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Updated: April 16, 2024
Indian poker

Indian Poker

There are numerous variations of poker, with Indian poker standing out as one of the most enjoyable and entertaining options. Similar to traditional poker, it features betting rounds, showdowns, and uses the standard deck of 52 cards. However, there’s a unique twist that sets it apart from conventional poker.

Why is it called as Indian Poker?

In a game of Indian poker, players are actually supposed to hold up their hole cards to their foreheads. Indian poker, also termed as one card poker, differs from conventional poker variants such as Texas Hold’em or Omaha. In Indian poker, players are dealt just one hole card instead of the customary two. Notably, in Indian poker, players are compelled to continually exhibit their own cards, unlike the conventional practice of concealing them. This unique rule adds an intriguing twist to the game.

Objective of Playing Indian Poker?

In Indian poker, the objective of the game is to secure the pot with the highest value card. Given the unique aspect of the game where players can observe everyone else’s cards except their own, there’s a significant mental component at play. This aspect adds an extra layer of intrigue to the game, as success often hinges on beating opponents through strategic thinking and psychological tactics.

How to Play Indian Poker?

In a game of Indian Poker, the dealer deals each player one hole card, which remains facedown, hidden from the player’s view. Subsequently, players reveal their cards by placing them face up on their foreheads for all other players to see. Notably, players themselves cannot view their own cards during this process. Following this revelation, the inaugural betting round commences.

Just like regular poker game, a player can call, raise, or fold during this stage. Before that, the first thing that needs to be done is to open with a starting bet or ante. Every player should place their bets into the pot and then the betting stage begins. This is where players can call, raise, check, or even fold.


When a player calls, it means that he/she is simply betting the exact amount for the pot. Many players will likely call during the betting phase.


If a player believes that they have a strong hole card, then he/she can choose to raise the bet. Once the bet has been raised, the other players are then required to meet the raised amount in order to be in the game.


Players can check if there is no bet during the ongoing round. The act of ‘checking’ means that the player is passing the action to the next person clockwise from them.


Players can also fold their cards which means they can no longer participate in that particular hand. Players do this when they believe that they might not win the round or can’t afford to meet the bet.


Indian poker showdown

At showdown, players reveal their cards. While other poker variants usually determine the winner as the person with the best five-card combination, in Indian poker, the person with the highest value card wins the pot. If two players have cards with the same value, the pot is split between them.

Indian Poker Possible Variations

The main objective of Indian Poker remains consistent, yet every card game offers the flexibility of variation. Players have the freedom to modify specific poker rules to suit their preferences and requirements.

For instance, with a standard 52-card deck, jokers are typically not included in the count. However, in Indian poker, players have the option to incorporate them into the game if they wish to. Furthermore, if Jokers are introduced, they often become the most influential cards. Also, players can determine the hierarchy of suits, assigning greater power to a particular suit if desired. They can determine the number of bets and the rules.

Hand Ranking in Indian Poker

In Indian poker, the hand ranking differs from that of regular poker. In the former, the person with the highest value card wins the pot. The card rankings in descending order are:

  1. Ace
  2. King
  3. Queen
  4. Jack
  5. 10
  6. 9
  7. 8
  8. 7
  9. 6
  10. 5
  11. 4
  12. 3
  13. 2

Note: Joker card is typically not used in traditional Indian poker. However, it’s worth mentioning that certain variations of the game do incorporate the joker card.


1. Why is Indian Poker Called as Indian Poker?

If you are of the believe that Indian poker is related to India, it’s important to clarify that this assumption is not right. The name actually originates from the former term used for Native Americans, which was ‘Red Indians.’ The reason is that in Indian poker, players are instructed to display their hole cards on their foreheads, resembling the headdress worn by Native Americans, also known as ‘Red Indians,’ thus giving rise to the name of the game.

2. How to decide the winner in Indian Poker?

During showdown in Indian poker, players unveil their cards. Unlike many other poker variations where the winner is determined by the best five-card combination, in Indian Poker, victory depends on the player holding the highest-value card. If two players hold cards of the same value, the pot is evenly divided between them.


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