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Online Poker in India

India does not belong to a league of gambling-friendly nations. However, the same cannot be considered to be applicable to indulging in online poker. When we take a look at the matter from a legal point of view, the laws are more about your local jurisdiction. Individual states in India have been given the autonomy to introduce their own gambling laws. The scenario pertaining to poker in the country is more or less similar to what the American and German players are facing.

Indian laws are outdated are the federal level. They are subject to interpretation. Poker was once looked at as a gambling activity. However, it is currently fetching big money for online platforms. The sponsored Pro of Adda52.com expressed his views on the current situation surrounding poker in India. He said that Poker has gained massive popularity in the country and a lot of youngsters indulge in it. He also mentioned that there a few hundreds who are making a livelihood by participating in the game.   

The rise in online poker platforms has given rise to a lot of curiosity about the game. Nearly 50 lakh players have signed up on various platforms in India over the past few years. The popular poker sites in India are Pokerbaazi, 9stacks, Pokerstars, Spartan Poker and Adda52. These five sites get 70 percent of the traffic as per the experts in the industry. 

The founder of Spartan Poker, Amin Rozani states that poker is quite a new sport in India and this clearly explains the reason for the sudden spurt in the numbers. His platform currently has over 5 lakh subscribers. There are numerous platforms that offer poker games. There are over 50 and these get footfalls while hosting high-stake tournaments.   

History of Online Poker in India

India does not have a rich history of online poker as it has a largely unregulated gambling market. The poker scene in the country is functioning in a similar way the gambling did in every other nation while going through a similar phase initially. The players simply enjoy the game while disregarding unclear regulations. The authorities are least concerned about chasing individual players especially if they are accessing their favorite sites through VPNs. It would not be appropriate for us to assist you to follow their path. However, we are quite optimistic that the certainty of the risk involved is quite small.  

Online Poker Laws in India

The Federal Public Gambling Act passed in the year 1867 is the most vital document in the Indian legislation that specifies certain aspects pertaining to gaming with real money in the country. This act considers it to be illegal for anybody to operate a public gaming house or be present in such establishments. However, this act is applicable just to games of chance. Poker is commonly categorized as a game of skill by two legal precedents. The first precedent concerns Rummy. The court came to the conclusion that despite this card game does have an element of chance associated with it; the outcome is impacted by the expertise of partaking players as well. The second precedent was set after a raid on the poker club. The case was managed by the Madras High Court. It ruled out that the element of skill was more significant than luck. Thereby everyone involved in the case was cleared of the charges on them. Another important piece of legal document is the Information Technology Act of 2000 which makes a clear distinction between the card games and the casino games.  

What is considered to be legal and not?

The factors outlined above make it quite clear that it is impossible to ascertain the legal status of poker sites in India. The issue has not been tackled by the judicial and legislative branches in the country. The states of Sikkim and Goa have a better picture as far as gambling is concerned. Goa is a gambling-friendly location. It is home to several land-based casinos. The local laws are gambling-friendly.

The state of Sikkim is the only state in India that has defined clear-cut regulations surrounding poker. The state is home to licensed online poker rooms. A solid selection of games is offered by these platforms. There are some India-specific poker variants in the offing such as the Lazy Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple. The minimum legal age for gambling is set to be 18 in the country.

Taxes associated with poker

Despite the dubious legal status of online poker in the country, most experts believe that playing for real money is indeed legal in the country. As per the tax regulations, a tax of 30 percent is charged on winnings over 10,000 INR.   

Where to play poker online in India?

Apart from adda52.com which is licensed by the state of Sikkim, Indian players prefer accessing international poker networks. The popular options are 888poker, PokerStars and Partypoker. The operators are quite aware that none of the state or federal level authorities are keen on chasing individual poker enthusiasts. This is the reason why Indian players can indulge in tournaments and cash games on different platforms over the web.  

PokerStars

This platform has a massive reputation in the world of online poker. The portal offers not just live events, tournaments, and cash games but also promote a sense of community gaming. Although the platform needs to work on its customer support services, the average traffic towards the site is quite impressive. It can work on its promotions and bonus offerings. This platform offers you some consistent Omaha action instead of frustrating the players with small pools. The site also provides access to unmatched prize pools. This giant operator hosts local sites for France, Portugal, Italy, New Jersey and Nevada.     

