Indians have always loved card games and never missed playing cards on different occasions. Card games go way back into history when the first card game that was played in India in the 16th century was called ganjifa. Cards were played in royal Indian courts with a deck of cards made of ivory and studded gemstones.
The legacy of playing cards continues even after so many years as card games took different forms and names. Today, numerous card games are played in India, be it online or face-to-face, on different occasions. From children to adults, everyone must have played at least one of these popular games. Many of these games can now be played online for free or cash, which has been convenient during the pandemic. Here’s a list of card games in India that have been popular for ages and are still going strong.
Popular Card Games in India
Undoubtedly, rummy is one of India’s most popular card games, also called Indian Rummy or 13 Card Rummy, that has been passed through generations. Rummy is the perfect game to test your analytical and strategical skills. The game is played between two to six players on 2-player and 6-player tables, respectively. Online Rummy is widely popular among different age groups. You can also play online rummy games on MPL.
The game’s objective is to meld/group all the cards into valid sequences and sets and make a declaration. To make a declaration, the player must make at least two sequences, including one pure sequence.
When the game starts, the dealer deals 13 cards to each player. The players sort the card and start melding their cards. The table has two piles – draw and discard piles. You can pick a card from both the piles and discard one card in the discard pile to get the required cards for sets and sequences. The first player that makes a valid declaration wins the game.
Teen Patti is a popular Indian card game derived from the British 3-card brag. Teen Patti is played between three to six people with a standard deck without a joker.
The objective of the game is to place a bet on who has the best hand. The players decide how to progress the game by choosing to be either a blind or seen player. The game starts with the dealer dealing out a card to everyone until each player has three cards. A minimum bet is decided before a round starts, and players place their minimum stakes in a pot in the middle of the table.
The Blind Player has his cards placed face-down on the table without looking at them. He has to place a bet equal to the current stake but not more than twice the stake. The Seen Player can look at his cards before making a stake, and the stake must be at least twice the current bet but not more than four times. You must stay in the game the longest and have the highest-ranking hand to win. Teen Patti has a popular online variant that can be found at several Indian online casinos.
Teen Patti has three popular variations – Joker, Muflis, and AK47.
Also Read: Tips on How to Form a Pure Sequence in Rummy
The Indian Rummy card game has three fun variations with similar rules but slight changes in the gameplay. The three rummy versions are Pool Rummy, Deals Rummy, and Points Rummy.
Poker is another one of the most played card games in India that people are crazy about. The fascinating game takes a great deal of wagering and strategizing. Poker is played between 2 to 7 players.
The dealer deals two cards to each player, starting with the player on his left, who will be the first to begin each round. The players have two options: bet or check. If any player decides to place a bet, the other players can call, fold, or raise. The round continues until all bets are in the pot at the center of the table or everyone has called.
The dealer deals three more cards face-up on the table after the first round. These three cards are known as community cards, referred to as a flop. The dealer places the fourth card after every player has played their turn. This card can be used by anyone and is called the turn. When everyone has had a chance to bet, check, raise, or fold, the dealer places the fifth card, called the river. Everyone has one final opportunity to bet, check, raise, or fold. If over one player is left after the final betting hand, the cards are revealed, and the player with the best hand wins the pot.
Satte pe Satta
If you are too many players, you can enjoy a game of Satte pe Satta, also known as 7 on 7. Satte pe Satta is usually played between three to eight players with one deck or unlimited players using multiple decks of 52 cards. The highest card in this game is King, and the lowest is Ace.
The objective is to be the first one to finish your cards and win the game. Each player is dealt an equal number of cards. Players then arrange their cards in numerical order or suit order. The rounds start with a player playing 7♦. The next card to be played should either be 6 or 8. The next round can be started with 7 of any suit. The cards are placed one by one next to the seven in a sequential order to create a layout. In each turn, just one card is played, and it must be the following card to the cards currently on the table. You can say Pass if you don’t have a card to put in the sequence.
BlackJack is counted among the most common card games globally and is popularly played in India as well. This game of chance is a famous casino game that is featured multiple times in Hollywood movies. The game is played between two to seven players with various decks of cards (four to six decks).
The objective of the game is to get blackjack or defeat the dealer’s count. The dealer’s and each player’s cards should add up to 21, which is blackjack. Here, the face cards carry 10 points, Ace carries 1 or 11 points (decided before the game starts), and other cards’ points are based on their face value.
