Play Online Poker from India!
A game for people who love to use their brains (and their gut instinct), Poker is the most popular card game in the world, where skill, strategy and luck combine to create thrill and suspense for all those involved. Fortunately, Indian players who enjoy this game can now play poker online at a number of reputable casino sites. In this complete guide to Online Poker in India, we shall give you an overview of poker game rules, before introducing you to the most trusted Online Poker and live Poker sites in India, where you can play this game with real money while enjoying complete peace of mind.
What are the Best Online Poker Sites in India?
There are plenty of sites that offer online poker games and which welcome Indian players to their platform. The online casinos that we recommend offer video poker, virtual poker as well as Live Poker games which you can enjoy at home or on the go. Check out the below casinos, all of which are licensed offshore and which we cannot hesitate to recommend due to the excellent reputation they’ve built up over the years:
What is Online Poker?
Online Poker covers the range of poker games and variants that are made available online. While there are online poker sites that require you to download the software to be able to play, most online casinos make their poker games available in instant-play mode, allowing customers to play real-money poker in just the same way that they would play other online card games, like Blackjack and Baccarat. The main difference between online poker rooms and online poker games that you will find at online casinos is that in the latter, you will be playing against the house, and not against other players (at least for the time being!).
Live Dealer Poker vs Virtual Poker
At the best online casinos, you'll typically find a selection of virtual poker games and live Poker games. There is one principal difference between these two types of online poker games: in virtual poker games, you can play online poker against the ‘computer’, i.e. against a program that generates cards at random. There are no other players involved, which means that you can play virtual poker at any time of the day. Virtual online poker can also be played for free to practise your poker strategy before you confront other players at a Live Poker table.
Live Poker is a live dealer casino game that is run and managed by a game studio, involving a real croupier with whom players can interact online. In Live Poker, players place their bets digitally, yet the cards are drawn manually by the croupier, and the player can watch this being done in real-time. The experience is as close as it can get to playing real-money poker at a land-based casino. Nowadays, there are plenty of Live Poker variants to try online, which we’ll look into further down below.
Virtual Online Poker Games
Virtual Online Poker games may consist of different poker variants, from the most popular Texas Hold Em to Omaha Poker and video poker games. You can find these under the Table Games category of an online casino, or under a separate Video Poker category. We’ve had a quick look at the collection at one of our favourite poker online casinos, 10Cric Casino, to give you an idea of what to expect:
Virtual Poker table games
- Texas Hold Em
- Casino Holdem Poker
- Caribbean Poker
- Oasis Poker
- Multihand Poker
- Caribbean Poker
- Triple Edge Poker
- Pai Gow Poker
Video Poker games
- Jacks or Better
- Deuces Wild
- Aces & Faces
- Aces and Eights
- All Aces Poker
Live Poker Tables
Live Poker is a more recent development on online poker, but this doesn’t mean that the selection is poor. Nowadays, major live casino studios like Evolution Gaming and Playtech have come up with a great selection of live poker games, each with their own set of rules and unique twist to classic poker. Among the most popular live poker variants online, you’ll find:
- Live Casino Hold Em
- Live Texas Hold Em Bonus Poker
- Live Three Card Poker
- Live Caribbean Stud Poker
You can play all the above live Poker games by Evolution Gaming at the exceptional LeoVegas casino by clicking on the link below.
How does Online Poker work?
Online Poker seeks to bring the classic game of poker to the online casino arena, enabling players to play against the house or against other players through a digital environment. In case you’re a complete beginner or you simply need to brush up your poker strategy, IndiaCasinos will go over the basic poker rules to help you get started. First of all, players need to be aware that there are different variants of online poker, all of them with slightly different rules. In all cases, however, it’s the player with the best hand that wins. By ‘hand’ we mean the combination of cards that a player ends up forming.
Poker game rules
Poker is played with a standard 52-card pack which sometimes includes one or two jokers (wilds). Players are dealt 2 or more cards, whereas 5 cards are dealt in the center of the table – these are called Community Cards. The aim of every player is to combine his cards with these community cards to form the best 5-card poker Hand.
In most poker variants played with 5 cards, you can get the below hands, which we’ve listed from highest (best) to lowest.
- Five of a Kind – four 10s and a Wild (Joker) card, e.g. A. Q, J, K and Joker
- Straight flush – 5 cards of the same suit in sequence, e.g. 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 of spades.
- Four of a Kind – 4 cards of the same suit and value, e.g. four Queens and a 5.
- Full House – 3 cards of one rank and 2 of another, for e.g. three 5s and two 3s, or three Aces and two 8s.
