Is Money Earned through Poker Legal in India?

Is Money Earned through Poker Legal in India? know the answer through Pokerlauncher Real cash games are a little something that picked up the trend only the past decade but has seen exponential growth over the past few years. Games like poker in India have a dedicated community of players that are completely invested in the game, and it is because of them that the popularity of the game has grown, making it available not just in casinos but also online with the help of evolving technology. What many take to be only a Diwali game or a recreational game used to pass time is now a full-blown business that a large percentage of people thrive on and make a livelihood out of. Even after the pandemic that swept the world, different websites were able to bring cash rummy games and poker to the palm of your hands, making it available regardless of where you are today and allowing players to take the game up professionally.

However, despite all of the growth that poker has seen in India, there are still a few states and a large chunk of the people who still wonder if the money that is earned by playing poker is counted as legal means of making money or just a sham.

In this article, we shall discuss money-making by playing poker real cash games, and other cash-earning games like rummy, and also how you can earn money from playing these games, and also if the money that people earn from these sources is legit and legal.

The topics covered in this blog are:
1. Is Playing Poker in India Legal?
2. Points to Keep in Mind When Playing Poker Cash Games in India
3. Best Websites to Play Online Poker in India

1. Is Playing Poker in India Legal?

For a long time after poker was introduced to India, the common misconception that lingered around for a long time (and still does in certain parts of the country) is that playing poker and earning from the poker real cash game is not necessarily completely legalized in the country. The decision to make the game legal or not was given to individual states with the Gambling act of 1867 being at the center of it. However, the Gambling Act only prohibits the provision of gambling games that are based on luck, and poker being a game of skill was exempt from the act. Hence, after thoughtful consideration, the governments of multiple states in the country have declared poker as one of the legal cash-earning games in India. Online Poker has also been made completely legal in India as a whole and all the money earned from playing poker in India is considered to lawfully belong to the player, excluding any fees or taxes that are levied on the earned income.

2. Points to Keep in Mind When Playing Poker Cash Games in India

Although Online Poker has been legalized in India, players will have to follow certain rules and regulations that ensure players stay within the community guidelines of the app or website. Here are some of the points that players must keep in mind when playing online poker in India to make sure that their gameplay is not against the regulations of the state or the site they choose to play on:

A. Legality

The first and foremost point that players must consider is the legality of the site they are playing on in the site they are currently playing from. This means that any player, before joining any website to play online poker, must confirm that the website is legal in their particular state of residence, and possesses all the licenses that are required for the site to legally operate in the state. If you do encounter any such sites, do not play on them. Instead, look for credible websites that fulfill all the above-mentioned requirements. You can also game on the most well-known and well-reputed game sites like PokerStars have their presence in multiple countries and possess the license to operate all over India. For your reference, keep reading to see which are the best websites where you can play cash-earning games.

B. Safety

Always make sure that the game site that you choose to play on is free of bots or scammers. Several hackers do introduce bots to real cash games which know how the shuffling algorithm of the site works and accordingly play their moves, guaranteeing a win every single time. Playing on websites that have a history of scammers or bots is a waste of time and money because you will lose multiple games because of this foul play that is present on the site. Instead, try and search for websites that have frequent auditing done and also hold a certificate stating that their websites and shuffling system are highly secure and free from getting violated.

C. Verification

Always play on websites that have proper captcha verification for all users, also verifying their identity using their Aadhaar or PAN card. Having a verification system is also an instrument of safety that guarantees only real players participating in cash rummy games, call break cash games, and poker cash games on the website.

D. Taxation

When playing poker in India, try and maintain two different bank accounts, one for the game and one as your personal account. However, make sure they're both linked to some form of ID, either your Aadhaar or PAN cards. This is to ensure that poker remains legal in the state by avoiding tax evasion. In India, you must pay income tax on your winnings when playing legal poker online.

E. Money Management

Money management is also a skill that poker players must learn as maintaining a proper bank account with an above minimum balance. Taking out loans and borrowing money to play games is not recommended as if you lose that money, you are doing a crime by not paying back your liability. Try and maintain a good bank account and do not invest more in the game that you can afford, and you can play your favorite real cash games, and at the same time, help keep online poker legal in your state.

3. Best Websites to Play Online Poker in India

Like we promised earlier, here is a small list of the best poker websites in India where you can find real players, certifications, verification, and guaranteed security:

A. PokerStars

Starting off the list, here’s one of the most well-known figures in the poker world. Pokerstars is one of the oldest and largest poker cash game sites and the average traffic of this site alone is equal (if not larger) to the total traffic of the next two sites that we are to mention combined! The site features multiple cash games, live tournaments online, and also live events for the entire community who play poker in India. The site aims its best to make everybody feel like a part of the community and hence, they offer huge discounts and offers all throughout the year, especially during holidays like Christmas and Diwali. The site also proudly shows off its RNG-Certified software and detailed verification process which ensures only real players are admitted to the dashboard and permitted to participate in games. Overall, great software that is both fun to play and realistic at the same time.

B. 888 Poker

The Runner-up on our list, 888 Poker was founded in 2002 and has made a name for itself in the online betting industry because of its real cash games and high-quality software that is both easy to use and functional. 888 Poker, just like PokerStars, offers no deposit bonuses and also allows players to play cash-earning games from any device with an internet connection. The site not only hosts games for professionals but is also home to a large number of recreational players, and also got the attention of new players who just got into the world of poker, mainly because of the glossary feature which enables players to learn the correct poker terminologies.

C. PartyPoker

Last but not least, here is a website that primarily caters to the needs of leisure gamers. Partypoker was the most popular poker site in the 1990s, although it was eventually surpassed by PokerStars. PartyPoker, on the other hand, is poised to reclaim its position as the top in online poker in India after making modifications to its software and customer service. The site has good security, a user-friendly interface, and a fun playstyle that will have users coming back for more. PartyPoker is the place to go if you're a leisure player who wouldn't want to play in tournaments and on a site with not as much traffic as PokerStars, which will easily help players play real cash games and win more, gaining more profits from cash earning games.


We hope that this article was able to give you a good idea on how to earn money when playing poker in India and also cleared up many people’s doubts on whether money earned through poker is legal in India or not. However, As it turns out, poker is a great skill-based game that can help players make enough money to pursue the game as a full-time career. However, it is the misconceptions on the game that is limiting the game’s growth in India. The sooner these misconceptions are cleared out and people have a good understanding of the game, online poker and other cash-earning games are on a destined path to becoming one of the most loved online games in the country.

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