888 Poker

The company was launched in the year 2002 and is based in Gibraltar. It is renowned for its high-quality software and solid cash games offering. This site provides access to the best no-deposit bonuses in the market. 888Poker supports browser-based play unlike other poker platforms. This makes it easier for the players to access poker games from the convenience of their smartphone. The platform offers No-Limit Hold’em. You will realize why people prefer Stud and Omaha if you take a look at its other offerings. However, the MTT lineup offered is quite solid. The company has discrete player pools for New Jersey and Spain.      

PartyPoker

This platform has experienced some turbulence in the past. It was once the biggest card room over the web during the ’90s. It was knocked down owing to Black Friday events. Later, the company tried to formulate a different strategy and started catering to the needs of recreational players. Hold’em is the most popular offering. The experiences surrounding Stud and Omaha aren’t that great. SNG and MTT offerings ensure that there is something for every breed of player. PartyPoker has daughter sites operating in France, Spain and New Jersey.   

Banking methods in India

Indians rely on credit card payments unlike Americans and Europeans for funding their poker accounts. The popular payment option in Sikkim is Net banking. A few players prefer playing by paying cash directly. The popular options for withdrawals are check and standard wire transfer. Sikkim-licensed sites do not accept e-wallet payments. They neither permit you to cash out via Skrill or Neteller. This would be discouraging to any poker fanatic who is accustomed to western norms.  

Where can I play live poker in India?

India is home to nine land-based casinos. All of them can be found either in the state of Sikkim or in Goa. However, only four out of the nine casinos offered a live poker option. Casino Pride 2 and Casino Pride Panaji are the two casinos in Goa offering live poker services. Casino Mahjong and Casino Sikkim offer the same in the state of Sikkim. 

The union territory of Daman is considering introducing gambling-friendly laws in the future. We cannot predict who everything is going to turn out to be. However, a change of events can be expected in the near future.   

1. Are online poker sites legal in India?

Ans: There are various international poker sites online that offer real money to players for winning the game. However, the laws pertaining to poker are a little ambiguous in India. This is because the law does not recognize poker as a game of skill. The legality of online gaming for real money still remains subject to interpretation currently.

2. Is there any danger of prosecution to a player as per current Indian law?

Ans: No. Despite the ambiguity, there is no specific law structure that addresses the legality of involvement of an individual in internet gambling. Players can breathe a sigh of relief as none of the local or national authorities can persecute or prosecute them in any manner. 

3. Can I trust the poker rooms recommended by you?

Ans:Yes. All the poker sites recommended by us have been tested to be safe and secure for indulging in gaming for real money. The Indian sites recommended by us provide a stable platform to Indian players and can be used without any hassles. This is the reason why there are so many players reposing their faith in our recommendations. 

4. Are there any poker sites in India that cannot be trusted? 

Ans: Yes. There are plenty of them. This is the reason why we take much time in painstakingly testing the offerings of various poker websites. This will help poker fans in not wasting their precious money and time on sites that are not safe or reputable.

5. How do online poker bonuses work?

Ans: Online poker bonuses are triggered automatically whenever a player clicks on any of our recommended poker rooms. The bonuses offered may vary from one site to another. However, most of the poker websites offer a welcome bonus that matches your deposit amount. Bonuses are a great way of starting off with online gambling for real money

6. Can I participate in online tournaments from India?

Ans: Yes. If you are accessing international poker sites, then you can compete with other players for lucrative prize money. It is not uncommon to come across Indian players competing with other nationals at the final table of the popular online poker events taking place in the world.

7. What if I encounter a problem with the site recommended by you? 

Ans: Players barely face any issues with dealing with the sites recommended by us. However, if you face any problems, then it is advised to get in touch with their customer support team of the site immediately. They should certainly be able to address your concerns. We can mediate between you and them until your problem has been resolved. We are optimistic about our recommendations and we standby all our reviews.

8. Are there any specific Indian laws related to online poker and gambling?

Ans: The Information Technology Act of 2000 made an attempt to monitor online gambling activities. Though, it fell short in various categories. The act could not clearly explain whether online poker is a game of skill or not. Hence, it is still exempted from the law. Although there were certain fines imposed by the law, its implementation is quite difficult as some states in India entirely accept online poker sites and their offerings while there are some states that do not. Moreover, an attempt made to license poker sites for legal purposes also failed

9. Can I win real money by playing poker online?

Ans: Yes. You can make real money online by playing poker. We, however, do advise you to practice the game for free first to master the basics and the tips and tricks. You can then invest your time and resources in playing real cash games.

10. Is it safe to play poker online? 

Ans: Yes. If you are playing with sites that are trusted and operating on a valid license, then you can be assured that you are playing in a secure and safe environment. Do take a look at our top 5 recommendations. They have been tested and then reviewed by our expert team.

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