cards to create the best possible hand of 5 cards. The game is played by 2 to 10 players and each player is dealt two cards, which are placed face down. These cards are hole cards.
Players will get 5 more cards, which are placed face upward. These cards are community cards. Using these cards, players need to make a 5-card poker hand.
The five community cards are dealt in three stages:
Flop: First three community cards
Turn: Fourth community card
River: Fifth community card
These combinations make the best possible 5-card hand:
2 hole cards + 3 community cards
1 hole card + 4 community cards
No hole card + 5 community cards.
If every player at the table except one folds, the remaining player will be the winner without any show of hand. So in poker, it is not necessary to win with the best possible hand. If you bluff and make your opponents fold, you can win even with a bad hand!
Just like rummy, poker has several variations. While Texas Hold’em remains the top favorite, there are other variations like Omaha, Stud, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, Lowball, Ace-5, etc. Let’s take a look at the top variations:
Texas Hold’em: It is the classic variation of poker where each player is dealt two cards (hole cards) at the beginning of the game. As the game progresses, the players are dealt 3 more cards (community cards). Players have to create the best possible combination using hole cards and community cards.
Omaha: There are two types of Omaha poker: Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. It is similar to Texas Hold’em but the number of cards dealt at the beginning is 4 instead of 2.
Razz: In this version, players do not need to create combinations using hole cards and community cards. The objective is to make the lowest possible hand. So the player with no pair or one pair will be the winner of the game.
7 Card Stud: Before Texas Hold’em or Omaha, 7 card stud was a dominant poker variation in the United States. Usually played by 2 to 8 players, this variant does not have hole cards or flop cards. In some cases, even community cards are eliminated.
Teen patti (Hindi for three cards) is an Indian card game inspired by the British card game called 3-card brag. It is called Indian poker as the game resembles American poker. It involves betting and the dealing of cards. The craze for teen patti is prominent in different parts of the country. In fact, the game has also featured in many Bollywood movies, including Teen Patti.
In teen patti, the rankings of card groups from high to low are as follow:
Trio or Trail: It consists of three cards of the same rank but different suits. Three A’s make the highest trio whereas three 2s make the lowest one.
Straight Run: It consists of three consecutive cards of the same suit. A-2-3 of any suit is the highest straight run, followed by A-K-Q, K-Q-J and so on.
Normal Run: Three consecutive cards of different suits make a normal run. Example: A♥-2♠-3♣ and 5♦-6♥-7♠.
Color/Flush: All cards in the hand from the same suit make a flush. If two players have a flush, the player with the highest card is the winner.
Pair: It consists of two cards of the same rank. In case of two pairs, the player with the highest value card is the winner. Example: A♠-A♦-Q♣ and 5♥-5♣-8♠.
High Card: The player with the highest card becomes the winner. This happens when players do not have any of the above combinations.
Teen patti is played by 3 to 6 players using a standard deck of 52 cards. At the beginning of the game, every player has to put the stakes into the pot kept at the centre of the table. The winner of the game takes away all the money from the pot.
Each player is dealt three cards, one at a time. Then the players have to bet on the player who has the best hand.
The player to the left of the dealer starts with the betting and it continues in the clockwise direction. During the play, each player has the option to put an additional bet or fold (drop out of the game). Please note that when a player folds, he/she has to permanently leave the game, sacrificing the money left in the pot.
Now the player has to place a wager on the player with the best hand. Players can proceed by either being a blind or seen player:
Blind player: The player does not see the cards as they are kept face down. He/She is allowed to place a bet at least equal to the current stakes and not more than twice that amount.
Seen Player: Such players are aware of their hands and place a bet at least twice the current stake and not more than four times the current stakes.
If you are a blind player, you can turn into a seen player after looking at your cards on your turn. But you need to place a bet that is twice the current stakes. The game proceeds in the given manner until everyone folds. But here are two scenarios:
If all the players in the game are seen players, you can ask the player who placed a bet before you for a compromise or sideshow. The player has the choice to refuse or accept.
Luck plays a vital role in the teen patti game. But players can leverage their skills and knowledge to become successful. Here are some tips and tricks to win at teen patti:
There are different variations of teen patti, including Mufliss, 999, Sudden Death, Discard One, Plus Sign, and Rotating Jokers. Out of these, here are the top variations:
Mufliss: In this variation, the rankings of the hands are reversed.
Rotating Jokers: The card chosen at the beginning of the game is the Joker of the game. Suppose a player picks the 4 of Hearts, he/she can use this card to make a hand.
AK47: In this game, aces, kings, fours and sevens are used as Jokers. Thus, it has multiple Jokers.
