What are India’s most popular card games? :- Card games have always held an important place in Indian culture, with a history going all the way back to the Mughal Empire. In this modern age of games consoles and smartphones, you might expect traditional games to be on the decline. However, card games are as popular as ever – in fact, some are attracting more players than ever before thanks to the online age. Here are five of the most popular games being played today.
Poker / Teen Patti
Poker is the biggest card game in the world, and one with a dozen or more variants. In India, Teen Patti remains the most popular version, which is similar in concept to the British game of three card brag, introduced during the Colonial days. Modern innovations such as online video poker are also extremely popular with younger players, and provide an ideal format for those who are new to the game to practice against the computer. The popularity of professional stars has made poker highly fashionable, while players like Muskan Sethi have proved the game really is open to anyone in modern India.
This is one of the most long-standing card games commonly played in India, and like all good card games there are variations on the rules to suit the occasion and the number of players. It can be played with anything from two to six players, and in Indian Rummy, they have 10, 13 or even 21 cards each, using multiple decks. The objective is to create runs of cards with consecutive values, sets based on multiple cards with the same value, or a combination of the two.
Teen do Paanch
This bridge-based game is a little out of the ordinary, in that it involves three players and 30 cards – players use the seven to ace of spades and hearts, and the eight to ace of clubs and diamonds. A two, three and five are shuffled and whoever is dealt the two is the dealer. The dealer then deals the 30 cards, and each player has a target number of tricks he or she must win (sometimes known as a contract). The contract is two for the dealer, five for the player to the dealer’s left and three for the remaining player. Whoever exceeds their contract wins the game.
Satte pe Satta
This is a highly strategic game, in which players try to block other players. It is led by whoever holds the seven of hearts. The next player needs to lay the six of eight of hearts if they have it, or failing that, a seven of another suit. The object of the game is to discard all your cards before anyone else. Again, this is a game that can be played with multiple decks, which adds to both the complexity and the strategic possibilities.
This traditional trick-taking game uses its own special type of cards. It is no longer as popular as it once was, but as one of the oldest card games still in existence, it deserves a mention. Originally dating back to the 1500s, Ganjifa used to be immensely popular across India and Persia. Today, Odisha is the last remaining stronghold of the game, and still has a strong community of ganjifa makers and players.