Poker is one of the most popular gambling games in any casino and the most popular card game. Indian players enjoy online poker since it’s a game based on skill more than any other card game and the edge in favour of the casino is very low. A player can improve their skills over time and get better at poker as they keep playing.

There are many different versions of the game and casinos vary in terms of bonuses and the size of the bets. We’ve compiled a list of casinos that offer online poker for you to browse and choose from.

List of the Best Online Poker Sites in India

What Is Online Poker?

Online poker is a gambling game that can be categorised as both a table and a card game. The game is controlled by a dealer and the goal is for the players to have a stronger suit of cards than their competitors.

The hand of cards is usually composed of the cards dealt to each player and of cards dealt to a shared pot. The players increase their bets or fold after each hand is dealt and the game can be won with a mixture of skill and luck.

History of Online Poker

A version of online poker appeared in the early 90s but the poker that we know today, which visually resembles going to a casino, appeared in 1998. The game was called Planet poker and it allowed the players to bet for real money.

Nevada and Delaware were the first US states to actually regulate the game and to provide a legal framework for playing online and paying taxes on your winnings. Mobile poker apps started in the early 2010s and they are still the most popular way to play online.

Current Online Poker Trends

Online poker is the most popular card game in most Indian online casinos. That’s mostly because it’s a game of skill and the edge in favour of the casino is rather small. The annual growth of the industry as a whole is about 12 per cent and that amounts to $70 billion.

Investing in online poker will probably prove to be the soundest investment in the industry. The return to player is about 2 percent meaning that the investment will always pay off in the long run. Many casinos are also paying special attention to live games and apps as a method for playing online poker.

Online Poker India

Is Online Poker Legal in India?

Online poker is legal in India, but there are complexities within how the laws work. Most Indian states don’t allow gambling at all, but these rules are governed by the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This law doesn’t mention online gambling at all, and this is the loophole most Indian players use to gamble on sites based abroad.

A few states do allow gambling and a few more are looking into legalising it in the future. In these states, players can use online and on-the-ground casinos based in India. Goa and Sikkim are the first Indian states to legalise gambling.

Poker has the smallest edge in favour of the casino.

Indian’s Online Poker Laws

Indian states that don’t allow gambling at all don’t have a provision for online gambling. Playing online poker in a casino based outside India is therefore perfectly legal. Things are a bit more complicated in the states that allow local casinos.

Most Indian states that allow gambling or allow some forms of gambling make a distinction between games of skill and games of luck. Games of skill are allowed and this covers poker as well, since how you play determines the outcome of the game.

Poker Taxes in India

When it comes to tax regulations – they are the same across the country, even though gambling laws aren’t. The government is aware that players are betting and playing in casinos even though it’s technically illegal to do so. The wins are therefore taxed.

The tax is set at 30 percent for every winning higher than 10.000 rupees. Players should also take into account the fees for transferring the funds from their banks and e-wallets into Indian accounts. These vary based on the method you’re using.

Different Modes of Poker Available in India

There are a few different modes of poker available in Indian casinos. These differ from one another based on how you can bet and whether there are any risks involved. New players usually start with poker games that don’t require any deposits at all and are instead played for tokens.

Soon after, the players tend to move to poker tables that can be played for real money, but with small bets, to ease the transition. From there on, there are infinite options when it comes to the size of the bets you can make.

Free Online Poker

Free online poker is played for tokens and not real money. The rules and the gameplay are the same as they are in a real casino play for real money. In many cases, the bonuses offered by the casino are also the same or very similar to those you would get when playing for money.

It’s a good way for new players to learn about the game and experience what it’s like to play poker without having to lose any money at all. After a while, most players tend to move on to games with actual money.

Real Money Online Poker

Poker can also be played for real money and that’s how most players do it. Within this, there are countless options when it comes to the size of the bets. There are tables and rooms with the smallest of bets in which most players play for fun and there are VIP high roller tables in which you can make quite a lot of money.

These casinos also provide bonuses and matching deposits that a player should be aware of and use with care to improve their chances.

Basics of Online Poker

Online poker works the same as the ground version of the game. In live versions of the game, the gameplay is streamed from a real casino and the players can interact with it virtually. With online versions, the outcome of how the hand is dealt is based on the random number generator.

There are a few different versions of the game, but the basics are the same. The goal of the game is to have a stronger hand than your opponent or to make it appear as you do by bluffing.

Texas Hold’em is the most popular type of poker out there.

Poker Rules

Poker is a betting card game. It’s played with a deck of 52 cards that are dealt by the dealer who controls the game. The dealer will deal two cards to each player facing them down. This is when the players make their bets or fold.

Additional cards are dealt to the common hand one by one. The goal of the game is to have the strongest card value when the two hands are combined. Players can bet, raise or fold when each new card is added to the table. A pair is the lowest card combination and poker made out of 4 aces is the strongest.

Poker Terminology

Let’s take a look at some of the most common terms you may encounter in an online poker game:

  • One pair — the weakest hand you can have – two cards of the same value,
  • Two pairs — two pairs of cards of the same value,
  • Three of a kind — a combination of three cards of the same rank,
  • Straight-five cards in a sequence but not of the same suit.,
  • Flush-five cards of the same suit but not in sequence,
  • Full house — three cards of the same rank and two cards of the same rank,
  • Four of a kind — for cards of the same rank,
  • Straight flush — five cards of the same suit in sequence,
  • All in — betting all you have on a hand,
  • Fold — giving up on a hand,
  • The flop — first three cards dealt in a poker game.

