Teen Patti

Teen Patti

For the film, see Teen Patti (film)

Teen Patti ("Three Cards" in English) is a gambling card game that originated in India and became popular in South East Asia. It is somewhat similar to poker and uses three cards, and is very similar to 3-card poker and 3-card brag with some minor differences.

How to start the game

The game starts with one of the players dealing the cards. The cards are dealt anti-clockwise, but may be dealt clockwise too depending on the preferences of all players.

Before starting the game, usually an agreed number of card(s) is/are picked or dealt to decide the dealer for the opening hand. Each player may be required to put up an ante into the pot before picking/dealing the card(s). The winning player gets the pot. The relative rankings of the card(s) may also decide the seating arrangment for each player. This entire process is called cut-for-seat.

After the first/opening hand, the winner of any hand will be the dealer for the next hand.

Betting

There is usually an ante or boot amount put on the table (the pot). The betting then starts by the player next to the dealer.

Loose/Tight Play

Loose and tight in teen patti refer to a player's general tendency to play hands beyond the first round or to fold them quickly. There is no commonly-accepted threshold in terms of a ratio or percentage of hands played, but a "tight" player will often choose to fold weaker hands, while a "loose" player will bet on more of these hands and thus play more hands to the show/showdown.

Ante

There is usually an ante or boot amount put on the table (the pot). This ante may be in the form of an equal amount put by each player, or a single larger amount put by one player (usually on a rotation basis).

An ante is a forced bet in which each player places an equal amount of money or chips into the pot before the deal begins. Often this is either a single unit (a one-value or the smallest value in play) or some other small amount; a percentage such as half or one-quarter of the minimum bet is also common. An ante paid by each player ensures that a player who folds every round will lose money (though slowly), thus providing each player with an incentive, however small, to play the hand rather than toss it in when the opening bet reaches them.

Antes discourage extremely tight play. Without the ante, a player who has not paid a blind can toss in his hand at no cost to him; the ante ensures that doing so too often is a losing proposition. With antes, more players stay in the hand, which increases pot size and makes for more interesting play.

In games where the acting dealer changes each turn, it is not uncommon for the players to agree that the dealer (or some other position relative to the dealer or the button) provides the ante for each player. This simplifies betting, but causes minor inequities if other players come and go. During such times, the player can be given a special button indicating the need to pay an ante to the pot (known as "posting") upon their return.

Post(ing)

A player who is temporarily away from his seat (i.e. for drinks or a restroom/bathroom break) and misses antes is also required to post to reenter the game. They must pay the applicable ante to the pot for the next hand they will participate in. In this case, the amount to be posted is the amount of the ante at the time the player missed them.

Posting is usually not required if the player who would otherwise post happens to be in the ante. This is because the advantage that would otherwise be gained by missing the ante, that of playing several hands before having to pay ante, is not the case in this situation. It is therefore common for a new player to lock up a seat and then wait several hands before joining a table, or for a returning player to sit out several hands until the ante comes back around, so that he may enter in the ante and avoid paying the post. For this same reason, only one ante can be accumulated by the player; old missed antes are removed when the ante returns to that player's seat because the player was never in any position to gain from missing the antes.

Blind

A blind or blind bet is usually a forced bet placed into the pot by one or more players before the deal begins, in a way that simulates bets made during play. The most common use of blinds as a betting structure calls for two blinds: the player after the dealer blinds about half of what would be a normal bet (small blind), and the next player blinds what would be a whole bet (big blind). This two-blind structure, sometimes with antes, is the dominating structure of play. Sometimes only one blind (half or whole bet) is used (often informally by the dealer as a "price of winning" the previous hand).

Besides the forced blind bet, players may optionally play blind and put an optional blind bet to the pot. Blind players may place bets that are at least half of the current level of bet by a seen player. Seen players have to place a bet that is at least double that of the current level of bet by a blind player.

Call and raise

After the ante and the forced blind bet(s), the regular betting starts with the next player putting his bet amount to the pot.

The total bet can be divided into two components - the call and the raise. Each player has to place a bet that is at least equal to the previous player's bet (known as call), with the option of raising the bet. This bet then becomes the (new) current level of bet. Usually there is a limit imposed to the raise, such that the total bet amount (with the call and the raise) cannot exceed twice that of the previous player's bet.

Limits

Betting limits apply to the amount a player may bet or raise, and come in four common forms: fixed limit, spread limit, pot limit, and no limit.

Note: The limits may be applied to the raise or the bet.

All such games have a minimum bet as well as the stated maximums, and also commonly a betting unit, which is the smallest denomination in which bets can be made.

Fixed limit

In a game played with a fixed-limit betting structure, the maximum raise amount generally equals the last bet amount (current level of bet). Thus, the maximum raise amount is equal to the call amount, and the maximum bet is double that of the last bet.

