Over the years, variations have led to the birth of myriad card games played all around the world. Some of them include Rummy, Bridge, Blackjack, Spades and Solitaire. But the one that stands out on a global scale is Poker. Today, Poker is a household name for people and is omnipresent in almost every casino. It enjoys a humongous online presence as well, particularly for its version of Texas hold’em Poker.
For centuries now, humans have enjoyed card games all around the globe. Playing cards are speculated to have first appeared in 9th century AD, in rural provinces of China. However, these primordial cards did not have suits and were not categorised as we do so today. A common belief says that the Indians and Persians started using the King card, paving the way for the modern-day deck of cards as we know it. Centuries have passed, and the playing deck has undergone innumerable changes to reach where it is today.
While Poker has carved a name for itself in the card game realm, Asia, and particularly India, have witnessed the rise of Teen Patti, a game similar to Poker. Teen Patti, also known as Indian Poker by many. Its popularity is not limited to just gatherings and parties, but it has become a tradition for many festivals, primarily Diwali. But the differences between them are what matter. Here’s how both the games stack up.
Teen Patti: The Indian Poker
Originating in the Indian subcontinent, Teen Patti is a game of many names, as it is known as Indian Poker, Flash and even Flush in various parts of South Asia. Though the game still eludes the hands of most westerners, it is slowly creeping its way into the global online card gaming scene. It may be a matter of time before the game becomes a global phenomenon, much like Poker.
Similar to Poker and British game 3 Card Brag, the game is suited for 4-7 players, who are dealt three cards each from an international 52 card deck after they have wagered the minimum stake into the pool. The objective of the game is to bet on the best hand with the highest-ranking cards, with players getting the choice to keep betting or fold if they believe the hand is not worth it. The show happens when all but two players have folded, and the player with the best hand wins. The hierarchy of the winning hand in Teen Patti is ‘Three of a kind, Straight Flush, Straight, Colour, Pair and High Card’. As Anthony Holden, English writer and a keen Poker player, once said,
“Poker may be a branch of psychological warfare, an art form or indeed a way of life, but it is also merely a game in which money is simply the means of keeping score.”
Poker: The OG Card Game
One of the oldest card games played in the modern times, Poker is believed to be as old as the playing cards, but some historians deliberate that the game originated in the 16th century in Persia, which then reached France in the 17th century. A game of skill, strategy and a bit of luck, Poker is the biggest name in card games, both offline and online. Reports state that there are over 100 million regular poker players all around the world, just from online Poker.
Rules involve players betting on their hand against that of their opponents, and in some Poker variants, the dealer. Players can check, call, raise or fold the bet until the betting round ends. The player with the highest hand wins. The game of skill and not luck, as many players claim it to be, requires a tactical approach in betting on one’s own hand, but also analysing the opponent’s bets.
In the most popular Poker variant, Texas hold’em, the dealer initially deals a good five-card hand to each player to kick-start the game. The game has three betting phases— Flop, Turn and River, in which the dealer deals three, one and one card to himself respectively. Once the River bet phase is over, the players must show their cards, with the best hand claiming the pot. The hierarchy of the winning hand in Texas hold’em is ‘Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, Pair and High Card’.
Teen Patti vs Poker – A comparison
To be fair, Poker is what Teen Patti hopes to be one day. While the former is a global rage, the latter holds a firm grip over the players in South Asia. Poker players enjoy a significantly larger community, especially online, with millions and millions changing hands daily through poker winnings. Online Poker platforms have now employed state of the art technology to provide players with the optimal experience, and truly random number generators now pick the cards. In the battle for the number of tournaments organised, Poker takes the pot away on this one as well.
To answer the question, on which is the better game, there is no right or wrong answer. It is a subjective question, and the answer will vary from player to player. Both games have a pinch of similarity in their playstyle but are poles apart when it comes to experience. So, don’t limit yourself to just one game this festival season, dive into the world of both Poker and Teen Patti. May the aces be always in your favour!