The players on the table place their bets before the cards are dealt. The dealer deals two face-up cards to each player, one by one. The dealer receives one card face-up and another face-down. The player at the dealer’s left starts the game by choosing to stand, hit, double down, or split pairs. At no time should your cards go bust, implying that the total points for ards shouldn’t be over 21.
If you are good at hiding your expressions and maintaining a poker face, this game is for you. Bluff is a strategy-based fun card game where you have to analyze your opponents’ behavior and catch them bluffing. The game is played between three to ten players using a single deck without jokers.
The players are dealt an equal number of cards, and the player with A♠ starts by placing the card face-up in the middle. Moving clockwise, the next player places any number of 2’s of any suit face down and says the number of 2s placed to others. Similarly, others follow by placing 3s and 4s. The value of the cards goes to 2 once a player reaches the aces.
During the game, a player can call out a bluff to any other player if they think that player is bluffing. The player called out has to reveal the cards, and if the cards are not what that player said they were, that person has to pick all the cards from the pile. However, if the called-out player hasn’t bluffed, the challenger has to pick all cards from the pile.
Three Two Five
Perhaps the easiest card game popular amongst kids and adults in India is Three Two Five, also called Teen Do Paanch. Three two five is a trick-taking card game played between only three people with a standard deck of cards using all cards from 7 and above.
Before the game starts, the 3, 2, and 5 cards are placed face down for the three players to pick. The person who picks 2 has to win two tricks, the person with 3 has to win 3 tricks, and the person who picks 5 has to win 5 tricks. Each player is dealt five cards each, and the player that has to win 5 tricks announces the trump suit after looking at his cards. The dealer then gives 5 more cards to each player.
The game begins in a counterclockwise direction with a player playing any card. The others have to follow by playing a card of the same suit. If a player doesn’t have the same suit card, he can play a trump card or any other card. The player to play a card with a higher value (or a higher Trump card) wins the trick. At the end of the game, when all cards in hand are played, the person with higher tricks than required exchanges cards discreetly with players who couldn’t win the required number of tricks. The game can keep going as long as the players want.
While this game is not available online, Call Break on MPL is another version of this game, played between four players and slightly different rules. The trump suit in call break is always Spades, and the game is played for 5 rounds.
Bridge is also a trick-based four-player game with two teams and 13 cards from the card deck. The Spades Card is of the highest rank in the game, followed by Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs.
The objective is to bid and win a set of pre-decided tricks. The dealer deals one card to each player at a time. The players can see their cards, and the dealer starts calling. The players can pass, bid, double, or redouble bid. Once a bid, double or redouble bid is followed by three passes consecutively, bidding is closed. The final bid becomes the contract, and the player to make the first bid is the declarer while the opponent team is the defender. Each player places a card at the center, and the person with the highest card wins the trick. The game goes on till all cards are played, and the tricks are calculated. If the declarer doesn’t win the pre-decided number of tricks, the defenders win.
Medikot card game is especially popular in the western states of India. The game is played between four players, divided into two teams, with a deck of 52 cards. The ranks of cards from low to high are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace.
The objective is to collect a maximum number of 10-numbered cards. The dealer deals five cards to each player and deals other cards four at a time. The player at the dealer’s right randomly picks a card from the shuffled deck, and that card is the trump suit. That person then plays a card to start the first trick, followed by others who have to throw a card with a higher value to win the trick. If a player does not have the required card, they can play any card, including a trump. The person that plays the highest trump wins the trick and collects the cards.
Seven Eight is the last game on this list that Indians love playing with family and friends. The game is a variation of three two five with the difference that seven eight is a two-player one. The other rules and gameplay are similar to three two five.
Also Read: 3 Easy Card Games You Can Play Online
What is the most popular card game currently?
Undoubtedly, poker is one of the most popular card games, followed by rummy. However, some players find it difficult to learn the rules and gameplay of the two games. Therefore, some of the popular easy-to-learn card games include spades, solitaire, bridge, call break, bluff, etc.
How many card games are there?
The number of card games depends on what can be counted as a game. For instance, there are many board games that involve the use of cards and vice-versa. According to a rough estimate, there are between 1000 to 10000 card games.
What is the easiest card game to play?
The easiest card games that both adults and children can play include Go Fish, Old Maid, Solitaire, Bridge, Bluff, and Three Two Five.
What is a fun card game for 2 players?
There are numerous fun two-player card games such as rummy, slapjack, crazy eights, blackjack, spades, cribbage, gin rummy, etc.