The state of Sikkim has some of the most relaxed gambling laws in India. The Sikkim Regulation of Gambling Act was passed in 2005 and it allows for gambling establishments to operate as long as they have a state-issued license. The Sikkim Online Gaming Rules was enacted in 2009 and this opened the door for online operators to operate in the state as long as they obtained a state-granted license.
The gambling laws are very different in the state of Maharashtra. As it stands, horse racing and the lottery are the only legal forms of gambling there. The laws concerning land-based gambling operations are very clear and state that operators, as well as those in attendance, can be fined and imprisoned. On the other hand, Maharashtra’s online gambling laws are a lot more murky. In any case, poker players in the state are thankful that poker was ruled to be a game of skill which makes them free to play.
Nagaland is another state that has ruled that poker is a game of skill which gives the game an exemption from the gambling laws. In fact, Nagaland became the first Indian jurisdiction to grant licenses to online poker operators. These days, a great many people in that state legally play in poker rooms and online. The states of Gujarat and Kerala have not yet legalized poker but it appears that there is a very good chance that it will be legalized very soon. Meanwhile, Goa and Daman join Sikkim and Nagaland as the only other states to have legalized gambling.
Poker recently took a blow in Telangana after the Telangana Gaming Act of 1974 was modified. All gambling including online gambling became illegal. Rummy and poker, which had been previously considered games of skill and exempted from the previous gambling laws, lost their exemptions. A few online rummy operators challenged the ruling and rummy was once again ruled to be a game of skill and given its exemption back atleast for now.
The legislative council then took another look at poker and, after much deliberation, ruled that it was a game of chance and therefore illegal. Shortly after, the legislative council dropped a bombshell when they passed the 2017 Telangana Gaming Bill which banned all online gaming including games of skill such as rummy that involved the exchange of money.
Several states are now taking a look at the status of gambling and online gambling in particular. With few exceptions, most states operate under a law that is 150 years old which is actually great news for Indian online poker players because those old laws do not address online poker. This means that it isn’t illegal to play poker online unless you live in Maharashtra or Telangana.
The fact that those two states have made online poker illegal hasn’t stopped countless online poker players in those regions from doing it anyway. As for those who live in other states, they have plenty of world-class poker sites that they can play at and some of those sites legally operate in Indian states and hold valid licenses. India is a goldmine for online poker operators and many of them welcome Indian online poker players with open arms.
Indian poker players that are looking for a trustworthy site that offers a great selection of games, fast payouts, superior customer service and valuable bonuses don’t need to look too hard to find one. Many of the best Indian-friendly online poker sites support several languages and some even allow transactions to be carried out in the Indian rupee. Indian poker players can be confident that they will be given a safe and enjoyable poker experience.
Poker has become quite popular in recent years because the younger generation has taken a fancy for the game. The global media coverage as well as live streaming of poker games on Twitch have helped to spread the popularity of poker in India. Many Indian players have realized that it is possible for them to make a full time career playing poker. Now that number of online poker operators have entered the Indian market, poker players in India are able to play poker from the comfort of their homes.
During the last 24 months, India’s poker market has seen an influx of domestic and international poker operators who have boosted the popularity of poker in India. The rise of poker leagues such as the Poker Sports League, Match Poker League and GPL India has also helped spread the popularity of the game throughout the country.
The Indian Poker Association (IPA) along with these poker leagues have taken it upon themselves to campaign hard to educate the general public and legislators that it takes skill to play poker. They are looking to get legislators to lift the ban on poker by promoting poker as a sport and not a game of chance.
India poker players now have a great selection when it comes to choosing an online poker site. We take a look at the 10 best poker sites for Indian players and find out what makes them so great.
Best Indian Poker Sites
£40 Free Play
Party Poker is one of the most trusted online poker sites in the world. It has been the ideal location for beginners players to start their poker journey.
200% up to $2500
BetOnline.ag currently have one of the fastest growing Online Poker sites. This is largely due to the popularity among US poker players as they find BetOnline Poker the most trustworthy brand in the current US poker market.
