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More than 1.3 billion people make India a major market for online poker operators. Our guide provides an overview of the laws and regulations of this unique market.
Additionally, you can learn how to play online in this country, where some unique challenges may not be encountered by those in other countries. Do you live in India and would like to learn more about the game?
Check out our guide on how to play online for real money, fund a new account, and claim a variety of exclusive bonuses.
Online poker may not necessarily be legal in India, since it is not a country that is friendly to gambling. The legality of online poker is a matter of local jurisdiction. Individual states in India are allowed to enact their gambling laws. Compared to what is currently happening in Germany and the United States, the poker situation in India is similar. Nevertheless, we won't go too far with the analogy.
There are many dated Indian laws at the federal level that are extremely subject to interpretation, making them practically unusable.
Real-money gaming in India is regulated by the Federal Public Gambling Act of 1867, which prohibits anyone from running a public gaming house or even coming near such a place. This law, however, applies only to games of chance. Poker is generally considered to be a skill-based game in India based on two legal precedents. Overview of Indian online poker
Online poker may not necessarily be legal in India, since it is not a country that is friendly to gambling.
Rummy was the subject of the first precedent. According to the court, even though the card game has an element of chance, the skill of the players has a greater influence on the outcome. In addition, a raid on an illegal poker club set another precedent.
Madras High Court heard the case. According to the court, the skill element was more important than the luck of the draw, and thus everyone involved was cleared of any wrongdoing. There is also an important document called the Information Technology Act of 2000, which distinguishes between casino games and card games.
It sounds like all this is positive news. There is, however, nothing preventing other Indian courts from disregarding these precedents and taking a different, more localized stance.
It is nearly impossible to determine whether online poker sites are legal in most Indian states because of the reasons outlined above. Most of the time, neither the legislative nor the judicial branches have dealt with the issue. Goa and Sikkim are the only states not included in this picture.
Gambling is a fairly popular pastime in Goa, at least by Indian standards. A number of casinos can be found there. Local laws also permit gambling so long as it remains within the realm of "electronic amusement." One might wonder if online poker falls within this category, but most experts seem to agree that the hobby is relatively safe.
There are no clear-cut regulations for online poker in Sikkim, the only state in India with licensed online poker rooms. In fact, one of the largest poker rooms even sponsors players.
Gambling in India is legal up to the age of 18.
Even if online poker in India is legal, most experts agree that players must pay a 30 percent tax on all winnings over 10,000 rupees if they are indeed playing for real money. Tax regulations across the United States are uniform, unlike gambling laws.
India-based poker players tend to play on the bigger international poker networks aside from Sikkim-licensed sites like adda52.com. There are several such sites, including PokerStars, 888poker, and PartyPoker. Operators of online poker sites know that neither the federal government nor state-level authorities seek to pursue individual Indian poker enthusiasts. India's players can therefore participate in the best cash games and tournaments available on the Internet.
1. Adda 52
In my first presentation, I'd like to introduce you to Adda52, one of the best online poker sites in India that has been working hard to become the country's most popular online poker platform. In addition to having the best gameplay platform in the online poker industry, Adda52 also offers some great promotions to not only attract new players to their site but also reward those who are loyal to them. You can see just how well they are doing by the fact that Chris Gayle has now joined Adda52.
In terms of cash deposits and withdrawals, I recommend Khelo365, which offers the best online experience. Khelo365 can be downloaded on Microsoft Windows, Android devices, and HTML5 browsers. Among the games available at this site are Omaha, Pineapple (OFC), Texas 6+ Poker, Texas Hold'em, Boost, and Reverse Hold'em.
New and exciting features have been added to Khelo365's new version. You can play cash games, play anonymously, play fast-fold poker, straddle and re-straddle, play twice and play head-to-head.
For those who are serious about winning, the Tournament/SNG feature offers the following features:
A freezeout or rebuy/add-on occurs when all the players are eliminated until only one player remains. When a 'freezeout' occurs, they can't repurchase or add-on.
Shootout: To be able to play in the final round, the player must keep winning their tables.
Timed tourney: Rivalry against the clock with this tourney where the winner is the player with the most chips in a certain amount of time.
Organizers offer satellite and stage series tournaments - You can win entry fees to big events like World Series of Poker Main Events if you win here. That's awesome, right?
There are a large number of new features in Khelo365 that I can describe in detail. Get ready for the new update in November and enjoy the fun of playing poker online on Khelo365.
3. Spartan Poker
Spartan Poker is my favorite place to play online poker. In addition to providing online gaming experiences, Spartan Poker also organizes massive tournaments for their players such as the India Poker Championship, which has broken records like never before. It has a large number of players playing on its platform and is seeing an uptick in popularity, which intrigues players to play more. Whenever Spartan Poker comes up with something new for Indian online poker players, there is always something new to look forward to.
Poker Baazi used to get quite a lot of attention not too long ago, and we thought that it would have a good shot at dominating the Indian online poker market. Though I for one have not heard much about the site or it in my poker circles, it does seem as if it is slipping a bit. With that said, Poker Baazi is still going strong and does still have plenty of active rooms to experience. However, they are not far off from Adda52 and Real Poker India.