Spread limit

A game played with a spread-limit betting structure allows a player to raise any amount within a specified maximum (subject to other betting rules).

For example, a game with a "$1000 spread-limit" allows each player to call and then raise up to a maximum of $1000.

A simpler approach is to bet up to a maximum amount equal to the spread-limit. So in the above example, the maximum bet (call + raise) is limited to $1000.

Pot limit

A game played with a pot-limit betting structure allows any player to raise up to an amount equal to the size of the whole pot before the raise.

For example, let us assume that there is an ante of $50 and a single forced blind bet of $10 in the pot at the start of the regular betting round, and all subsequent players are seen/have seen their cards. The next player may bet the minimum amount of $20 (double that of the last blind bet of $10). This player may also raise up to $80 (as there is now $50 + $10 + $20 = $80 in the pot) to bring his total bet (also the new current level of bet) to $20 + $80 = $100. If he does in fact bets $100, the total amount of the pot is $160, and the next player may call (put the minimum bet of) $100, and raise up to $260 for a total bet of $360 (after calling the $100 bet, the total amount of the pot is $260, so he may raise up to $260). The next player would then be entitled to call at $360 and raise up to $880 (after calling $360, the pot would contain $880, thus he may raise $880).

A simpler approach is to bet up to a maximum amount in the pot. So in the above example, the first seen player may bet a minimum of $20 and a maximum of $60. If he does bet the maximum, the next player may bet a minimum of $60 to a maximum of $120. If he bets the maximum, the next player would then be entitiled to bet a minimum of $120 and a maximum of $240. Note: In this example, for the later bets, the maximum bet is twice that of minimum bet because of the chosen ante and forced blind bet amounts. For other combinations, this relationship may not hold.

No limit

A game played with a no-limit betting structure allows each player to raise the bet by any amount.

What are the different kinds of moves?

Play blind

When you play blind, you have not seen your cards and place your bet by guessing the strength of your card combination and also of other players. Place a higher bet if you have faith in your luck and your card combination will be stronger than other players! If you want to play it safe and not take risks, place bet for a smaller amount.

Play chaal

You can choose to see your cards at any time and then place a bet (when it's your turn) depending on how strong you think your card combination is. You can pack if you think your card combination is not strong enough. Though you can pack out of turn, it's not considered courteous to do so.

Ask for sideshow

If you have seen your cards, you can ask for a sideshow after placing your bet. You can ask for a sideshow with the previous player (who placed the last bet). That player must not be "blind" for this to be allowed. On asking for a sideshow, you will get to see the other player's cards. You win if your card combination is stronger than your opponent's. You lose otherwise

Backshows always happen at the current bet level. If there are only 2 players left in the hand then the show may happen differently.

Pack/fold

At any point during the game, if you think your card combination is not strong enough, you can pack and that's the end of the hand for you! If you pack, you forfeit all the money you have placed as bet till then.

Show/showdown

The betting will go on like this until one of two things happen:

  • All but one-player pack. The sole remaining player wins the money in the pot, regardless of what cards he/she holds.
  • All but two players pack. In this case, during his/her turn, one player pays for a "show". At this point, both player's cards are exposed and compared and the higher ranking hand wins the pot.

The following are the rules for a "show":

  • Seen player can ask for a show with blind player for 4 times the current bet.
  • If both players are seen then either may ask for a show by paying 2 times the current bet.

Note: A blind player cannot ask for a show/sideshow.

In most modern games, especially where the stakes/bets are high, shows are paid for at the current bet level. Also, while a blind player cannot ask (nor can be asked) for a sideshow, the blind player can ask for a show. Ultimately, all rules are discussed and agreed by all players before the game begins.

Ranking of hands

3 Patti uses a standard 52 card deck, with Aces ranking highest and 2's lowest. The object of the game is to have the best 3 card hand, and to maximize the pot before the showdown. Any hand of a higher category beats any hand of a lower category.

The categories are ranked as follows:

Three of a kind/trio

Three of the same cards. Three aces are the highest and three twos are the lowest.

Straight Flush/Pure Sequence/Pure Trail

Three consecutive cards of the same suit.

The order of ranking from highest to lowest is:

A-K-Q,A-2-3, K-Q-J, Q-J-10 and so on down to 4-3-2.

In the Deuce-to-Five High variation version that is very popular (also refer to the probabilities below), 2-3-5 flush is the highest straight flush (higher than the A-K-Q flush). This variation makes sense as the odds of a straight flush is then evened up with the Trio.

2-A-K is not a valid straight.

If two players have the same combination then the pot is split between the two. In another variation, where the suits hold ranks, the player with the higher suit (spade, heart, diamond, and club in descending order of rank) wins the pot.

