Teen Patti

Last updated: January 20th, 2015

Learning Poker: The Ultimate Guide to the Rules of Teen Patti

When it comes to poker, there are several different games that a player may choose to play. Teen Patti is a poker game that was invented in India and is frequently played in South Asia. Teen Patti itself is a variation of the British poker game Three Card Brag, a fast and easy-to-learn game that originated in the 1500s and is still quite popular at British fairs. Teen Patti can be played with two to seven players, although a minimum of four players is required for optimal gameplay. If you're looking for a simple poker game that stretches your skills a bit more than Texas Hold'em, Teen Patti is an ideal move-up game to introduce you to more complex poker. Here's what you need to know.

Teen Patti Hand Ranking Structure: What Beats What

In Teen Patti, aces are high. This means the lowest value card in the game is a 2. Hands are comprised of three cards. The highest hand a player can get is three of a kind, with hands ranked by value, so three aces beat three jacks. The second highest hand is a straight flush, and, once again, high cards beat low cards. Hand ranking in Teen Patti is as follows: three of a kind beats straight flush, straight flush beats straight, straight beats flush, flush beats a pair, and a pair beats high card.

Before Play Occurs: Placing Stakes and Choosing Your Play Style

Before any actual betting or playing occurs, all players must make two critical moves. First, all players must post the minimum stake (a minimum betting value that players agreed upon prior to the start of the game). After posting stake, the dealer will give each player three cards, facedown. Players then place bets on each other for who has the best hand. Prior to these initial bets, players must choose their play style, whether they will play seen or blind. "Playing seen" refers to the act of looking at your hand prior to placing your bet, while "playing blind" refers to leaving your cards face down and betting without knowledge of your hand. This is an important distinction because it impacts how much your minimum bet will be. The minimum bet in any given round depends on the amount of the current stake, which depends on what previous players have bet. The first betting round starts with a current stake that is equal to the per-player ante. Players who play blind must bet at least the stake amount, and cannot bet more than twice the stake amount. After a blind player bets, the next player has a different "current stake"—the current stake being equal to the amount that the blind player bet. Players who play seen must bet at least twice the stake amount, and cannot bet more than four times the stake amount. After a seen player bets, the current stake for the following player is equal to half of the seen player's bet. During every betting round, blind players have the option of viewing their cards on their turn and thus becoming seen players. If you are a blind player and you choose to view your cards, you become a seen player for the rest of the game and must either place seen bets (equal to twice the stake amount or higher) or fold. Players can fold at any time if they feel they do not have favorable odds of winning.

...And Then There Were Two: Whittling Down the Competition

Teen Patti is a game that starts with several players, but can only end with a two-person showdown where one person is declared victorious. This means if you want to win, you need to edge out the competition by forcing them to fold. One way that this happens is through a compromise. A compromise can only happen when every remaining player in the game is playing seen. On your turn (right after you post your minimum bet), you can request a compromise with the player who placed a bet prior to you. This player is free to disagree or agree to a compromise. If the player disagrees, the round continues. If the player agrees to a compromise, however, a private showdown occurs. The two players reveal their cards to each other (but not to the other players). The player with the better hand wins the compromise, and the losing player is forced to fold. In the event that both hands hold equal rank, the player who requested a compromise forfeits and is forced to fold.

Deciding the Winner: Last Man Standing or Best in Show

In Teen Patti, betting rounds can theoretically go on indefinitely. A betting round ends in one of two conditions: either one player is left in after all others have folded (last man standing), or two players are left and they must pay to determine a winner (show). If only one player is left, that player wins the pot, regardless of his hand. Shows only happen when there are only two players remaining in the game. In a show, two players reveal their hands. In order for a show to occur, one player must "demand a show" by paying for it. The way this happens will vary depending on whether the players are blind or seen. To demand a show, blind players must contribute the current stake, regardless of whether the other player is playing seen or blind. Blind players cannot view their cards prior to demanding a show. If one player is seen and the other is blind, only the blind player may demand a show. A seen player can either keep betting or fold. (In some variations of Teen Patti, seen players can request blind players to participate in a show by contributing four times the bet to the pot.) If both players are playing seen, either player can demand a show by contributing twice the stake to the pot. The player with the better hand wins the pot. In the event of a tie, the player who demanded the show forfeits. The game is over. Although it may seem complex, Teen Patti is a fast and fun game that is just challenging enough that it can help novice players to improve their skills. If you're a Texas Hold'em buff who is looking for a game that can prepare you for more complicated forms of poker, Teen Patti is a solid choice. Featuring seen and blind bets, a unique edge-out-the-competition dynamic that gets the adrenaline going, and fun, risky "shows," Teen Patti is a game that beginner and intermediate poker players will love.


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