200% upto $1000 + 65% Rakeback
GG Poker is one of the online poker sites that we strongly recommend to poker players in Asia. It is very suitable for European players aswell when you consider the awesome 200% deposit bonus and 65% rake back.
100% upto $500
Bovada is part of the Bodog brand and is one of the most popular and trustworthy poker sites still operating in the US Poker market. Read our Bovada Poker review to see why its so popular.
Was once one of the powerhouses in the online poker world. However, in recent years it has feel from that status and now finds itself in the middle of the pack. Possibly due to poor promotions for its players.
100% upto $1000
TigerGaming Poker is part of the Chico Poker Network. Although the Chico Poker Network is US friendly, TigerGaming Poker doesn't accept players from the US. TigerGaming is one of the fastest growing online poker sites at the minute, and we believe it's because they are offering plenty of promotions for new and old players. Good option for poker players in UK, Canada and Europe.
100% upto $600
FullTilt Poker was once the biggest challenge to the PokerStars crown for largest online poker site. A lot has happened since then, and now PokerStars and Fulltilt belong on the same network since Pokerstars bought them over. Personally I prefer PokerStars but today it really comes down to which graphics you prefer as both sites are pretty much the same today.
Shen Poker is a fairly unknown poker room among English speaking countries, however, in Asia and Shen Poker is one of the largest online poker sites. We don't recommend Shen Poker to English speakers, but a good option if you are from Asia.
SWC Poker (previously known at Seals with Clubs) started as a niche poker site for bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. It has slowly grown and is now a legit poker site for players from all over the world. We recommend SWC Poker to players from the US and Australia that don't mind playing on a smaller room.
BetOnline was established in 2011 and is now one of the biggest online gambling sites on the planet. Aside from their huge selection of online casino games and extensive sportsbook, BetOnline also boasts one of the best and fastest-growing poker sites. Online poker players in India who open an account and make an instant deposit using any of the easy payment options can be confident that their transactions will be protected and remain secure. On top of offering a great selection of games and stakes to suit all budgets, BetOnline gives their customers plenty of opportunities to boost their bankrolls with bonus cash.
A rewarding poker experience begins when you sign up and make your first deposit. BetOnline will match your first deposit up to $1,000 which makes you a winner right off the bat. It gets even better when they throw in a free entry ticket into BetOnline’s $10,000 New Depositor Freeroll which is held on the second Sunday of every month. Players who love the action of ring games can win a nice chunk of cash in the $1,100 Daily Cash Race while those who like sit & go tournaments can earn a piece of the $5,275 that is handed out each week in the Weekly Sit’N Go Challenge.
Intertops is one of the oldest online poker sites which was established back in 1996 and is now the Horizon Poker Network’s showcase site. Intertops Poker is able to generate a lot of traffic because this trusted poker room caters to players in most jurisdictions. This means that Indian online poker players will have no problem gaining access and playing their favorite games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Intertops offers heads-up, 6-Max, and 9-Max table formats and they have more than enough tournaments running at all times of the day.
Aside from the great graphics, fast payouts, and a friendly customer service team, a lot of prospective customers are attracted by Intertops’ generous 200% up to $1,000 Welcome Bonus that includes 100 free bets that can be used in their casino. New players who make their first deposit just need to use the promo code 1000ITP and then start playing in order to get their hands on all of that bonus cash. With the free casino bets, players can bet on 100 slot lines with the value of each line being $2. Players can bet on up to five lines at a time and win as much as $250 in bonus cash.
BetSafe has been around for a while now and the fact that they hold licenses in Malta, Alderney, and the United Kingdom demonstrates that this is a site that can be trusted. There are plenty of Texas Hold’em and Omaha events taking place online, giving Indian players a shot at a great selection of games. They will also be able to take part in stud, draw, and 2-7 Triple Draw ring games that are always running. Several different currencies are supported and the customer service team is on hand 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.
