The legality of Poker in India


In 2021, Many people fascinated by the growing legal online poker scene wonder if the real money games online are even legal? Except for a few states, Yes. The seventh schedule of the Indian constitution states that every state has the right to set laws regarding betting and gambling at their discretion. Because of that, you can enjoy a game of real money poker online in every state except for Assam, Sikkim, Odisha, and Telangana. Moreover, the Supreme court since 1960 has distinguished skill-based mind sports such as Poker and Rummy from other luck-based card games. Rightfully noting that “games such as poker and rummy have a dominant element of ‘skill’, which trumps the element of ‘chance’”. Today we are going the explore the legality of poker in India. We will also discuss the important factors to consider as a new poker player online so that you never end up in an illegal or unethical poker room! At the end of this article, you will know how to enjoy legal poker games and how to vet poker rooms to make sure you are only playing on the legal AND ethical ones.

  1. How do I avoid playing on an illegal poker platform?A. Don’t play on platforms that promise you 0% TDS, unless it’s a promo, it’s most likely an untrustworthy room that might not be paying taxes. Speaking of taxes, if a poker site is taking taxes, make sure you get TDS certificates because if you aren’t getting them, that means they are probably pocketing what they take as taxes from you which is quite illegal as is obvious. If you want to play on verified legal poker platforms trusted by pros, Poker Launcher has amazing rakeback and signup bonuses for all the major trusted poker sites in India, you can check them out here They are probably pocketing what they take as taxes from you which is quite illegal as is obvious. Don’t play on any platforms that don’t have verified means of making transactions such as cash free and razorpay, also avoid any poker sites that offer third party or backend transactions as those are illegal and will get you in trouble. Thankfully illegal poker sites are now few and far in between with the occasional suspect being quickly clamped down on and being blacklisted by an incredibly aware and connected Indian poker community.
  2. How do I make sure my poker room is ethical? Just because a poker room is legal, doesn’t mean it’s ethical as well. There are a few factors we can look at to ascertain whether a poker room has ethical practices in place.
  3. N.G- Or a Random Number Generator is used to shuffle your cards with close to true randomness. This ensures that over the long run, skill prevails as everyone is dealt the same amount of good and bad holdings over the long term. Make sure your poker room uses a certified, tested for randomness R.N.G. For example, PokerBaazi’s R.N.G, one of the many ethical platforms you will find amazing offers and deals on PokerDangal, is certified by I-tech labs, the leading R.N.G certification. Make sure your poker platform’s R.N.G has equivalent certification and compliance, you only want to play in truly fair games and it takes millions of hands to verify R.N.G, leave that to the experts
  4. Avoid poker sites with no anti-collusion and anti-multi accounting policies. Both these practices offer an unfair advantage to the cheater. While collusion and multi accounting does occasionally happen, if a poker site isn’t showing willingness to take strict action and crackdown on the offenders, you are better off not giving it your action or business. You can literally find a list of verified legal and ethical websites (with amazing offers btw!) on Poker Launcher, don’t risk your money with shady organizations.
  5. What actions can be taken legally against players who cheat in poker?A. Players who are caught cheating have their accounts suspended and their funds frozen, these funds are distributed to their victims and they are blacklisted from the room, Bans can vary from months to a lifetime depending on the severity of the offense. If the cheating was done in an organized manner there can be legal implications with regards to aiding and abetting fraud. India is still in the process of figuring out how to deal with unfair play but the measures put in place recently look quite promising with regards to deterring and punishing cheating.
  6. What is the legal future of poker in India looking like-

Brighter than it ever has before. Not only did Madras HC quash the law banning skill-based mind sports like poker and rummy. They also countered the incorrect idea of them being luck-based, stating poignantly that “all sports have an element of luck”, whether it be the football world cup or the D.O. TA international. Poker legality faced a few setbacks but its back on track and poker is slowly but steadily being accepted as a skill-based game.


Poker is making waves with the intellectual Indian field looking for a strategic challenge, this is leading to its recognition as a game of skill. The landmark Madras H.C judgement has shown promises of archaic poker restrictions being challenged in other states with the precedent and eloquent reasoning of the judgement taken. The future looks quite bright and there has never been a better time to start playing poker. Not only is poker being accepted legally the taboo around it is also eroding, making it more widely accepted as a chess like game of skill rather a luck box game of cards like teen Patti, a more than welcome change.




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