5. Real Poker India
Real Poker India has been working on the Indian online poker scene for a few months now but has already put out some big films. Real Poker India has been offering some enticing sign-up bonuses to try and get new players to join its online poker platform, including a No Deposit Bonus and a Double Your Deposit Bonus, which have been working wonders as their number of users has consistently increased.
6. Poker Raj
Among the new names in Indian online poker is PokerRaj, which was started by the very well-known celebrity couple Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty, who are pumping funds into the online poker industry to take over at the top. In terms of getting to where it wants to be, PokerRaj is already making good progress, but it's still in its infancy. In addition to the recent noise surrounding some irregularities, there are a few glitches here and there that need to be fixed. Aside from that, PokerRaj is doing a great job and is a great place to play.
As a follower of online poker news, you will be aware that 9 Stacks is making strides to improve its poker platform and is using all resources available to it. On 9 Stacks, things seem to be quite basic at the moment, but the simplicity is what makes them appealing. I have included the site in this list even though there can be a lot added. I'm quite curious to see how their newly acquired funding will be applied to developing and improving their online poker platform.
Online poker fans know about this brand and for good reason. Site visitors dwarf those of other sites on the market, typically outstripping all other West-facing competitors combined. The site offers a sense of community in addition to cash games, tournaments, and live events.
We think PokerStars' customer service could be improved. Those bonuses and promotions should at least be on the level of the excellent welcome bonuses and recurring promotions available on the site.
In addition, to Hold'em, PokerStars appears to be the only site that allows you to play Omaha without being frustrated by small player pools. In addition to MTTs and SNGs, the site offers unbeatable prize pools for SNGs.
Operators hosted by this giant company have local sites for Nevada, New Jersey, Italy, Portugal, and France.
Established in 2002, 888poker is based in Gibraltar. With a high-quality software platform and solid cash games, it has established itself in the iGaming scene. There is a no-deposit bonus available on the site that is the best on the market. As if that weren't enough, its games offer significantly softer odds than PokerStars. The 888poker platform supports browser-based play, unlike all other top-tier poker platforms. Using a smartphone makes it easy to access its tables.
888 does a great job with No-Limit Hold'em. However, if you pick any other variant, you will quickly understand why people go to PokerStars for Omaha and Stud. On the plus side, 888's MTT lineup is pretty good.
There are separate pools of players for Spain and New Jersey at this company.
In the early 1990s, partypoker used to be the biggest online card room. However, the Black Friday events diminished its popularity. PartyPoker changed its strategy shortly afterward so that it could cater to recreational players.
The site's main focus is Hold'em. Besides heads-up play, Omaha and Stud are mostly present just for the sake of being there. A variety of MTTs and SNGs are available at Partypoker to satisfy every type of player.
Besides the New Jersey site, partypoker has sister sites in Spain and France.
When it comes to real money poker, Indians tend to rely more on credit card payments than Europeans and Americans. Netbanking and cash are also popular options in Sikkim. Wire transfers or checks by mail are the withdrawal options available to Indian players.
It is usually not possible to cash out via Neteller or Skrill from Sikkim-licensed sites. Those who are used to playing poker in the West will undoubtedly find this disappointing.
Indian casinos are located in nine locations. Even though all of them are located in Goa and Sikkim, only four offer live poker.
The Casino Pride Panaj has six poker tables.
Casino Pride 2 has eight poker tables.
Lastly, it is important to note that the Daman government is preparing to introduce new gambling-friendly laws, but it is unclear whether this will result in locally operated poker rooms.
We have high expectations when it comes to mobile casinos. A good mobile site should have the following features:
The majority of players use Android or iPhone devices, but we like sites that also support players who use Microsoft, Nokia, and Blackberry devices.
The more games there are, the better they are. The best poker site should offer more than Texas Hold 'Em, Omaha, and 5-Card Stud.
To qualify for our shortlist, poker sites must allow depositing and withdrawing funds easily. Ensure the payment process is fast, easy, and hassle-free on all sites by offering a broad choice of payment methods.
Only leading developers such as Netent and Microgaming design gaming software that we recommend. Our players are guaranteed an enjoyable and reliable gaming experience.
To ensure user security, we make sure our recommended poker sites use cutting-edge encryption technology and firewalls regardless of whether the connection is public or private.
It is essential to get help at a moment's notice when something goes wrong. Our recommended sites provide a superb customer experience and answer queries efficiently. A swift complaint resolution process is offered by all sites, with multiple ways to contact them and fast response times.
You can play poker games on the go at our recommended poker game development whether you use a mobile browser or an app. The great thing about playing poker on a mobile device is the convenience. You can play your favorite game, from anywhere, at any time.
Having mobile poker on your phone means you'll never have to compromise on quality. Our recommendation is to avoid depositing funds into your account when using public WiFi; otherwise, the security, bonuses, and banking options stay the same.