Straight/Sequence/Trail

Three consecutive cards not all in the same suit.

A-2-3, A-K-Q, K-Q-J, Q-J-10 and so on down to 4-3-2.

In the Deuce-to-Five High variation version that is very popular (also refer to the probabilities below), 2-3-5 is the highest straight (higher than the A-K-Q).

2-A-K is not a valid straight.

If two players have the same combination then the pot is split between the two. In another variation, where the suits hold ranks, the highest/top/rank card of the straight combination is compared. The player with the top card of the higher suit (spade, heart, diamond, and club in descending order of rank) wins the pot.

Flush/colour

Three cards of the same suit. When comparing two colours, first compare the highest, if these are equal compare the second and if these are equal compare the lowest. The highest flush is A-K-J and the lowest flush is 5-3-2. In the variation version where 2-3-5 is the highest straight flush, the lowest flush is 5-4-2.

Pair

Two cards of the same rank. Between two pairs the one with the higher value is the winner. If the pairs are of equal value then the odd/kicker card determines the winner. Therefore the lowest pair is 2-2-3 and the highest is A-A-K.

No Pair/High Card

If two players share a common high card, the next highest card is used to determine the winner. The best high card hand would be an AKJ of different suits.

Probabilities

The probabilities of the various ranking combinations are described below.

Total number of 3-card hands

There are 52 cards in the deck. The sequence in which the three cards are dealt does not matter, it is the combination of the three cards that matters. The total number of combinations of any elements, taken "r" at a time, from a set of "n" elements is given by the combination formula nCr (COMBIN(n,r) in Microsoft Excel). Thus, the total number of 3-card hands, from a deck of 52 cards is calculated by the formula 52C3 = 22100.amol

Standard version probabilities

Hand Frequency Probability Cumulative Probability Odds
Three of a Kind/Trio 52 0.24% 0.24% 424.00:1
Straight Flush/Pure Sequence/Pure Trail 48 0.22% 0.45% 459.42:1
Straight/Sequence/Trail 720 3.26% 3.71% 29.69:1
Flush/Colour 1096 4.96% 8.67% 19.16:1
Pair 3744 16.94% 25.61% 4.90:1
No Pair/High Card 16440 74.39% 100.00% 0.34:1
Total 22100 100.00% 100.00% 0.00:1

Deuce-to-Five high version probabilities

In this most widely used variation version, 2-3-5s are considered as highest straights. The probabilities then gets modified to:

Hand Frequency Probability Cumulative Probability Odds
Three of a Kind/Trio 52 0.24% 0.24% 424.00:1
Straight Flush/Pure Sequence/Pure Trail 52 0.24% 0.47% 424.00:1
Straight/Sequence/Trail 780 3.53% 4.00% 27.33:1
Flush/Colour 1092 4.94% 8.94% 19.24:1
Pair 3744 16.94% 25.88% 4.90:1
No Pair/High Card 16380 74.12% 100.00% 0.35:1
Total 22100 100.00% 100.00% 0.00:1

Variations

The benefit of playing "Teen Patti" is that one can create any form of variation that they like. Also, a combination of multiple variations may be played simultaneously.

For example, you can pull out 3 cards at random after dealing and nominate one card (wild card draw) where the number is a joker (wild card), one card where the suit is a joker (wild suit draw), and one card where the number is a compulsory bust (bust card draw). In this case there are 14 jokers in this hand. The components of this variation can also be played as three independent variations.

Deuce-to-Five High

Deuce-to-Five High: This is the most popular variation version (also refer to the probabilities above). In this version, 2-3-5 (flush) is the highest straight (flush), even higher than the A-K-Q (flush). This variation makes sense as the odds of a straight flush is then evened up with the Trio.

Best of Four

Best of Four: Each player is dealt 4 cards from which they must make the best possible 3-card hand.

Incomplete/Imagination

In this variation, players are dealt an incomplete set of cards and then required to complete the full set by imagining the missing card(s), so as to complete the full set of 3-cards:

  • Two Cards Deal/One Card Imagine: Each player is dealt 2 cards and the third card is imagined.
  • One Card Deal/Two Cards Imagine: Each player is dealt 1 card, and the other two cards are imagined, thus making a Trio.

Mufliss/Lowball

Mufliss: Similar to "lowball" in Poker, the rankings of the card combinations are reversed. So the least ranking combination has the highest rank and vice versa.

Blackjack

Blackjack: Each player is dealt three cards. Picture cards (J-Q-K; jacks, queens and kings) carry 10 points, aces carry 1 or 11 points, and all other cards carry points as per their face value. The total number of points are added up. Like "blackjack", 22 points and over get bust, while the player having the highest number of points, up to 21, wins the pot.

