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How to Play Poker Online – a Guide for Indian Players

Millions of players play online poker across the world every day! Do you want to join them?
Here you will learn all about playing poker online for real money in India, including how to play legally, and our highest rated sites to play poker online!

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Poker online, as well as gambling online, in India is a complicated situation with many states moving towards regulating it and awarding licences to operators, and many other rigid in their opposition.

Playing online poker is also confusing as the debate rages on about whether poker is a game of skill – and therefore permitted – or is a game of chance, and as a result not allowed. This is despite various Indian court judgements ruling poker as a game of skill.

Still, the best thing to remember is that no-one has ever been prosecuted for gambling online as no law exists to prohibit it explicitly.

Online gambling, of course, covers playing poker for real money, and positive news is that many states have begun explicating allowing and licensing online poker sites.

Most states now allow some operators to offer poker online to their residents, and online poker giant PokerStars.in has operated in India since 2018. Under Section 194B of the Income Tax Act, 1961, winnings above ₹10,000 are subject to a 30% Tax Deducted at Source (TDS). It is normally the responsibility of the online operator to deduct TDS before it releases the winnings.

Residents of Assam, Nagaland, Odisha, Gujarat and Telangana will find they are unable to play with any Indian-registered poker sites online as they have specific legislation against games with cash stakes.

But these players can still access play money games and can find online poker action hosted by sites outside Indian jurisdiction.

Poker online table in action

The best online poker sites for Indian players

Here are the best three online poker sites for Indian players!

1. Adda52.com

★ India’s largest poker site with no download necessary

★ Get free chips on sign-up to try out games and tournaments totally free!

★ Great promotions and interesting game variants including Pineapple Poker and Omaha Hi/Lo

2. PokerBaazi.com

★ Free entry tournaments with 30 Lac worth of prizes every month!

★ Earn reward points and swap them for cash, tourney tickets, gadgets, and even supercars!

★ Various tournament formats including Knockout, Progressive Knockout and Win the Button

3. PokerStars India

★ The world’s biggest and most famous poker site

★ Get up to ₹1,500 for free with your first deposit!

★ Win entry and packages to live tournaments in locations around the world

How to play online poker for real money in India

  1. Create your online account with one of our trusted partners
  2. Claim your free play with your first deposit – choose from various safe payment methods
  3. Start your poker journey at the tables!

Poker rules – how to play poker online

The main poker game played online is Texas Hold’em Poker, and more specifically, the No-Limit version.

We’ll run through the rules here quickly. If you are not a fan of Texas Hold’em, there are many other poker versions too.

Up to eight players can sit at the poker table. The aim of the game is to make the best five-card hand using any of your two hole cards – hidden from the other players at the table – and the five communal cards dealt face up.

Betting rounds take place after each player has been dealt their hole cards, then after the flop (the first three communal cards dealt, the turn (the fourth communal card dealt), and the river (the fifth and final communal card dealt).

Of course, you only need to hold the best hand if you make it to a showdown with another player or players. Poker is all about bluffing and playing your opponents, rather than just the cards.

Give the impression you are holding a strong hand, and your opponent is more likely to fold (throw down their hand and give up their stakes bet).

With no-limit poker variants, players can bet their whole stake in one go at any betting round meaning the stakes are always high!

Pot-limit versions restrict the maximum bet to the size of the pot (the combined stakes already bet).

Poker hand ranks lowest to highest are as follows


High card

The highest card in your hand. Ace is highest down to 2



Two cards of the same rank

K♣ K8 8♠

Two Pair

Two different pairs in the same hand



Three cards of the same rank

A 2 3 4 5


Five cards of any suit in order – aces can be high or low

K 10 7 6 2


Five cards of the same suit

9 9 9 J J

Full House

Three-of-a-kind and a pair in the same hand

6 6 6 6


Four cards of the same rank

7 8 9 10 J

Straight Flush

A straight with all cards from the same suit

10 J Q K A

Royal Flush

The best possible straight flush – 10 to Ace

FAQ Online Poker in India