- Flush – having 5 cards of the same rank, but not in sequence, e.g.. Q, J, 9, 5 and 3 of hearts.
- Straight – having 5 cards in sequence, not of the same suit, e.g. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (some of them hearts, clubs, spades, and/or diamonds)
- Three of a Kind – 3 cards of the same suit, plus any other 2 cards, e.g. 2 jacks, a 1 and a 4.
- Two Pairs – a pair of cards of the same rank, and another of a different rank, plus any other card, e.g. Q, Q, 7, 7, 4.
- One Pair – a very easy combination to get, consisting of one pair plus 3 other cards, e.g. 8, 8, Q, Ace and 2.
- No Pair – having no matching cards. When a player has no pair, the highest hand is determined according to the highest card, so that a hand with an Ace would rank higher than one consisting of a King.
Poker Betting Rounds
Texas Hold Em and Omaha Poker are the most popular poker variants, both online and offline. Both games consist of 4 betting rounds, which are called the pre-flop, flop, the turn and the river.
- Pre-flop – in this round, players bet as soon as they get their hole cards, before community cards are dealt.
- Flop – this betting round takes place after the first 3 community cards are revealed.
- The Turn – a betting round that takes place after the fourth community card is dealt.
- The River –the last round, which happens after the fifth community card is revealed.
Every betting round goes on until each player has either matched or folded. When the last bet or raise takes place, it will be time for the showdown. Now, any remaining active players will show their hands, and the player who has got the best one obviously wins the pot!
Poker betting systems and strategies
Although anyone can learn how to play poker, it takes significant skill and practice for someone to become a really good poker player. There are various strategies that have been developed to help players win more on poker, some of which also apply to online poker variants. In this section, we’ll take a look at the most important Poker strategies and aspects.
In Texas Hold Em Poker, a starting hand will consist of your 2 hole cards. It is important to know which are the best starting hands in order to be able to decide what action to take. Part of poker strategy involves the decision to fold weak hands before the flop to avoid losses. Poker pros have put poker starting hands in various groups, depending on the strength of the cards, and base their decisions on the strength of the hands and the starting position(early position, mid position and late position) on the table. You can consult a Starting Hands Chart showing starting hand winning odds to help you figure out what to do.
Value betting is a technique aimed at getting your opponent to call with the belief that their hand is stronger than yours. Skilled poker players may employ value betting in the hope that their opponent calls with the second best hand, and therefore increase their chances of winning with the best hand. Value betting involves careful evaluation of all that is happening during pre-flop, flop, on turn and on river, and also deciding on the size of your bet (as if the bet is too large, then the player will not call). This takes a lot of skill and practise to master, and is usually more effective when playing land based poker, as you’ll be more able to judge your opponents.
Bluffing works in the opposite way to value betting, as it is done when the player knows that he probably hasn’t got the best hand. To bluff, the player makes a bet or raise with the aim of causing one or several opponents with a better hand to fold.
Poker Playing Styles
Players can play poker by adopting different ‘styles’. Skilled poker players learn how to identify which ‘style’ his or her opponent falls under. There are 4 main playing styles in poker: loose, tight, passive and aggressive.
- A loose poker player tends to play with a variety of hands
- A tight poker player will tend to play only his best hand.
- A passive poker player will likely play with a fear of losing. A tight-passive player won’t play any pots, and when he does, all other players are likely to fold as they know that he must be playing a strong hand! On the other hand, a loose-passive player tends to keep calling but doesn’t take big chances.
- An aggressive poker player will raise or re-raise hands more than calling and won’t be afraid to risk more. A loose-aggressive player will tend to to raise or re-raise a variety of hands pre-flop and will bet on most flops. On the other hand, a tight-aggressive player won’t play many pots but when the opportunity comes, he won’t be afraid of betting!
It is easier to judge player playing styles at a land-based poker table than within an online poker room. However, knowing the various poker playing styles can also help you adopt the style that works best for you.
Why play Online Poker?
It is true that online poker can never play out in exactly the same way as traditional land-based poker, for the simple reason that it’s much harder to judge other players online. Most RNG poker and Live Poker games are also played against the house, so you can forget about the value betting and bluffing altogether. That said, there are various reasons to still play poker online, which we’ll list down below.
Play Online Poker from your home
Convenience can never be underestimated, especially in india, where the nearest land-based venue can be located hundreds of miles away! Playing online poker from home gives you the opportunity to enjoy the game at any time comfortably and securely, and can also be a lot cheaper if you wish to stick to the lower end of the betting spectrum.