Satte pe satta immediately reminds us of the classic Bollywood movie starring Amitabh Bacchan and Hema Malini. As the name suggests, the game revolves around the sevens of a deck of cards. It is known by different names like Dominoes, Tan Fan and Parliament in the West. Satte pe satta is fun and provides great entertainment. Let us see how the game is played.
Satte pe satta is played by 3 to 8 players with one standard deck of 52 cards. The number of cards dealt is not fixed, so players may get more or less cards in different rounds. Cards are dealt face down. Each player has to arrange their cards in the order of the suits: Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamond.
The ranking of cards in the game from highest to lowest is as follows: K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.
The game begins with a player laying the 7 of Hearts on the table. Then players have to create a sequence by laying out all the cards till the ace of Hearts. Please note that any player who has the 7 of Hearts can start the game.
The game progresses in a clockwise direction. The player who has the next card in the sequence has to lay the card. So the next card should be either the six or eight of Hearts.
If you don’t have the next card in sequence or the sevens of any suit, you have to say ‘Pass’ and pass the turn to the next player. The game continues until all the cards in a player’s hand are used up. The player whose cards are all used up is the winner. Score calculation for losing players is done on the basis of the cards remaining in their hands.
Three-two-five or 3-2-5 is a trick-taking card game popular in India, Nepal and Pakistan. It is also known as 2-3-5, 5-3-2 and teen-do-panch in Hindi. It is a relatively easier card game often played by children using a 30-card deck. Due to its fun nature, the game has also been modified to 3-5-8, which is also known as Sergeant Major.
Let us understand the game in detail.
The game is played by 3 players and dealing is done counterclockwise. From a standard deck of 52 cards, a 30-card deck is created by removing cards from 2 to 6 and two 7s. The seven of Hearts (7♥) and the seven of Spades (7♠) are retained in the deck. The rankings of the cards from highest to lowest is as follows: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, (7).
Every player has to take/win a certain number of tricks/deals. The dealer has to win at least 2 tricks/deals. The player to the right of the dealer has to win at least 5 tricks and the last player has to win at least 3 tricks.
In order to choose a dealer, take 5, 3 and 2 from the remaining cards of the deck and shuffle them. Place them face down and each player should draw a card. The player who draws 2 will be the dealer and the players who draw 5 and 3 will sit to the right and left of the dealer, respectively. The cards drawn will be the initial number of minimum tricks to be won.
Now the dealer has to shuffle the cards and deal 5 cards to each player. The one to the right of the dealer will choose the trump suit. Then the dealer has to deal three cards and finally 2 cards so that everyone gets 10 cards.
The game begins with the person sitting to the right of the dealer who plays a card. Then the other players have to play higher value cards from the same suit. When other players do not have a card from the same suit, they can play trump cards and win the trick. But the player who plays the highest trump card wins the trick. After 10 tricks, each player has to check if they have won the required number of tricks, i.e. 2, 3 and 5.
When everyone has won the pre-decided number of tricks, the person to the right of the dealer becomes the dealer of the new game. When a player does not complete his quota, he has to allow the player who has won the highest number of tricks to pick a card from his hand. And the player who won second-most tricks will give away an unwanted card from his hand. The exchange of cards will be done privately between the players.
The 3-2-5 game does not end. One way to decide the winner is to keep a track of the score and award a certain number of points for each trick won.
A useful trick to beat your opponents is to select a trump card from the suit with the highest number of cards in your hand. For example, if you have the highest number of Spades in your hand, select Spades as the trump suit.
A few variations of 3-2-5 are as follows:
No Trump, No Deal: A player with no trump cards can choose to show their hand and quit the game. Hence, no trump, no deal.
Ten Tricks Bonus: If a player manages to win all 10 tricks, he will get an additional bonus of 5 points. Along with that, the player also gets a chance to draw an appropriate number of cards from the opponent's hands.
7-8 (Saath-Aath): It is quite similar to 3-2-5 and originated in India. The game is played using a 30-card deck and the rankings of cards are similar to that in 3-2-5. But the two sevens will always be the top cards of the trump suit even when you choose a different trump card.
Contract bridge or simply bridge is a popular card game across the globe. It is packed with fun and challenges. People of all ages enjoy playing this game. There are many books written on the game.
A mindful approach and right strategies will help you become successful in the bridge card game. Let us understand how to play the game.
