Is Online Poker in India Legal? Scope, Limitations & Rules of Law


The online real money gaming sector in India has been gradually blossoming into a full blown industry through the running decade that now seems to have found a solid footing in the Indian market with a steep and promising future. The skill game of online poker has been one of the center pieces in the real money gaming zone that has thoroughly enjoyed the new found attention of interested players in India.

As the new generation of players are increasingly drawn to the skill sport and continue to find information and exposure to the nature of this skill based card game, online poker sites in India have been relentless in their services to secure the top spot in the budding market. A question, however, continues to tickle the mind of newcomers. Is online poker legal in India?

Legality Of Online Poker in India

The legal status of online poker in India differs from state to state due to the powers vested by the Indian constitution to its states to form their own rules of law pertaining to wagering and gambling in real money games. However, there’s a catch here. The Supreme Court of India under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, had categorized different real money games into two distinct labels, “games of chance” and “games of skill.”

Games of Skill vs Games of Chance

Under the Public Gaming Act of 1867, the Supreme Court ruled out that games whose success overrules the element of chance but depends significantly on a player’s knowledge of game theory and command over a specific skill set is recognized to be a game of skill and is thus, exempted from the act.

Games of chance are those whose success and results depends fairly on the element of luck or chance of the player with little or no relevance of individual skills. Examples of games of chance are Roulette, Bingo, Sweepstakes and some dice games. However, there are many games that showcase the combination of both skills and chance in which the deciding factor would be by what degree the element of one exceeds the other.

Online poker games are skill based card games that require a player to play the player (not the cards) by applying and honing certain skills such as Mathematics, Strategic Decision Making and Reverse Psychology to eliminate the element of luck in the game by a fair percentage. Therefore, since the Supreme Court exempts games of skill from this act, online poker is 100% legal in India.

State Legalities for Online Poker in India

As mentioned earlier, the Indian constitution allows states to form their own laws that pertain to betting and gambling in games of all kinds. The good news is majority of Indian states chose to stick with the verdict of the Supreme court and hence, allowed the operation of companies to provide skill gaming platforms in their states making online poker legal in India more or less.

However, a bunch of states such as Assam, Orissa, Gujarat and Telangana have used the provision in the Indian constitution to form their own laws and as such banned the establishment of any company or organization to introduce or operate real money online games of poker in their region.

So, albeit online poker in India is legal in majority of states, the aforementioned states do not allow any industry player across India to operate real money games overruling the clause of skill based games vs games of chance stated by the Supreme Court of India.

Also Check: Poker Legalized In Ukraine Once Again

This means even though, the majority of citizens across India can play this skill game for money, citizens from Assam, Telangana, Gujarat and Orissa are only allowed to play free games of online poker in Indian poker sites.

Hoping that the clouds of conjectures have been lifted regarding online poker games in India, let’s play some good old poker in a new fashion in one of India’s leading online poker sites, PokerBaazi.

PokerBaazi: Play Online Poker games for Free and Real Money

PokerBaazi is one of India’s Licensed and Most Trusted Poker Sites that offers a wide palate of online poker games and tournaments to players of all stakes and calibre. The online poker site has been praised for its dynamic range of poker promotions which offer sufficient room to each player to put one’s best foot forward and reap rewards in both cash and kind. Here are some latest promotions for various online poker games on PokerBaazi.

Cash Dash worth 70LAC

The Cash Dash features an innovative and exciting addition that offers you more value for the time players spent on the felts of online poker games. All cash games of online poker come armed with special Leaderboards with fixed prize pools that feature paid positions depending on your position.

The winnings will be based on an individual player’s contribution towards the total Baazi Rewards points that he/she has manages to generate on a particular leaderboard. Baazi Rewards are Loyalty Reward Points that you can earn for free by playing cash games on PokerBaazi.

The leaderboards and prize pools reset every 10 days of the month, allowing you more opportunities to win even more!

Cash Climb

The Cash Climb is a simple target based promotion that rewards players for their commitment to the game, not competition. Simply play online poker cash games for any stakes on PokerBaazi and earn Loyalty Reward Points. Hit the targets and redeem them for cash prizes. The higher targets you hit, the more cash you win.

Cash games stakes range between INR 1/2-250/500. So, pick your game and pick your stakes and start winning. For details on these promotions and ongoing online poker games and tournaments, we suggest you visit the official PokerBaazi website.

Final Thoughts

After reading this, we believe you realize the legal ambit within which poker as a skill game is embraced in various parts of the country. The country is witnessing an all-time high in online skill games of poker and the rapid growth of the real money gaming industry has been a telltale sign that the skill game is well armed to set new milestones in the history of Indian poker. Be a part of history in the making starting today.

For more interesting poker reads and the latest poker news from around the country, keep reading India Poker News!