Popular Types of Online Poker in India

There are a few different types of online poker you can play in India. These differ in how many cards are dealt and how many cards are dealt to the common pot. This in turn leads to a difference in how the game is played and how fast it can be.

A player will do their best to try a few different versions and choose the one that suits them best based on experience. All versions depend on the player’s skill as much as they do on the luck of what cards you’ll be dealt. Here are a few of the most popular versions you can try in Indian casinos.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker type in India and beyond. Two cards are dealt to each player and five community cards are dealt face for every player to see. The goal is to have the highest value combination between the two.

The players bet after the three cards are dealt and after each subsequent card is revealed. That way the players can flop, bet or raise when the next card is dealt and their hands get stronger or weaker. The minimum amount you can bet depends but it increases after every turn so that the stakes get higher.

3 Card Poker

Three-card poker is considered to be a simpler version of the game. The first bet is made before any cards are dealt and the player bets if they’ll have at least a pair or better. It’s called an ante wager. Three cards are dealt face down to the players and the dealer.

This is where the player decides to make another bet which is known as the play wager. If a player folds the game is over and if the game continues a dealer wins if they have Jack or higher. Both wagers are then paid in one to one ratio.

5 Card Poker

The goal of 5 card poker is the same as with other versions and so are the hands and how they are ranked. There’s also an ante or blind bet after which each player will get five cards faced down. This is when another round of bets takes place.

Each player specifies how many cards they want to discard and replace. The players can also keep the cards they have. Another round of betting takes place with new cards and those with the strongest hand win.

There are versions of poker you can play for tokens without using real money.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean stud poker is somewhat similar to five-card poker since it’s derived from it. The main difference is that the game isn’t played amongst the players but against the dealer. The goal is again to have a stronger hand than the dealer.

What makes this version of online poker stand out from the others we’ve mentioned is that there are only two possible outcomes and that means that bluffing won’t work. Bluffing is an essential part of other versions of the game. Caribbean stud poker is more focused on luck than other versions.

New Poker Sites in India

Many new poker sites are opening in India every day. Our list focuses on the sites opened in the last two years. These offer a variety of different bonuses and all the versions of poker we’ve mentioned before.

Players can benefit greatly from using the services of the latest casinos out there. New casinos usually have better and more generous bonuses. These sometimes come with lower wagering requirements and there are even no wagering deposits. The newest sites will also have the latest games and tech developments.

Are Online Poker Games Available on Mobile?

All of the poker games we mentioned can be played on both mobile and desktop versions of the casino sites. Many casinos are moving in favour of the mobile version of the game and apps since that’s where the younger players are. A mobile version of the site is also easier to maintain.

The gambling funds can also be deposited and withdrawn on a mobile device regardless of the payment method you’re using. That way the whole process can be handled on a phone or a tablet.

Online Poker Bonuses in India

Poker casinos offer a variety of different bonuses that new players should take advantage of. These are made to help new players try the games out without having to risk too much or any of their own money. Keep in mind that sometimes poker bonuses come with wagering requirements. Some of the most popular bonuses include:

  • Welcome bonuses offered to each new player,
  • Match bonuses are when the casino matches the deposit a player has made to their account,
  • Cashback bonuses allow the player to get back a portion of the funds they’ve lost.

Take advantage of the bonuses casinos are offering to poker players.

Key Takeaways

  • Poker is probably the single most popular game in the online casino world, which is understandable given that it is a game of skill more than a game of luck. It is also extremely popular in India, although it has great competition in some games that originated in the country.
  • While poker and other online casino games in India are only legal in a few states, they aren’t really illegal in others. The loop likes in the old Indian gambling laws, which don’t mention online gambling since it didn’t exist at the time. So, online casinos founded abroad are operating without any issues in India today.
  • The rules of poker can be complex for new players, especially since there are different versions of the game. In the most basic sense, the goal of the game is to have the strongest hand according to the pre-determined rules.
  • When it comes to different versions of poker, the most popular ones that you can play at Indian casinos online are Texas Hold’em, 3 Card Poker, 5 Card Poker, and Caribbean Stud Poker.

Play at the Top Indian Online Poker Sites

Poker is one of the most popular gambling games out there and many Indian casinos offer it, in many different versions. It’s a game of skill rather than luck and one with the lowest edge in favour of the casino. A player can get better at it over time and start playing at high roller tables.

We’ve compiled a list of online poker sites for you to browse and choose from. Make sure to take into account the bonus policy of each casino as well as the type of poker games they are offering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Poker is a game of skill in which players have a real chance.

Yes, online poker is suitable for mobile devices.

The most popular types include: Texas Hold’em, 3 Card Poker, 5 Card Poker, and Caribbean Stud Poker.

Two Indian states allow poker, and in others, you can play in casinos based abroad.

Yes, there’s a tax of 30 percent on winnings higher than 10.000 rupees.

Sean Byrne
Sean Byrne LinkedIn

Sean is a talented sports and casino content editor who was born and raised in England. He has always had a love for sports, particularly football (soccer) and cricket, and has been an avid sports bettor for many years. Sean's passion for sports and gambling led him to pursue a career as a writer, and he has since become an expert in creating engaging and informative content for sports and casino websites.