The objective of bridge is to score as many points as possible in every bid. This can be done in two ways:
The pair/team with the highest number of points is the winner of the game. Before we move on to the gameplay, here are the rankings of suits and cards:
Spades > Hearts > Diamonds > Clubs Cards from high to low: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
Bridge is played by 4 players divided into two teams. The players from the same team sit opposite to each other. Usually a standard deck of 52 cards is used and each player gets 13 cards.
Cards are dealt face down and the players have to pick up their cards and make a call. To call means to bid, pass, double or redouble.
Passing: When a player does not bid, double or redouble, they have to say ‘pass’. The bidding then goes to the next player. When all the players pass in the first round, the next dealer reshuffles the cards and deals a new hand.
Bidding: Every player has to bid a trick which is greater than six and a suit which will become the trump suit. Please note that a bid can be without a trump suit. The lowest bid is 1 and the highest is 7. A player is allowed to equal the previous bid or bid a higher number.
Doubling and Redoubling: Doubling means a player can double the last bit made by an opponent. And redoubling means a player can redouble the last bid made by his teammate and doubled by the opponent.
Final Bid: If there are three consecutive passes after a bid, double or redouble, the bidding is closed. This final bid becomes the contract. The player who bids first is the declarer and their partner will be the dummy. The opponents are known as defenders.
A player has to lay a card at the centre of the table and other players have to follow. The four cards are placed face up and constitute a trick. The first card becomes the lead suit and the first player can lay any card. Other three players have to follow the lead suit. If the other players do not have a card from the lead suit, they can play any other card.
When the leader plays the first card in a trick, the dummy places all the cards in their hand on the table face up. The trump suit has to be placed to the declarer’s left. The player who plays the highest trump card wins the trick.
Here are some popular variations of the bridge card game:
Duplicate Bridge: It is a popular variation of contract bridge mostly played in clubs and at tournaments. In this variant, each player plays the same bridge deal and the score depends on how well you perform as compared to others.
Rubber Bridge: It is a popular format of home bridge and money bridge. The game is played by two pairs. One pair has to win the first two games and for every game the score will be 100 points.
Chicago Bridge: This variant is played for four deals. Many people enjoy playing this format as the game is quick and easy.
Honeymoon Bridge: It is a two-player game with no bidding and a rotating trump. It is quick and, unlike other variants, is played one-on-one.
Also known as twenty-one, blackjack is a common casino game played across the world. Blackjack has also featured in many Hollywood movies including James Bond. With right strategies and planning, you can have fair chances of winning the game. Read on to learn more:
Blackjack is a betting game in which each player has to place their bets at the beginning of the game. The minimum and maximum limit is decided among the players. Let us understand the play better below:
Number of Players: 2 to 7
Number of Decks: Usually 4 or more decks. In casinos, the dealer may use up to 6 decks.
Value of each card in points:
Objective: A player has to beat the dealer by getting a count close to 21, but not over 21.
Dealing: The dealer deals two cards face up to each player at the table. The dealer reveals only one card to other players.
Play: The player to the left of the dealer starts the game. He could choose one of the following options to play:
Stand: Stay put and do not ask for cards.
Hit: Request for cards to come close to 21.
Doubling Downs: When a player has original cards totalling 9, 10 or 11, they can choose to double their bets. The player has to place the original bet during their turns and the dealer gives one card face down. This card can be used only when the bets are settled.
Splitting Pairs: When a player gets 2 jacks, the cards should be made into two separate hands. Then the players have to place a bet which is equal to the original bet. The left hand should be played first.
If the dealer has an ace face up, the other players are allowed to place a bet which is half of the original bet. It also means that the other card with the dealer is a 10. When all the players have placed their bets, the dealer flips the second card. If it is a 10, the player who made an insurance bet wins an amount twice the original amount.
At the same time, make sure the total value of the cards does not surpass 21. If it does, you will lose the bet.
When a bet is placed, the collected money cannot be returned. So when a player goes bust, they will lose the wager amount even if the dealer loses the bet. When the dealer goes over 21, he has to pay the wager to each player’s bet. If the dealer has 21 points or less, he has to pay the bet of any player having a higher total. Simultaneously, he/she has to collect the amount from other players having a total lower than 21. When the dealer and a player have the same total, no chips are collected.
Basic strategy: Try to hit, stand, double down, and split your hand.
Split aces and 8s.
Stand when your hand is 11-12 and the dealer’s 2-6.
When the dealer has 7-ace and you have 11-12, hit.
Hit or double aces-6.
Do not play the insurance bet: The chances of the dealer having a 10 are pretty low. There are high probabilities of losing more than you bet.
Check the dealer’s high card: Before taking any action, check whether the dealer has 7 through aces (which is a good hand) or 2 through 6 (bad hand).
