Teen Patti, which translates to Three Cards, is a familiar sight for most Indians and a mainstay among those who love card games. To give you a perspective of this games’ popularity, it’s often said that no Indian is desi enough if he/she hasn’t heard about Teen Patti.
This social card game closely resembles Poker, although the betting process is different. The goal is to have the best 3 card hand according to the ranking of hands and maximize the pot (a pool of money collected from the players) before the game ends. Teen patti uses a standard deck of 52 cards without Jokers and can have 2-10 players.
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How to play Teen Patti
The game of teen patti starts with the players agreeing on the minimum stake (boot/ante) and depositing the same in the pot. The amount in the pot will increase as the game continues, and one player eventually wins it.
After collecting the boot, the cards are dealt anticlockwise and face down so that each player has 3 cards. Then betting begins.
Betting is done clockwise, starting with the player left of the dealer. When it’s time to bet, each player can play blind or seen (chaal);
- Blind– you don’t look at the cards. If you play blind, you’ll have to bet at least the current boot or twice the boot. Whatever you bet becomes the current stake for the next player if he/she is playing blind. If he is playing seen, then he’ll have to bet twice your bet.
- Seen– if you play seen (or chaal), you see your teen patti sequence. If the player before you played blind, you’ll have to bet twice what he bet. If the player was playing seen, you can bet as much as the existing stake.
Blind players can view the cards anytime during the rounds. However, they’ll be treated as seen players and should bet at least twice the current stake. Again, a player can decide to fold (quit) and forfeit the boot.
Betting continues in circuits, and more money is added in the pot until any of the following happens;
- All players except one fold (quit). The last one wins the pot.
- All players except 2 fold. In this case, one of the remaining players may bet for a show where the cards are compared. The player with a higher ranking wins the pot.
Ranking of hands from highest to lowest
- Trail/Trio – 3 cards with equal rank. 3 Aces are the highest while 3 twos are the lowest.
- Pure sequence or straight run – 3 consecutive cards with a similar suit, for instance, A-2-3, A-K-Q, or K-Q-J.
- Straight or sequence – 3 consecutive cards but not of the same suit, for instance, A-2-3 or A-K-Q.
- Flush or color – any 3 cards with the same suit.
- Pair – a pair of cards with similar rank. In the case of a tie, the player with the highest-ranking third card wins.
- High card – three cards that don’t fall into any of the categories above.
Tips to Win Teen Patti
- Play blind for rounds that start with small bets
- Start with small bets
- Don’t be so quick to fold even with bad cards.
- Practice a lot