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Teen Patti – Rules, Hands, Legality in India

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Teen Patti - Rules, Hands, Legality in India

What is Teen Patti?

Teen Patti is a card game that has its origins in the Indian Sub-continent. It has similarities to poker and is also called flash or flush in some areas of the world. This is a three-card game that is played with a deck of 52 cards. It involves both luck and skills. There are many operators in India and abroad that offer apps and websites that enable 3 patti play online.

In this article, you can explore teen patti rules, Teen Patti Apps and websites and its legal status in India.

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Jump to:

A. Teen Patti Rules

B. Teen Patti Hands

B.1. Teen Patti Table – Hands and Examples

B.2. Teen Patti Hand Winning Probabilities

C. Teen Patti Variations

D. Teen Patti Apps and Websites

E. Teen Patti’s Legality in India

A. Teen Patti Rules

Rules of teen patti have been broken here into different stages of the game.

Dealing: In the beginning, a dealer is chosen by dealing a specified number of cards to each player, and the player with the highest card or hand gets to be the dealer.

The dealer deals the first round of hands, going clockwise around the table, dealing one card at a time, till each player has three cards each. After the first round of the game, the winner of each hand gets to deal the next round.

Ante or boot: This is like the buy-in of Teen patti game. Everybody puts an ante in the pot before starting the game. The betting, then, starts from the player on the left of the dealer.

Blind: There are three scenarios for the first bet in play:

  1. Two forced blinds: The person who starts betting has to place a forced Blind bet of half the amount of a regular bet. A blind bet is placed by a player who hasn’t seen their hand of cards. The second player places a big blind (the same amount as that of a bet).
  2. One forced blind: The first player places a forced bet that is half or the same amount of a bet.
  3. Optional blind: The first player has the choice to place a blind bet half or the same amount of a bet. The player can also call instead. The person playing next to a blind deal can play a blind bet matching the amount or of a higher amount than the previous blind bet or they can call or raise.

Rounds of blinds can be limited in a game, i.e. each player cannot place more than two or three blind bets.

Call or raise (chaal): A person who doesn’t play a blind bet has to call or raise. A Call generally requires matching the previous bet, but when placed after a blind bet, then a Call’s amount is double the Blind bet. A raise is generally double or more of the previous bet. A cap to a Raise is generally placed. Calls and Raises are also called Chaals.

Every bet is a new bet (unlike poker), i.e. if a player places a bet of $4 and next one places a Raise of $8, the person after the Raise will have to place $8 to Call or $16 to raise. (In poker, the third person, if placing a Call, would just place $4 to bring his bet to a total of $8).

A player who has seen their cards and feel that they are strong enough in comparison to what others may have, can choose to play a chaal.

Sideshow or backshow: A player, while placing a bet, can request a sideshow or back show from the previous player. In this case, hands of both the cards are compared, and the losing hand is packed or folded, while the other one continues to play. This move helps ensure that your hand isn’t the weakest.

Show: If all the players pack or fold, then the last player automatically wins. However, if there are two players left in the game, then one can ask for a show by placing a bet. In the case of a final show, the two hands are compared to choose the winning hand who takes the whole pot.

Teen patti chips: Like poker, 3 patti can be played with chips both real or virtual. In more intimate settings, it is also played with cash.

3 patti chips: Teen patti can be played using chips and real-money both offline and virtually.

B. Teen Patti Hands

One of the most important part of knowing 3 patti rules is knowing the correct order of teen patti hands, from best to worst:

  1. Three of a kind or trio: This hand has three cards of the same value. Among trios, three Aces are the highest and three 2s are the lowest.
  2. Straight flush or pure sequence: A sequence or straight is a consecutive set of numbers. When three consecutive cards are from the same suit, they make a straight flush or pure sequence. Here’s the order of sequences from the highest value to the lowest—A-K-Q, K-Q-J, Q-J-10, and so on, till 4-3-2. 

Note: K-A-2 is called a wraparound. It is not a valid straight flush. Often 2-3-5 of the same suit is also considered a straight flush higher than A-K-Q. The reason for this is defined in the probability section of this article.

  1. Straight or 3 patti sequence: A sequence is a set of consecutive cards that are not from the same suit. The order of sequences for a straight is the same as straight flush, and K-A-2 is not a valid straight.
  2. Flush or colour: This hand has all three cards from the same suit. Among two flush hands, the one with the highest cards wins. If card values are the same for both the players, then the highest suit wins. Here’s the order of suits for teen patti from best to worst: Spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
  3. Pair or double: A hand with two cards of the same rank is called a Pair. The pair with the higher value wins. A-A is the highest and 2-2 is the lowest, irrespective of the third card’s value.
  4. No pair or high card: In hands with none of the above features, the highest cards are compared. When the highest card value is the same, then the second highest cards are compared and so on.

B.1. Teen Patti Table – Hands and Examples

Here’s a quick teen patti table exemplifying each type of hand, making it easier to learn how to play teen patti:

RankHandExample
1Three of a Kind or TrioAAA, KKK, QQQ, JJJ, 10-10-10, 9-9-9,…, 2-2-2
2Straight flush or Pure sequenceA-K-Q (all hearts), K-Q-J (all spades), Q-J-10 (all spades), and so on.
3Straight or teen patti sequenceA-K-Q, K-Q-J, Q-J-10, J-10-9,…,4-3-2
4Flush or colourA-Q-J (all hearts), Q-J-8 (all spades), 8-10-Q (all diamonds), and so on.
5Pair or doubleA-A-K, Q-Q-2, 8-8-9, 10-10-A,… 2-2-Q
6High card or No pairA-7-5, K-Q-4, K-J-10, and so on.