Get Online Poker bonuses
Some online casinos offer bonuses that you can use on online or video poker games, allowing you to play them with free money. Some casino welcome bonuses can be used on a selection of these games, however we suggest checking the terms and conditions to check about wagering requirements and possible game exclusions.
Play Poker for Free!
Playing free virtual poker and video poker will give you a great opportunity of improving your poker strategy by learning to evaluate which hands to play. This is not something you can do at a land-based casino, so if you’re a beginner, we highly recommend playing online poker for free first!
Online Poker variants
Poker game rules vary according to the variant of poker you are playing. Although the Texas Hold Em and Omaha Poker are played with 5 cards, some other variants are played with a different number of cards, whereas others have slightly different rules. Below we’ll briefly explain the most common variants that you’ll find at the best poker sites in India.
Texas HoldEm Poker
The most popular poker game, in Texas Hold Em every player gets 2 hole cards at the beginning, whereas the board will consist of 5 community cards. In Texas Hold Em, there are 4 betting rounds as follows:
- Pre-flop – players bet before the community cards are dealt.
- Flop – players bet again once the first 3 community cards are dealt.
- The Turn – a bet following the 4th community card.
- The River – this is the last betting round, which takes place after the final community card is revealed. The showdown follows this bet, when the remaining active players reveal their hands to see who wins.
You can now play Live HoldEm Poker by provider Evolution Gaming at the casinos we recommend on this site, or look for an Online Texas HoldEm poker game among the table games collection.
Omaha Poker Online
This online poker game is very similar to Texas Hold Em, but instead of two cards, each player in Omaha gets dealt 4 cards, and must form the hand using two of them plus 3 of the 5 Community cards. The same 4 betting rounds described above then take place, and a player wins if all other players fold their hands, or if he gets the best hand at showdown.
Jacks or Better
This is actually a video poker game, which you can find at a large number of online poker sites in India. In this game, players bet before they are dealt 5 cards, and will decide to hold on to any number of them before dealing another time. The hand with a pair of Jacks or better will win. By better, we mean a Queen, King or Ace.
Three Card Poker Online
This is a popular poker game at several Live Poker sites, and involves playing poker against a dealer. Players bet before being dealt 3 cards face up, whereas the dealer gets his own 3 cards face down. Players may then decide to fold and forfeit the stake, or to place a second bet that is equal to the first. If the player places a bet, the cards will be revealed to see who has the best hand. If the player folds, the dealer collects the initial wager.
Is Online Poker in India legal?
Online Gambling laws in India are still not as clear as we would like them to be. The Supreme Court has ruled that games of chance are illegal, but games of skill should be allowed. If you count Poker as a game of skill, then it would seem that it is perfectly legal to play poker in India. Besides this general law, each state is allowed to issue its own Gambling laws, and so far this has been done in Goa, Sikkim and Daman.
To date, India does not have any approved and licensed online poker rooms, with the exceptions of Sikkim, which has its own gamnling laws. Sikkim has licensed online poker and there are two land-based casinos in the state that also offer live poker, only to residents of Sikkim.
That said, there is no law that prohibits you playing online poker in India if you do this at a poker site that is licensed offshore. In fact, Live Poker and online poker rooms are becoming hugely popular among Indian players, and the market is growing.
Are Online Poker games rigged?
If you play poker online with licensed casinos, then you can rest assured that their poker games will not be rigged. These casinos have been operating internationally for years, and their games are provided by licensed game manufacturers, and tested by independent authorities for fairness. Virtual poker games are operated by a Random Number Generator that is programmed according to specific odds, which generates cards at random. On the other hand, live poker games are run by reliable game studios and managed by a real croupier. You can watch the croupier shuffle and deal the cards, as all this is done in front of the camera in a transparent manner.
It’s important to make sure that the online poker site you join holds a license from a reputable authority, such as the UK Gambling Commission, because this means that players will be able to enjoy real-money poker without having to worry about security and fairness issues.
Can you play Online Poker for free?
As we’ve already mentioned, you cannot play Live Poker for free at online casinos, because the table will require you to wager at least the minimum bet per round. However, in the case of virtual poker and video poker games, most casinos will allow you to play them for free for as long as you wish to.
Play with the most trusted poker online sites in India!
Although this timeless game can be enjoyed at a number of online casino and poker sites, players will get better value if they join trusted poker sites, such as the ones we recommend on this page.
And now, are you ready to enjoy the best online poker games for free or real money? Check out the Indian casinos that we recommend on this page and discover their selection of poker and live poker tables, and play whenever you like from the comfort of your home!