Wild/Joker Card Draw

Wild/Joker Card Draw: The dealer pulls out one card at random after dealing and nominates all other cards of the same rank/strength/number as jokers (wild cards).

Wild/Joker Suit Draw

Wild/Joker Suit Draw: The dealer pulls out one card at random after dealing and nominates all other cards of the same suit as jokers (wild cards).

Low Wild/Joker Card

Low Wild/Joker Card: Each player's lowest-ranking card (and all other cards of that same rank/strength/number) are jokers (wild cards) in that player's hand only. If the two lowest cards are a pair then that pair may be considered as two jokers.

High Wild/Joker Card

High Wild/Joker Card: Each player's highest-ranking card (and all other cards of that same rank/strength/number) are jokers (wild cards) in that player's hand only. If the two highest cards are a pair then that pair may be considered as two jokers.

Two Lowest Wild/Joker Card

Two Lowest Wild/Joker Card: Each player is dealt four cards and the two lowest cards taken together is a joker (wild card) in that player's hand only. If the two lowest cards are a pair then that pair may be considered as a single joker. In this version, if the two middle rank cards are a pair, then the player does not have any joker.

Bust Card Draw

Bust Card Draw: The dealer pulls out one card at random after dealing and nominates all other cards of the same rank/strength/number as bust cards. Any player holding any of the bust cards has to pack/fold.

Stud

Stud: In this variation, each player receives a mix of prearranged combination of face-down and face-up cards. The cards dealt face down to each individual player are called hole cards (which gave rise to the common English expression ace in the hole, which suggests that one has something valuable that is not apparent to others). The cards dealt face up are called street cards.

Different versions in this variation are:

  • Three Card Stud: Each player is dealt two face-down cards and one face-up card.
  • Five Card Stud: Each player is dealt two face-down cards and three face-up cards. Some versions of this game may require players to compulsorily select any one face-down cards and any two face-up cards to make a 3-card hand.

Community

Community: This is a variation of Stud. Players are dealt an incomplete hand of face-down cards, and then a number of face-up "community" cards are dealt to the center of the table, each of which can be used by one or more of the players to make a 3-card hand.

Different versions in this variation are:

  • Three Card Community: Each player is dealt two face-down cards followed by one face-up community card.
  • Five Card Community: Each player is dealt two face-down cards followed by three face-up community cards. Some versions of this game may require players to compulsorily select any one face-down cards and any two face-up cards to make a 3-card hand.

Draw

Draw: A complete hand is dealt to each player, and usually before (or after, but not both) betting, players are allowed to attempt to change their hand by discarding unwanted cards and being dealt new ones. Players may have to "purchase/buy" the new cards by putting a prearranged amount into the pot for each new card. Another version of draw allows players up to three chances to buy and change their hand, one card at a time, in the first three rounds of betting.

High-Low Split

In traditional teen patti games, the player with the best traditional hand wins the whole pot. Mufliss/Lowball variations award the pot to the lowest hand. High-Low Split games are those in which the pot is divided between the player with the best traditional hand (called the high hand) and the player with the low hand. In this variation, there could be multiple players remaining in play at show, unlike the traditional or mufliss/lowball where there are usually only two players left at show. There are no sideshows and players may opt out from betting by folding/packing. Usually there are three or four mutually agreed upon rounds of betting where no player opts out, before having the show. Also, there is a limit of six-to-ten rounds of betting at the end of which there is a compulsory show.

There are two common methods for playing high-low split games, called declaration and cards speak. In a declaration game, each player declares (either verbally or using markers such as chips) whether he wishes to contest for the high hand or the low hand. The lowest hand among those who declared low wins that half of the pot, and the highest hand among those who declared high wins that half. In a cards speak game, all players simply reveal their cards at show and the hands are evaluated by all players; high hand wins half of the pot and low hand wins the other half.

In the event more than one player ties for either high or low, the pot can be further split into quarters or smaller fractions. For example, if one player has the high hand on show, and two other players tie for the best low hand, the high hand wins half of the pot and each low hand wins only a quarter of the pot.

It is common, especially in cards speak games, to require a certain hand value or better to win the low half of the pot, called a qualifier. For example in an "eight or better to qualify low" game, a player with an eight-high hand (or better low such as seven-high) is entitled to win the low half of the pot (assuming his hand defeats all other low hands), but a player with a 10-high or 9-high hand cannot win, even if his hand is the lowest. In this case, the high hand wins the entire pot. There is generally no qualifier to win high, although one common variant is any pair/no pair, where a hand of at least a pair is required to win high and any hand with no pair is required to win low.

Cobra

Cobra: Each player is dealt a single card. All players put in a pre-determined amount into the pot. All players, without seeing, pickup their card and place it on their forehead. This way each player can see everyone else's cards. No player can see their own card. This variation is usually played as the very last hand of the game.

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