Poker in India has picked up tremendously over the past few years especially in its No Limit Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha avatar. With the influx of interest in poker, a growing Indian poker industry is also cropping up. Indian poker is increasingly seeing an upswing with Bangalore hosting many poker rooms, Goa adorned with off shore casinos and many online poker sites in India now.Broadly, the Poker scene in India can be attributed to 4 things-
- Casinos in India
- Poker Rooms
- Sites to Play Online Poker in India
- Indian Poker Leagues
Panjim in Goa has many floating casinos which have poker rooms, slot machines, and roulette tables on cruise liners anchored in the Mandovi River. The biggest casinos include Casino Royale, Casino Carnival, Casino Pride and Casino Caravela. Cash games here range from 50/50 to stakes to 2000/4000 and various poker leagues have tournament series almost every fortnight, with buy-ins ranging from 5,000 INR Freeze-outs to 50,000 INR 6-max High Roller tournaments. Casino Royale is the largest among these and also has the maximum poker visitors. Casino Mahjong is the first and currently only land based live gaming casino in India. It is located as a part of the Mayfair Spa, Resorts & Casino and has a poker room with 7 tables available.
Since 2010, a few websites came up which offer to Play Online Poker in India with real cash money. www.adda52.com and pokabunga.com attracting the maximum traffic. Adda52 is by far the busiest Indian online poker site with a huge database of poker players and a great offering of poker promotions.
There are many Indian Poker leagues which conduct Poker tournaments in Goa and satellites through Adda52. Notable among them are India Poker Series (IPS), India Poker Championship(IPC), Golden Aces Poker League (GAPL), Deltin Royale Cup and more. In this section, we will discuss each aspect and stakeholder in this growing Indian poker
- Casinos in India
With the popularity of poker, casinos in India have blended the fun of this game with exquisite aura on floating ships and hill side resorts. A complete package of entertainment, dining and drinks over the night is what they offer. Listed below are the finest casinos to play pokerinIndia.
- Casino Deltin Royale
The most luxurious casino in India formerly known as Casino Royale is owned by Delta Corporation Limited. With four levels of gaming area spread over 30,000 sq. ft, India’s largest gaming vessel is anchored in the Mandovi River off Panjim main road. Over 700 gaming positions and an exclusive VIP lounge brings an authentic casino experience to both national and international tourists. Besides international games such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette and Texas Hold’em, Deltin Royale has a dedicated Royal Poker Room. The Vegas restaurant and live performances by top artists adds the jewel to the casino’s crown. It is definitely the best in class entertainment destination in Goa to relish the refined luxury with friends and family.
- Casino Deltin Jaqk
India’s most popular gaming destination in Goa is a sailing paradise for casino lovers. Anchored in the Mandovi River, Deltin Jaqk hosts over 350 gaming positions for 3-card Poker, Baccarat, Roulette and other popular games. With its high quality restaurants, scintillating entertainment and international level of gaming, this is a place to let the good time roll. It is popular among the players and tourists for its wide range of games. Unlimited complimentary dinning and drinks make this casino the most sought night destination to party.
- Casino Pride
Casino Pride, one of the two exhilarating gaming vessels owned by the Pride group presents a perfect ambience on board for gamin, dining and drinks. Casino enthusiasts get access to over 40 tables for gaming and betting in around 30,000 sq. ft of play area. The gold ceiling and cheerful illumination set up a perfect party atmosphere across all three gaming decks. More than 500 players can play 5 Card Poker, Texas Hold’em Poker, Mini flush, Flush, Baccarat, Casino War and lot many games onboard. A special play room for kids has latest computer games to let the whole family.
- Casino Pride 2
Pride Group’s latest addition to its gaming casino fleet brings in a modern state-of-art playing area. Spacious decks, multi cuisine restaurant, and music make it absolutely gratifying place to play and party. It has attracted the youths from India and foreigner tourists a lot in recent time. Casino Pride 2 is a perfect place to hang out with friends and enjoy a splendid night.
- Casino Mahjong
One of the best casinos in northern half of India, Casino Mahjong is located at Mayfair Spa Resorts in Gangtok. Its lush green surroundings and mountains lure lakhs of tourists and gamers around the year. Charming attendants and live dance performances enhances the casino experience. Roulette wheel, Black Jack, Texas Hold’em Poker, Marriage are among the most played games here.
Poker Rooms in India-Bangalore
With the rise in popularity, poker has got a new destination in form of poker rooms in Bangalore. Thousands of poker enthusiasts including professional poker players, who do not find time to fly to Goa and play live in casinos, assemble at these clubs for cash games & tournaments. The most renowned poker rooms in Bangalore include:
- Indian Poker Association
One of the oldest poker rooms in Bangalore, IPA was started in March’10. Located near the Ulsoor Lake it hosts a number of poker tourneys and events from 1 PM throughout the whole night till 7AM. It has attracted a whole new lot of poke lovers with its well-maintained facility and variety of buy-in options. In association with few new born poker rooms like High 5, it organizes big tourneys which have elicited poker pros in recent times from several cities including Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati.