There are many variations of blackjack. Learn more about blackjack variants below:
Mendikot or mendicot is a trick-taking game that originated in India. Played in partnership, it is very popular in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The word “mendikot” is derived from the Gujarati word “mendi,” which means zero (among playing cards, 10 is the only card with a zero) and “kot” means victory.
In mendikot, the player has to collect the highest number of 10s. It is very easy to play and offers a healthy dose of entertainment.
Number of Players: 4 divided into two pairs/teams. Partners sit opposite each other.
Number of Decks: 1 standard deck of cards.
Card ranks from highest to lowest: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
Dealing: A dealer is chosen on the basis of the highest or lowest card drawn from a well-shuffled deck. Then he deals 13 cards to each player, starting with 5 cards to each and the remaining cards are dealt later. There are three methods to choose the trump suit:
Play: The player to the right of the dealer starts the game by playing any random card to lead the first trick. Other players have to follow the suit. If unable to do so, they can play any other card. The player with the highest trump wins the game. Then the winner gathers all the cards from other players and leads the next trick.
Scoring: The pair having three or four 10s in a trick will be the winner. If both the pairs have two 10s, the team that won seven or more tricks is the winner. If a team has all four 10s, it is a mendikot.
Mendikot requires you to collect the highest number of 10s. So if you have 10s, try to use them wisely.
In some variants, the game is played by six to eight players divided into two equal-sized teams. All 2s are discarded from the deck and the remaining cards are dealt equally.
Dehla Pakad is a popular variation of mendikot. The game is exactly like mendikot, except that when a player wins two consecutive tricks, they can collect the trick and keep them face down.
As the name suggests, this card game is all about bluffing your opponents. It is also known as bull****, BS, and cheat. Bluff games can be won with the right strategy and a bit of luck. The game requires you to put on an expressionless face and you should also observe your opponents to analyze their next steps.
Bluff is an exciting card game that gives you an adrenaline rush. Let us see how the game is played.
Bluff is usually played by 3 to 10 players using a standard card deck with no Jokers. The cards are shuffled and dealt to each player at the table. A leader is selected and he starts the game by announcing which rank will be played. This is done by placing one or more cards at the centre of the table face down.
The player to the left of the leader plays his trick. Other players may choose to pass and not play in the rest of the deal. But they can challenge other players in the game.
If a player chooses to play, he can choose one or more cards that follow the rank announced by the leader. For instance, if the leader announces to play a King, the other players should play Kings. Since the probability of getting a King is 4 out of 52, it is not possible that every player will get a King. But the cards are placed face down, so players can bluff and get rid of their cards quickly.
A deal continues until all the players pass or someone challenges.
When everyone passes: In this case, the cards on the table are removed and the player who played the last card becomes the leader. The game proceeds in this manner.
When someone challenges: When a player has played a card before the next player, others can challenge the integrity of the cards. Anyone who wishes to challenge can do so by calling bluff. Wrong cards will be handed over to the challenger and if the cards match the declared rank card, the challenger has to pick up the centre pile.
The player who gets rid of all the cards first is the winner of the game.
There are many international variations of bluff, including Spanish Blush, MogeIn, and Verish Ne Verish.
Also known as pig, donkey is a popular card game played by children. It is greatly entertaining. The objective of this game is to collect four cards of the same rank and touch your nose after making a quartet. The player who touches their nose last will be labeled the ‘donkey’ of the game.
Number of Players: 3 to 13
Number of card decks: One standard deck.
Objective: Group four cards of the same rank and touch your nose.
Play: A dealer is chosen to deal 4 cards to each player face down. Players have to look at their cards and find out which cards they want to play. Unwanted cards are given to the player sitting to the left. Received cards are either kept or passed on to other players.
The game continues until one of the players has all 4 cards of the same rank. After collecting the quartet, they have to place the cards face down on the table and touch their nose to declare. The rest of the players have to do the same when they have 4 cards of the same rank. The last player to do so gets ‘D’ as their score.
The game continues until one player gets all the letters forming the word DONKEY.
Spoons: In this variant, spoons fewer than the number of players are placed at the center of the table. Players have to collect the quartet and get spoons. Players with spoons will advance to the next round.v
Extreme Spoons: In this version, the spoons are placed in locations near the center of the table but not at the center.v
Joker Spoons: The game is played using Jokers, which act as wild cards.v
Tongue: Players who collect all the four cards stick out their tongue. The last player to do so loses the game.v
Whether you play card games in the real world or online, they are wildly entertaining. We are sure you will have a great time playing the game of your choice from the list above. Let us know which one you love best in the comments section below.