Online Poker In India

With such a huge population, India has the potential to be one of the biggest poker markets in the world. At the moment however, the potential of this market remains largely untapped as many native Indians, as well as backpackers and travellers who play poker for a living while seeing the world, are confused about the legalities and practicalities of playing online poker in India.

Top 5 Indian Online Poker Sites

Rank Site Download Mac Linux Bonus Visit Site
1 888 Poker $600 www.888poker.comRead Review
2 Bet365 Poker www.bet365.comRead Review

Is Online Poker Legal in India?

This is the big question. Land based gambling is largely forbidden in India and most gambling with physical cards and chips takes place on board off-shore luxury yachts and ships. However, the laws against gambling in India only apply when there is the presence of physical cards and chips and there is nothing specific that forbids playing poker at websites based in different jurisdictions. For this reason, most of the big online poker sites like PokerStars accept players from India (though you won’t be able to buy cards and chips from the VIP store).

Some problems can arise however with currency conversion. Most poker games are played in dollars or euros and India has quite strict currency control laws that make it difficult to exchange larger amounts of currency without specific licenses. A solution to this would be to have your bank account in another country (particularly if you are travelling) and to use Indian ATMs to withdraw funds from this account from while in India.

Overall, the legal status of online gambling in India is slightly ambiguous and it is an area that the authorities have made no effort to tackle as of yet.

Poker Deposits and Withdrawals in India

Players in India have a wide range of deposit options available to them. All of the major ewallet services such as Moneybookers (Skrill), Neteller, and ClickandBuy operate in India and funding and withdrawing from your poker account through these options is just as straightforward as in other countries. You can also use credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard for deposits but cashing out by Mastercard is not possible.

Other options for depositing/withdrawing for players based in India include Entropay and Webmoney. You may also cash out from your account by receiving a check from PokerStars or through a wire transfer. Be aware however that cheques are not issued in Indian Rupees and players may run into difficulties when trying to lodge them in a local Indian bank.

Popularity of Poker in India

Poker is steadily growing in popularity in India. The poker boom there has lagged behind the rest of the world, mostly due to gambling legislation in the country but they are steadily catching up with the rest of the world.

Goa is the only province in India where gambling is legal and there are several casinos there, meaning that it is the home of poker in India. There are several annual live tournament series in India, some take place in Goa and some on casino ships around the country, and the prize pools are growing year-on-year. You can find out about the latest goings on in Indian Poker and live tournament schedules and results at www.pokerguru.in.

India Poker Open

The newly launched India Poker Open is becoming the most prestigious and best known poker tournament in India. The tournament was designed to promote poker in India and is held at the Casino Carnival in Goa. The Main Event is a 1000 INR No Limit Holdem Freezeout (~$2,000) and satellites to the tournament including expenses run on 888 Poker.

The company behind the India Poker Open has big plans to offer a wider selection of tournaments throughout India starting with the India Poker Legend festival which runs at the Casino Royale in Goa.