- Golden Aces
Popular for Golden Aces Poker League (GAPL), this poker room was opened in May’11. Since then it had been the favourite spot for poker enthusiasts especially on weekends. It draws poker players from Bangalore and other nearby states to its NLHE tournaments. The poker room organizes GAPL four times a year in association with other partner like adda52.
- Rockets Poker
One of the latest started poker rooms in Bangalore, Rockets Poker has gained popularity in 2014 due to several guaranteed prize tournaments and attractive interiors as well. Rajeev Raut who has played poker around the world since 1997 carried forward his passion for the game by opening this poker room in Silicon Valley of India.
- Kings and Queens
Opened in July 2014, King and Queens Poker room has attracted young poker players a lot. Situated at Koramangala, the heart of modern Bangalore, it hosts a number of games from 11 AM to 11 PM. It combines the poker excitement with a feeling of luxurious club which has promoted it tremendously in past few months.
- High 5
High 5 poker room is a replica of casino poker games as it serves delightful dinner and mocktails to the players. Texas Hold’em is mostly played on the tables of this poker room. Poker players love to visit here to play and enjoy the evenings with complimentary beverage accompanied by high speed Wi-Fi, big TV screens and safe lockers.
- Sites to Play Online Poker in India
Since 2010, a few online poker websites have come up in India with Adda52 and Pokabunga leading the charge. A huge community of Indian poker players throng these Indian poker sites now with Adda52 attracting the maximum Indian poker traffic.
- About Adda52:
Adda52 is the largest Indian online poker site and is also at the centre of most poker activity in India. The site is particularly tailored for Indian poker enthusiasts where players can play on Freeroll as well as Real Cash Tables. The site offers both Ring & SitNGo poker games. Cash games offered include No Limit Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Adda52 also hosts various daily, weekly and monthly poker tournaments where players get a chance to win exciting prizes like i Phones, i Pads, and Real Cash to the tune of Lakhs. It hosts exclusive poker promotions like Mary Kom Tourney to celebrate the spirit of game. The site is also the pioneer in launching a Loyalty program which rewards patrons for playing online poker cash games.
- About PokaBunga:
PokaBunga.com is easiest the second largest online Poker site in India that offers ‘No Limit Texas Hold’em’ poker game. This Indian Poker room is operated and owned by WYZ Games India Private Limited and claims to provide safe and secure payment gateways. Pokabunga offers instant play poker playing options with no-download software. The black and red background and understandable tabs and buttons of the website spill the sophistication into the gaming interface also making it a user-friendly application to play Poker online.
- About Thrill Poker
Thrill Poker is the newest entry to onlinepoker in India and features cash games for NL Texas Hold’em and Omaha. It was launched in late 2013 and is owned by Mirch Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. It’s HTML5 based software lets the user play on windows as well Mac PCs. It will take time for this site to gain poker traffic as they are yet to offer varieties in tournament formats.
- Poker Leagues in India
There are many Indian Poker leagues which conduct Poker tournaments in India and abroad. Some of them are listed below-
- India Poker Series:
The India Poker Series (IPS) was established in 2009 with its first event in April achieving a turnout of 37 participants. It officially took its name when it was held in 2010 at Casino Royale in Goa and is one of the most popular Indian poker leagues. Bharat Agarwalla, a poker visionary was responsible for instituting the IPS which has since, gone on to become a regular tourney with events on alternate months at licensed casinos around India. A strongpoint of the event is its low Buy-in with a minimal amount of Rs 5,000 onwards depending on the event. There are multiple events that aim to identify top talent who could then go on to represent India in the world formats. The 2012 main event attracted over thirty entries. Like its international counterparts, the player with the highest number of points accumulated through the year becomes the Player of the Year.
- India Poker Championship:
India Poker Championship made a grand entry to the world of Poker in India in March 2013. It started conducting its tourneys in the offshore casinos of Goa which attracted hundreds of entries and instantly become a popular tournament in poker circles. The founders of this event, Sameer Rattonsey and Peter Abraham from Mumbai, intended to create an event that was enjoyed by poker enthusiasts who could exhibit their skill sets and have fun reaping huge rewards.
- Golden Aces Poker League:
The Golden Aces Poker League (GAPL) was organized by Golden Aces based out of Bangalore which also operates the Golden Aces Cards Room in Bangalore. The Tournament that had its inaugural event in May 2012 has gone strong and steady to revamp the poker scene in India. It had a strong poker presence in 2013 and conducted many successful tourneys at Casino Pride, Goa.