Top 10 Indian Poker Sites 2021 : For Indian Players
It is estimated that as many as a million people in India play poker for real money. This number is expected to increase significantly over the next few years as more and more companies launch poker-related services in the country.
Even the government is keen to get in on the act, with a general permissiveness and tolerance to poker and gambling in general seen across the board.
In fact, the Karnataka government has seen fit to allow the operation of floating casinos, perhaps in acknowledgment of the vast revenue generating potential of the gambling trade.
As government support for poker and other gambling-related activities increases, poker players in India can only look forward to more opportunities to enjoy their favourite game.
India has had a long and colourful history of playing card games, which have been the result of influences from Eastern and Western cultures. Many card games that are still well-loved to this day are British in origin, including classics such as gin and bridge.
Recommended Indian Online Poker Rooms
My list of the best US poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2021:
- Ignition Poker
- BetOnline Poker
- Intertops Poker
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- Americas Cardroom
- Bovada Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- SportsBetting Poker
- True Poker
100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.
- Recommended Indian Online Poker Rooms
- Is Poker Legal in India?
- Indian Laws And Regulations
- Popular Indian Poker tournaments
- Indian Poker Players To Watch Out For
- Banking Options for Indian Poker Players
- FAQs when playing poker in India
- Can I legally play online poker in India?
- Can I claim bonuses and promotions if I reside in India?
- Do I have to pay taxes in India on my poker winnings?
- Can I play online poker on my mobile device?
- What payment methods are available for players in India?
- Am I able to play online poker for free?
- How do online poker rooms deal with player collusion?
- Am I able to multi-table while playing cash games and/or poker tournaments?
- I opened a poker account and now am being asked to verify my identity. Is this normal?
- Do poker rooms allow me to keep notes on other players?
Several regions around the world have experienced an increase in the number of gamblers that play online, but the surge in India when it comes to online poker has been the most recent. The analysis angle and skill requirement found in poker have both contributed to the increase in popularity when it comes to online poker in India.
Since most poker players in India are considered fairly new to the exciting world of online poker, it’s extremely important that each online poker player from India enjoys the game on one of the best online poker rooms the industry has to offer. It’s for this very reason that we created this page to ensure Indian players will find the best possible poker experience when visiting our site.
Is Poker Legal in India?
Although online gambling is extremely popular in India, most forms of gambling is technically prohibited. However, gambling and gambling-related activities continue to flourish in most jurisdictions owing to the ambiguity of local laws and regulations, and the seeming disinterest in enforcing gambling bans.
Further adding to the confusion is the fact that the playing of certain card games such as rummy is not penalized, although games such as poker and the native teenpatti are banned. One possible explanation that has been proposed is that rummy involves a certain degree of memorization. This adds an element of skill to the game, making it more acceptable than other games that are mostly dependent on chance
Most of the legislation relating to gambling is extremely unclear and outdated, especially when it comes to online gambling. It’s therefore almost impossible to determine what’s illegal and what’s legal in India.
Indian Laws And Regulations
The Public Gaming Act of 1867 is the primary piece of legislation when it comes to gambling in India. The act initially only applied to the ten states that were under British rule at the time but was eventually amended to include other states as well.
There have been several other amendments as well, but the laws are basically the same even though they are more than 100 years old.
The Public Gaming Act of 1867 states that its illegal to operate or provide services where gambling is taking place, and it is also unlawful to visit a venue where gambling is taking place. Although this is extremely clear, there’s, unfortunately, no definition for gambling found within the act. This makes it extremely difficult to determine if betting on a horse race is illegal or if betting on a roll of dice is illegal.
There is also a section of the constitution that seems to address gambling and gambling-related activities. Known as Seventh Schedule Entry 34 List II, it essentially grants the state government the power to decide on the laws that pertain to gambling. Each state then effectively implements their own policies with regard to gambling, which may considerably differ from the laws in other states.
Furthermore, the Public Gaming Act of 1867 contains to reference to gambling online. This is obviously no surprise as the internet only surfaced decades after the Act was passed.
However, there is another act that can be considered as a reference to online gaming and betting, namely the Information Technology Act of 2000 the Intermediary Guidelines of which were published in 2011. These guidelines essentially serve to regulate gambling practices undertaken by intermediaries. Section 3(2)(b) of the guidelines also prohibits practices that are related to or which encourage gambling.
The act contains several offences that relate to online activity, but none of them specifically state that online gambling is illegal. However, it does give the government of India the ability to block foreign sites. At the state level, you will find two states that have introduced legislation that relates specifically to gambling online. It’s completely prohibited in Maharashtra, while the government in Sikkim have the authority to provide licenses to online operators that want to offer their services to players within the state of Sikkim. Overall, the legal situation with regards to online gambling is decidedly unclear in India.
India’s Governing Body For Poker
Gambling laws in India are generally enforced by police departments in the individual states.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has also begun taking more action against individuals and corporations involved in betting, particularly those that have been making unauthorized payments to government officials.
Legal Age To Gamble In India
Most land casinos and poker rooms catering to the Indian market require players to be 18 and older.
Popular Indian Poker tournaments
The India Poker Championship
IPC is the biggest and most popular tournament poker event in India. Launched in March 2010, the tournament is held offshore in the casinos at Panjim, Goa. The tournament started out as a quarterly event, gradually attracting more and more participants and audiences. The Championship now takes place every other month.
