Enjoyed by pros and novice players all over the globe, Texas Hold’em requires no introduction to any poker fan out there.
However, if you live in the western part of the world, it may not matter how much of a passionate card shark you are. The odds are you don’t really know anything about the popular game of Teen Patti.
Rarely or never seen at the most crowded poker rooms, this card game, which originates from India, is highly popular in the south of Asia. It’s played in a pot-limit format with three pocket cards, no community cards, and betting rounds that can go on for quite some time.
The biggest difference to Texas Hold’em is, however, the fact that you can sometimes play with or without seeing your cards. This will affect how much you have to put in the pot compared to other players.
Another big difference is the option of going to a secret showdown with a player.
With players becoming more and more skilled in Texas Hold’em, consequently making it harder to profit from it, switching to a lesser-known poker variation could be a good idea.
Teen Patti may be a big hit around households in India, but that doesn’t mean that people have mastered the game. Many players mostly rely on luck, completely neglecting or disregarding the skill element.
Teen Patti Rules: Much Simpler Than Hold’em
The game of Teen Patti is played using the standard deck of 52 cards with no jokers. Usually, the game is played by three to six players, unlike Hold’em that can feature up to nine or even ten players.
All players will ante up at the start of a hand, each putting in the amount that was agreed on beforehand.
After that, every player receives three cards, face down.
When all players have received their cards, the action starts with the first player left to the dealer. They may elect to check (pass the action onto the next player) or bet.
It’s important to note that bets in Teen Patti follow a specific doubling structure. If you bet two poker chips, for example, the player wanting to raise will need to double the amount, making it four to go. The next raise would be eight chips, etc.
Unlike Limit Hold'em or other fixed limit poker variations, there is no cap to the number of raises in a round of Teen Patti, so pots can get pretty big pretty fast.
The hand is over when everyone but one player folds their hand or when all the betting is done. At that point, all players with active hands will proceed to a showdown to determine the winner.
Hand Rankings in Teen Patti
Teen Patti hand rankings aren't that different from those of traditional poker hands. However, since the game is played with only three hole cards and no community cards, there are some differences.
- Set or Trail: Three cards of the same rank, like AAA
- Pure sequence: A sequence of cards in the same suit, like 10s Js Qs
- Sequence or Run: cards consecutive in ranks, regardless of suit, i.e., 7, 8, 9
- Color (Flush): Three cards of the same suit
- Pair, i.e., KK
- A high card
Aces are high in Teen Patti, and deuces are low. However, when making sequences, aces can be used at both ends of the spectrum, just like in Hold’em (A-2-3 and Q-K-A).
Where to Play Teen Patti Online?
At this moment it is, unfortunately, hard to find a place to play the game online. While you can find Teen Patti sites, the vast majority of the mentioned operators only offer the casino version of the game.
This is similar to Casino Hold'em, where you're playing Texas Hold'em against a dealer in a live environment.
For those who want to make money, the problem with this is, of course, that casino games are only reliant on luck and, in the long run, you are destined to lose.
Some Asian game providers created a Teen Patti variation where players are randomly seated at a table to play against each other for real cash.
While this game is available at JeetWin, an obvious problem with this site is that only Indian residents are accepted to sign up and play.
If you do come across the game elsewhere, you must know that tracking and other poker software are out of the question.
The Teen Patti created by Jili Games is super simple compared to poker games found at the sites such as Pokerstars, Unibet, and PartyPoker.
Will There Be a Teen Patti Boom?
With all things considered, we would say that the time for competitive Teen Patti online is yet to come. At the moment, Texas Hold'em is still the better option.
However, it certainly wouldn't hurt learning about the game, as many indicators point to this one becoming quite a success.
We may soon be witnessing a south Asian boom, similar to the western poker boom in 2003.
India accounts for 20% of the world's population, and with internet connections just starting to improve from being very poor, the country has just begun exploring online gambling.
While casino sites and bookies are targeting India more and more, it was just a little over a year ago that Teen Patti appeared at a well-known live casino provider – Ezugi.
The game is yet to be offered by the most popular company in this niche, Evolution Gaming, but they’re likely to follow soon.
Considering how popular Teen Patti is among 1.5 billion people, it would be a big surprise if the game did not become easily accessible as a competitive poker version at poker rooms in the future.
Perhaps not at PokerStars, but at least at an emerging poker room that is bound to come as the gambling industry expands throughout the Indian nation will likely jump at the opportunity.
So, while you may have to settle with Texas Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha for now, start exploring the world of Teen Patti, and you'll equip yourself with a massive rod to reel in many fish when the time is right.