BetSafe Poker offers new players a choice of welcome bonuses and other perks. Those who deposit using one of the many payment methods can earn up to €1,000 in bonus cash just by playing. By using the promo code 25MGBLACK, you will earn up to €25 in €1 increments each time you rake €5. Use the code 75MGBLACK to earn €75 in €5 increments for every €25 in rake or add €250 in bonus cash in €25 increments with every €125 in rake using the code 250MGBLACK. €500 in bonus cash can be earned €50 at a time every time you rake €250 and the maximum of €1,000 is yours in €1,000 intervals each time you rake €500 using the code 1000MGBLACK.
Ultima Poker is a relatively new player in the online poker scene but it is quickly building a happy customer base by giving their players all of the best of online poker. The site might not currently attract the most traffic but Ultima Poker’s excellent 400% First Deposit Bonus up to $2,000 is making the tables a lot busier.
Indian players who make their first deposit of $50 will get an extra $200 added to their bonus accounts while those who deposit $200 will have an extra $800 in bonus cash to play with. Indian players who deposit $500 using one of the many payment methods will have $1,000 added to their bonus accounts. It’s worth mentioning that Ultima Poker accepts Bitcoin.
One of the reasons that existing players continue to play at Ultima Poker is because they like taking advantage of the Flash Bonus which is awarded for deposits that are made after the initial one. Existing players who deposit $100 are awarded an extra $30 while those who deposit $200 will be rewarded with $60 in bonus money. A $500 deposit will add another $150 to your bonus account and a $700 deposit will fatten your bonus account by $200.
Indian online poker players will surely love playing Texas Hold’em and Omaha at TonyBet Poker but they will also be thrilled to learn that TonyBet is the first online poker site to offer Open Face Chinese Poker, Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker, and Turbo Open Face Chinese Poker. The graphics might lack a bit of dazzle but the interface is easy to use and it looks great on both desktop and mobile devices. Those who prefer a little bit of added color can always change the deck color, card color, and table color. Indian players will also appreciate the fact that TonyBet has a maximum rake of just 1% and it’s even less at some tables.
Indian players who open an account and make a minimum deposit will have their deposits matched up to €2,000 when they use the promo code STARTER. On top of bonus cash, first-time depositors will be given a free €10 ticket into the €2,500 Guaranteed No-Limit Hold’em tournament which is held every two weeks. If you are new to Open Face Chinese poker then TonyBet is a great place to learn. A series of helpful tutorials and regularly scheduled freerolls will get you off on the right foot.
RedKings Poker joined the Microgaming Poker Network in 2016 which means that players have access to a pretty large player pool. While there is presently a limited amount of action for high rollers, RedKings Poker has a huge variety of low and mid-stakes cash games, tournaments, and sit & go tournaments running around the clock. Indian players who sign up and make a deposit their choice of welcome bonuses. Players can opt to claim €50, €100, €200, €400, €700, €1,250 or €1,500 in bonus cash. The size of your deposit and the frequency of your play dictates which offer is best for you.
New players are invited to participate in RedKings Poker’s 10 Day Achievement Challenge through which they can win cash prizes and tournament tickets. Players who participate will win €1 for achieving such feats as being dealt pocket kings five times, winning a hand with a 7-2 off suit, flopping a set of deuces or winning a real money freeroll.
Playing 25 hands on RedKings Poker’s mobile client is an achievement worth €2. There are also several other exciting promotions that are regularly offered such as MTT Missions, Points per Day, and a Bad Beat Jackpot. There are loads of tournaments and freerolls that give players a shot at winning some very nice cash prizes.
The GG Network draws a lot of Asian players and GG Poker is one of its latest features. GG Poker is similar to other top-notch online poker sites in that it offers plenty of Texas Hold’em and Omaha action but they also offer some unique games like 3-Blind Hold’em and All-In or Fold. Whether you are just learning the ropes and want to cut your teeth in freeroll tournaments or you are an experienced player who wants to play for high stakes, GG Poker has it all. There are several daily and weekly tournaments that have big cash prizes and their welcome bonus is one of the best.
Indian players who open a new account will have their first deposit matched by 200% up to $1,000. GG Poker’s Fish Rewards loyalty scheme is designed to benefit everyone from low-stakes players all the way up to high rollers and their $100,000 Tournament Leaderboard gives tournament players the opportunity to fatten up their bankrolls. Players can also win tickets into GGS Main Events just for playing their favorite games. GG Poker’s Big Hand Jackpot will definitely add a lot of excitement by awarding a nice chunk of cash to those who make quads or better.
