Is Rummy legal in India – All You Need To Know5 min read

There has always been a grey and uncertain zone when it comes to gambling in India. It might be confusing for someone who is not aware of the law to see that while gambling is regulated in India, there are plenty of online casino websites. But hopefully, the following article will clear the air about gambling laws in India and the context of online rummy in it. Let’s see is Rummy legal in India or not.


What is Gambling in India?

The Supreme Court passed the definition of Gambling in 1996 as wagering and betting on games of chance only. The definition from the Court did not include games of skills, regardless of whether the games involved real money or not. The order passed by the Supreme Court, clearly states that the staking on chance is where the controlling factor is chance. The official statement gives the example of horse racing as a game of skill.

The Public Gambling Act is the main law of the country that regulates gambling, and it is from where the laws of gambling in states are also mostly derived. This states that the clauses mentioned in the act do not apply to the games which are based on mere skill.

So in short, if the game consists of skills and is recognized as a game of skill by the law, then there would be no problem playing it online. Therefore, online rummy is legal in India.

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Rummy As A Game of Skill – The Different Skills in Rummy

On the outlook, Rummy might look like a card game played in casinos. Wondering what are the different skills you can develop by playing this game? You will be surprised.

Five Card Draw Rules

Rapid Thinking – In the game of rummy, you need to have sharp observation skills and the ability to perceive. To become a good rummy player, you need to keep a focussed mind and be ready to make moves that can provide you advantages in the game. They must have the intuition and logic to guess the move of the player before it is made.

Memory and Math – Math is a fundamental part of almost all card games and Rummy is not an exception to it. You need to understand the rules thoroughly, the chances of winning, and the payouts. A good rummy player will remember the previous moves of the other players, and will also be aware of the cards on the table.

Emotionless – Rummy or any card game for that matter needs you to keep emotions out of it. If you become too emotional with the game and the money you have bet on it, it can hinder your decisions to enable sensible gameplay. If you are stressed playing the game, it is better to take a pause or quit than to play the game in frustration.

Consistency – Since rummy needs you to have concentration and focus for long periods, it is only possible to consistently maintain that through practice. You can practice online through free rummy games, or offline by playing with friends and family. If you practice self-discipline consistently, playing Rummy will be a great experience.

Belief in Self – Rummy is a highly competitive game and it is common to fail when you expect otherwise. But a good player learns to believe in themselves and understand that wins and losses are in general, a part of every game.

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Is Rummy legal in India

Rummy Being A Game of Skill

Good news for Rummy lovers – The Honorable Supreme Court of India declared that Rummy is a game of skill, in 1968 as it involves concepts of game theory and mathematics. That is from where the popularity of the game rose and today, we have plenty of online websites that provide online Rummy.

The observation from the Court came from the fact that –

Success in Rummy is significantly a cause of skill and not chance, therefore, it cannot be termed as gambling.
Although there is an element of chance in Rummy, it is majorly a skill game and can be thus classified as a game of mere skill.

But do note that some states in India still do not recognize Rummy as legal. Some of the states at the time of writing include Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Telangana, etc. These states do not allow people to play Rummy with real money. It is wise to check with your local authorities and state laws before you begin playing Online Rummy. But note that there are no laws yet that stop you from playing Rummy for free (without the use of real money).

What is a Game of Chance and a Game of Skill? 

In simple terms, the Indian law calls games that are played using pledging something valuable like money for an uncertain event. The primary objective of the ‘game of chance’ is to win money or something valuable. The outcome of such games is purely based on luck and does not involve skill in any manner. The Indian law prohibits such games and playing these can have consequences.

On the other hand, a game of skill is when the outcome of the game either entirely or majorly depends on the player’s skill. They have been made legal, even if they have an element of chance in them. Rummy requires skills in terms of game theory, mathematical thinking, decisional thinking, memory, self-confidence, emotional quotient, self-belief, and sharp observation.

But as mentioned above, there are still some states that prevent certain games. Check with your local laws before signing up for any online platform, or before playing offline.

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In a nutshell, Rummy is a skill-based game and it is not banned in the majority of the states in India. If your state does not ban the game, then confidently play online Rummy. But practice responsible gaming. Since it involves real money, keep a budget and do not overspend it. Do not keep emotions in the game while playing. Rummy is best played for leisure and that is the way to reward yourself. Choose the right online Rummy site and enjoy your game!


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