B.2. Teen Patti Hand Winning Probabilities

Here’s a table of probability of the occurrence of each hand in teen patti (Indian poker). In this 52-card game, the sequence in which cards are dealt does not matter, but the combination of the cards in a hand matters. Total number of combinations of any unique r elements taken from a set of n unique elements is nCvar>r (COMBIN(n,r). So 3 cards taken at a time from a deck of 52 cards will lead to 52C3 = 22,100 combinations of three cards.

HandFrequencyProbabilityCumulative ProbabilityOdds
Three of a kind/Trio520.24%0.24%424.00:1
Straight flush/Pure sequence480.22%0.45%459.42:1
Straight/Sequence7203.26%3.71%29.69:1
Flush/Colour10964.96%8.67%19.16:1
Pair374416.94%25.61%4.90:1
No Pair or High Card1644074.39%100.00%0.34:1
Total22,100100%100%0.00:1

The possible combinations of Trio are more than Straight Flushes, making the latter more rare and valuable. Still, Trio is considered a higher hand than straight flush. To streamline the odds when you play teen patti, a popular rule is to treat 5-3-2 from the same suit as a straight flush, increasing the number of combinations of straight flushes to 52, that’s equal to Trios.

C. Teen Patti Variations

There are many teen patti variations that help spice up this game even further. Variations help widen the combinations of card sets one can get and the skills one can employ to win a teen patti game. Here are a few teen patti variations you can play with:

  1. Best of Four: Each player is dealt four cards and they have to pick any three to make the best 3-card hand. The same rules and teen-patti-hand order applies after picking the best three cards.
  2. Low wild: Each player is dealt three cards, and their lowest ranking card is considered the wild card or joker for that player. If a person has a pair of low cards, then both the cards are wild cards. Wild card value and suit can be assumed to be anything to make the highest hand.
  3. High wild: Each player’s highest card is considered the wild card. If a player has a pair of high cards, then both the high cards are considered wild cards.
  4. Wild draw: After three cards are dealt to each player, the dealer pulls out a card from the deck. All the other cards of the same rank are considered wild cards.
  5. Two-lowest wild: Out of four cards dealt to each player, two lowest cards taken together in a player’s hand are considered a wild card for that player.
  6. Cobra: Each player is dealt one card each. They place their cards on their foreheads without looking at them, after putting a pre-decided amount in the pot. Each player can look at others’ cards but their own. Players play if they think that they have the highest card of all.
  7. Blind (Kaana) King and Jack: Each player is dealt three or four cards. All the King and Jack cards with side profiles and only one eye visible (e.g., the king of diamonds, the jack of spades) are wild cards.
  8. Kiss, Miss Bliss: Five cards are dealt to each player, who can make three wild card combinations: 
    1. Kiss: A numerical sequence like A-2, 8-9 and so on. A-K is not a kiss.
    2. Miss: A pair of cards which are one rank apart, e.g. A-3, 8-10, and J-Q. Again K-2 isn’t a Miss wild pair.
    3. Bliss: A pair of cards of the same rank, e.g. 8-8, A-A, and K-K.
  9. A-K-4-7: In this, every player gets three cards, and A, K, 4 and 7 from all suits are wild cards.
  10. 4 x Boot variation: This game is the same as any other 3 patti game, but the Ante is four times the usual Ante amount set for the game.

There are many other teen patti variations like High-Low Split, Draw, Stud, Community and Lowball (Mufliss).

D. Teen Patti Apps and Websites

There are various teen patti apps and websites where you can play teen patti for free or real money. Teen patti game download apps are available on Android, iOS and Web . Some of the teen patti online platforms are 3 patti gold, Teen Patti by Octro, TeenPatti Raja, and 3patti.com. Some oversearch online 3 patti real money platforms are also available. Teen patti online play uses random card generation using various advanced technologies. Free teen patti games are available through various websites and teen patti game apps.

E. Teen Patti’s Legality in India

Since three cards in teenpatti are randomly distributed to players and players have to play their hands based on the cards so distributed, without any scope of altering the ranking of their hands, it can be argued that teenpatti has a very high element of luck. 

In India, games involving a higher element of luck or chance are classified as gambling and playing such games for real money is banned across the country, except in legal casinos, while games such as poker which have a higher degree of skill may be legal in most states.

Since playing teenpatti does not involve application of a high degree of skills or intellect, it would be classified as gambling and playing it for real money is not permitted.

However, players can play teenpatti without any real money involved on one of the several free-to-play apps listed above. 

Alternatively, those wishing to play teenpatti may visit a casino in Goa or Sikkim to play the game in a live environment. 

Players may also look at playing poker instead, which is a more sophisticated version of teenpatti and considered to be a game of skill. Real money poker is available on various Indian websites such as PokerBaazi, Spartan Poker, Adda52, PokerStars.in, 9stacks and Mobile Premier League.

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