Spartan Poker was launched in 2015 and it has quickly become extremely popular in India’s booming online poker market. Indian players who like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Open Face Chinese Poker, 32 Card Draw, Americana or Windfall will have no trouble getting into the action right away no matter what the stakes are. Spartan Poker even has Rummy. Players can play Run it Twice, Texas 6+, Boost Poker, and even take a shot at the Bad Beat Jackpot. Freerolls, guaranteed tournaments, satellites, and sit & gos are running around the clock.
Spartan Poker gives players a chance to take advantage of a great welcome bonus when they open a new account and use any of Spartan Poker’s payment methods. Spartan Poker will match your first deposit by a whopping 210%. A 10% bonus up to INR1,000 will be instantly credited to your account and you will also receive a 200% Locked Bonus up to INR10,000 which will be unlocked as you play.
Spartan Poker also caters to amateur online poker players in India by running a lot of freerolls along with several other exciting ongoing promotions. A steady supply of promo codes is always available so that you can get in on plenty of limited-time offers.
FTR Poker is a fast-growing Indian online poker site that was launched in 2015. Being relatively new, FTR Poker doesn’t have the same volume of traffic as some other established sites but the player base is growing thanks in part to the site’s focus on user-friendliness and the bonuses that are available to new and existing customers. For now, the site offers Texas Hold’em and Omaha but that could change in the future. FTR Poker has a good variety of cash games and tournaments that cover low stakes and high stakes as well as everything in between and clients can expect 24/7 support, secure deposits, and hassle-free payouts.
Indian poker players will like that they are eligible for bonuses even after they claim their welcome bonus. New players who make their first deposit will have their deposit matched by 210%. 10% of the bonus money up to INR1,000 will be made available immediately while the other 200% up to INR10,000 will be disbursed as you play. Players need to use the promo code WELCOME when they make their first deposit if they want to get the bonus cash. Be sure to check out FTR Poker’s “Deposit Code” page to find out what bonuses await you when you make any subsequent deposits.
It was just a matter of time before PokerStars entered the lucrative Indian market and it finally did so in 2018. PokerStars is the biggest poker site on the planet and they have achieved this feat by setting the standards. Indian players who don’t want to be limited to playing Texas Hold’em and Omaha will be blown away by the choices that PokerStars India gives them. Razz, stud, HORSE, and draw poker are just a few of the other options and players should also know that PokerStars isn’t afraid to experiment. They have released several different games that have been well received in recent years.
PokerStars India gives their players access to the most cash games, tournaments, Sit’n’Go’s and Spin & Gos than any other site. Players who don’t like to waste time after folding a hand in a cash game will love Zoom poker where you will immediately be whisked away to another table with a fresh set of cards in front of you.
Those who want the added value that bonuses give them when they make their first deposit can choose between ₹1,500 in free play or a 100% match bonus up to ₹30,000. PokerStars India is also famous for offering a large number of ongoing promotions and chances to gain entry into some of the world’s biggest poker events.
Even though authorities in some states aren’t encouraging residents to engage in online poker, they really haven’t made it all that hard to do. Indian players should take full advantage of the fact that they have so many excellent online poker sites to choose from. Apart from the top 10 we listed, some of the other top poker sites in India include Adda52 and 9stacks.
All of the above-mentioned sites, as well as other trusted online poker sites, have some very attractive bonus available and clients can rest assured that those sites use the very latest technology to keep transactions 100% secure. If you are an online poker player who resides in India then you can’t go wrong signing up with any of the sites that have been covered here.
However, if you find that another online poker site catches your eye, just remember to do a little research to ensure that you end up playing at an online poker site that caters to your tastes and, more importantly, has a good reputation. Don’t be sucked in to signing up and depositing your hard-earned money at any old online poker site just because they are offering a great bonus. You should be able to find a great site that will give you everything that you’re looking for and more.