As there never seems to be a stop to the pandemic that we’re currently facing, many of us are still locked inside; either willingly or unwillingly. So, what do you do when you have to be at home all the time? Well, what’s better than learning a new card game to play with your family? We got a special one in mind!
It’s called Teen Patti and is an Indian favorite that has been enjoyed in South Asia for a long time. The name Teen Patti means ‘three cards’ and while the game undoubtedly has some similarities to three-card brag – which is the poker game it has originated from – it is also unique.
Now, according to GamblingBaba.com, the game of Teen Patti can be played both online at an internet casino, against a dealer, as well as offline with your family and friends. There are significant differences between these two play styles and as we only have experience with the latter, this is what we will be covering in the following article.
Step by Step Guide to Playing Teen Patti
Before we get started explaining the rules of the game and how it’s played, you need to know the following:
- Teen Patti requires a standard deck of 52 playing cards
- The game can be played by anything from 2 – 10 people
- You need poker chips or something that can represent poker chips
- For the best experience, Teen Patti should be played with real money at stake
- The game is played in rounds and in every round a player will win a pot
- A pot is either won by making all players fold or by having the highest valued hand
- At the start of a game round, all players have to place an ante which becomes a starting pot
You also need to know about the hand rankings in the game, which are similar to most poker games, though not entirely the same. We have, of course, covered these later in the article. But first things first – let’s have a look at how Teen Patti is played.
Step 1. Setting up the Rules
Teen Patti can be played in two ways; either as a pot-limit game or as no-limit. These terms are not to be confused with popular poker games such as Texas Hold’em where pot-limit means that you aren’t allowed to bet more than what is already in the pot.
In Teen Patti, pot-limit means that once the pot reaches a certain amount, all players that are still in the game are forced to a showdown. In other words, they are forced to show their hands, which are compared with the highest valued one winning the pot.
If you choose to play with a limit to the pot, the standard limit is 1024 times the ante (the forced bet that everyone has to do at the beginning of a game round). However, there is nothing wrong with lowering or increasing this limit.
When setting up the rules, you must also decide how much an ante should be worth. If you’re playing with chips with no real value you have to make sure that everyone has a good amount of them; 200 times the value of the ante is pretty good. And if you’re playing with real money, you have to make sure that the ante isn’t too high as we don’t want to ruin ourselves or our family, right?
Step 2. Choose Who Begins Dealing
Like any card game there has to be a dealer and like most poker games the person dealing will alternate between game rounds. Someone has to start though. To decide who gets to deal the first round, you can either draw cards (highest draw gets to deal) or roll a dice should you prefer that.
Step 3. Placing the Antes
Before any cards are dealt, all players have to add an ante to the pot. Should you be three players and you’ve decided that the ante should be set to $1, the starting pot will be $3.
Step 4. Handing Out the Cards
Once the antes have been placed, the dealer will hand out three cards to all players. These will be handed out face down as it is important that no one sees them – not even the player who receives them.
Step 5. The First Acting Begins
If you play Teen Patti in a clockwise manner (which is the opposite of how it’s played in India), the player to the left of the dealer will start acting. The first thing he needs to do is to decide if he wants to play blind or seen.
- Playing blind means that you won’t be looking at your cards
- Playing seen means that you will look at your cards
As a blind player you can either fold your hand and be out of the game round; call the ante by putting a bet in the pot that has the same value as the ante; or make a raising bet that is twice the ante amount.
Seen players have the same choices, but with different values. Calling the ante means putting a bet in the pot that is twice the ante. Making a raise means betting an amount that is four times the size of the ante. You can look at these increased bet sizes as a penalty for having seen your cards.
Unless the first acting player folds, the call or the raise that he makes will be known as the stake.
Step 6. Players Take Turns Acting
After the first bet has been made by a player, all other players will have the same choices. They can either choose to play as blind or seen and make folds, calls or raises.
However, how much a player can call or raise is not only decided by the decision of playing blind or seen, such as it was for the first acting player. It is now also decided by the stake set by the previously acting player and if that player chose to play as blind or seen.
As players take turns acting, those who are blind can fold, call the current stake or bet twice the amount of the current stake. Those who play seen can fold, call two times the current stake or bet four times the current stake.
Do note that a stake will always be considered the amount that the previously acting player bet. Also note that if the previously acting player is seen, the stake will be reduced to half the amount.
For instance, a seen player makes a call of x2 the current stake, which ends up being $10. The decision that the next player is making will now be based on a stake of $5. So, if he is playing blind and just makes a call, he only has to bet $5 into the pot.
Step 7. Ask for a Side-Show (Optional)
When someone that is playing seen is acting after another player that is also playing seen, that player can ask for a side-show. However, only if there are at least three players left in the game round.
The player that asks for a side-show will ask the previously acting player if he would like to compare cards in secret, without anyone else seeing them. The asked player can either agree to this request or simply deny it. If he agrees to it, the cards between the two players will be compared and the player with the worst hand will be eliminated from the game round.
Do note that if a player is asked for a side-show three times, he is forced to agree to it. Also note that if two players have the same hand value during a side-show, the player that requested it is forced to fold.
Step 8. A Showdown Occurs
There are two ways that a showdown can occur in Teen Patti depending on if the game is played as a limit or not. If it is played as a pot-limit, all players will be forced to show their hands once this limit has been reached. The player with the best hand will then win the pot.
A player can also demand a showdown, but only when there are two left. When a player demands a showdown from the other player that is left in the game, this player has no option but to accept the showdown by calling a bet or folding his hand. If the player that has been asked the showdown is playing blind, he has to pay x2 the stake and if he’s playing seen, he has to pay x4.
Do note that a showdown can never be demanded by a blind player. Also note that if no one demands a showdown, the game will just go on until someone does or the limit is reached (if playing pot-limited).
These Are the Hand Rankings in Teen Patti
With the three cards that you are dealt, there are six different hands that can be made. Below we have listed and described these in the order of their ranking. For instance, a three of a kind beats all hands, while a straight flush beats all hands except a three of a kind, etc.
1. Three of a Kind
This is a hand with three cards of the same value. For instance: 6♦ 6♣ 6♠
2. Straight Flush
This is a hand with three cards of the same suit, as well as a consecutive order. For instance: 10♥ J♥ Q♥. The highest card in the straight flush decides the value of it and the ace is always considered as the highest card. This means that A♥ K♥ Q♥ is the best straight flush, followed by A♥ 2♥ 3♥ and then K♥ Q♥ J♥ (like many poker games, an ace can act as 1 and A).
This is a hand with three cards in consecutive order, but not the same suit. For instance: 10♦ J♣ Q♠. Like the straight flush, the highest card in the straight decides the value of it.
This is any three cards of the same suit. For instance: 2♣ 7♣ J♣
This is two cards of the same value. For instance: 7♣ 2♥ 2♣
6. High Card
When you don’t make any of the other hands, you always end up with a high card. Simply the card that is the highest one that you are holding. For instance: K♥ 10♣ 4♠ (this hand is King high).
That’s it! You now know how to play Teen Patti which should hopefully be a nice addition to other card games that you are playing with your family and friends. There is, of course a lot depth in the game with various strategies that can be used, but this will be an article for another time. We hope that you enjoyed the read!