IPC tournaments typically last from four to six days. Buy-ins range from INR 5,000 to 50,000. The highlight of the entire tournament is the Main Event, which takes place once a year. The winner of this event is named the India Poker Champion for the season.
In 2011, the IPC introduced a ranking system that recognized the India Player of the Year (IPOY). IPOY awardees are those adjudged to have had consistently exceptional performance across various IPC events. The ultimate Player of the Year is awarded a year-long sponsorship, effectively guaranteeing free entry into all IPC events of the upcoming season, including the Main Event.
Indian Poker Players To Watch Out For
India has produced some prominent poker players over the years, some of them having displayed exceptional performance at the India Poker Championship or in high of international tournaments.
Considered the best poker player in the current scene, as a Player of the Year (POY), he has a total score of 1,648.75.
Ranked number two on the Indian money list, he is number 688 on the all-time poker money list globally, having reached a top position of 686. As determined by the Global Poker Index, he is the 190th best player in the world.
Nipun has earned a total of $394,601 from online poker, and a total of $1,977,177 from live poker events. This makes him the highest earning Indian poker player of all time.
Number two on the all-time Indian winners’ list, and one of the most popular names on the local circuit.
Readily identifiable by his trademark hoodie and sunglasses get-up, Bansal is a familiar fixture in high of tournaments at home and abroad.
With a POY ranking of 1,444.97 points, Bansal is number 245 in the Global Poker Index. He has earned a total of $735,024 playing poker, $335,910 of which are from live tournaments.
Is one of the few Indian players that have made a big splash in several prominent online poker tournaments and in several live events at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) as well.
The third highest ranked cash winner in India, he cashed out at the WSOP’s No Limit Hold’Em Main Event with $18,714.
In addition to being the third ranked player on the Indian all-time money list, Agarwal is also ranked 2,325 in the list of the biggest money winners in the world. In the online world, he was won more than $700,000.
Banking Options for Indian Poker Players
Most online casinos and poker rooms accessible to players from India allow the following banking methods:
- Credit card and debit card
- Bank wire transfer
- Western Union or similar wire transfer service
Bitcoin is also becoming more and more commonly accepted among online gambling establishments.
Currencies Used In Indian Poker Rooms
The Indian rupee is the most widely accepted from of currency in land-based casinos and poker rooms. Some of the bigger establishments may accept US dollars, British pounds or Euros as well.
With more than a million regular players in India and more expected in the coming years, the country is poised to be a major flashpoint for the game in the region. Even as more and more gambling-related opportunities arise online, there is a good chance that India will continue to be part of the burgeoning trend. Players who wish to explore the many opportunities for poker in India can surely look forward to good times ahead.
FAQs when playing poker in India
Can I legally play online poker in India?
Yes, you can. The laws in India are unclear in relation to online gambling as the laws haven’t been updated since the introduction of the internet. Generally, most major online poker rooms accept players from India and that provides multiple options if you are interested in online poker.
Can I claim bonuses and promotions if I reside in India?
All the online poker sites we recommend to players that reside in India are able to claim welcome offers, special promotions, and participate in exclusive poker tournaments. Indian players can also enjoy rakeback if offered by an online poker room and claim guaranteed prizes from major poker tournaments.
Do I have to pay taxes in India on my poker winnings?
Winnings earned from live or online poker are subject to 30% taxes. In cases wherein the winnings amount to more than 10,000 rupees, the casino in question will automatically deduct the proper taxes from the winnings. In all other cases, players are expected to consult with local tax authorities with regard to the proper amount and procedure for paying taxes.
Can I play online poker on my mobile device?
Yes. All our recommended online poker sites will either allow you to download a dedicated mobile app or allow access to a web-browser version. This will give you access to claim bonuses, special promotions, manage your preferred payment methods, and request a withdrawal.
What payment methods are available for players in India?
One of the most concerning aspects, when you play online poker in India, is the fact that you’ll have trouble making deposits. Most banks will not allow credit/debit deposits, therefore your best bet is to use a trusted e-wallet such as Skrill or Neteller.
Am I able to play online poker for free?
Yes. Online poker sites offer poker for both real money and play money. For those new to poker this is a good option to help learn the game as well as develop betting strategies along with increasing their skills in reading actions by other players.
How do online poker rooms deal with player collusion?
Collusion is forbidden when playing poker online. Most poker sites have monitoring software to detect this. If you suspect players are colluding, contact support and they will review play to determine is collusion is taking place. Those found guilty will be barred from playing on the same table.
Am I able to multi-table while playing cash games and/or poker tournaments?
Yes. All poker sites provide the ability to play at multiple tables at the same time. They further will provide various table display options. This applies to both cash games, sit’n’go’s and tournaments.
I opened a poker account and now am being asked to verify my identity. Is this normal?
Online poker sites that are legitimate are licensed with various licensing jurisdictions. As part of rules and regulations that govern the said license, poker rooms must confirm the identity of its accounts holders to prevent underage gambling and money laundering.
Do poker rooms allow me to keep notes on other players?
That will depend on the poker room you registered with. Most will provide the option to maintain notes within the software on other players. This is a standard practise most players will undertake in case they face the same player in the future.