Teen Patti or 3 Patti is a Meld-Making Comparing card game that is very popular in South Asia, particularly in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.
Even though “Teen Patti” in English may sound like it refers to a young person, it’s actually just a case of words that sound the same but have different meanings. The game is based on 3 Card Brag, with Teen Patti itself meaning “Three Cards” in Hindi.
How to Play Teen Patti?
The Teen Patti card game is played using the Standard Anglo-American 52-card Deck Pattern. Only a single deck is used in a game, with up to 10 Players able to participate simultaneously in a single game of Teen Patti.
Setting the Stake
Each Player must agree on a minimum “Stake” before the game begins. This stake can be thought of as the smallest unit of money a Player can wager on a particular hand of the game.
This stake should be agreed upon by all of the Players at the table, as each Stake is going to be paid equally by each Player.
If everyone at the table only has $100 or so, then making the Stake $100 dollars is a bad idea.
Once the Stake has been agreed upon by all of the Players at the table, each should Player should place the value of one Stake into the center of the table, in order to act as the pot for the hand.
Once each Player has paid in the value of one stake, cards can be dealt to each Player.
The Dealer will deal three cards to each Player, one at a time and face-down. Here Players are given a choice:
- Look at their own cards
- Or play blind
This is important, as it determines the wager that must be made.
Players take turns clockwise from the Dealer determining their betting positions, starting with the Player to the immediate left of the Dealer.
During their turn, Players choose whether to check their cards and bet Seen, ignore their cards and bet Blind, or Players can Fold.
Players that wish to bet Seen must pay a wager of at least twice the “Current Stake” and no more than four times the same.
The “Current Stake” is equal to half of the total wager of the previous Player. For example, Player 1’s Current Stake would be the agreed-upon Stake at the start of the game.
Therefore, as a Seen Player, Player 1 must bet at least the value of one stake, and no more than two stakes.
- Assuming Player 1 wagers two stakes, then Player 2 must then bet either two stakes, or four stakes.
- Player 2’s current Stake is one whole stake, meaning as a Seen Player they must bet either 2x a stake, or 4x a stake.
- If Player 2 bets four stakes, then Player 3 must wager either four stakes, or eight stakes.
Players can also Bet Blind. When Betting Blind, Players are only required to wager the value of a single stake, and no more than twice the value of a single stake.
However, this reduced risk comes at the cost of risk elsewhere. As the name suggests, Blind Players are not allowed to look at their three face-down hole cards.
Players trade off the knowledge of their hand with monetary risk, when choosing whether to bet Blind or Seen.
Players that Bet Blind make the Current Stake for the next Player equal to their total wager, while Seen Players make the Current Stake for the next Player half of their total wager.
Folding and Pot Surrender
Players are not compelled to wager if they do not wish, and are free to Fold rather than betting Blind or Seen. However, Folding Players surrender all wagers that they have already made into the pot, including their initial Stake.
Folding Players are not forced to place any more wagers into the Pot once they Fold, but Folding Players are also unable to win any portion of the pot, even if their cards would have been able to win the Showdown.
Folding Players do not affect the Current Stake, meaning the Current Stake for Players following a folding Player is the same as the Current Stake for the Folding Player’s turn.
Unlike Poker, the betting phase in Teen Patti does not simply end when each Player has taken their turn. Once the Dealer takes their turn as the last Player in the rotation, the first Player to begin the Betting phase now taking a second turn. Their Current Stake is based on the Dealer’s actions on the previous turn.
There is also another unique game mechanic called the Compromise. If all Players at the table are Seen Players, a Player may request a Compromise on their turn.
In a Compromise, the requesting Player is giving the previous Player to take their turn the option to Accept or Reject.
- If Rejecting, the Compromise ends and betting simply continues as normal.
- If Accepting, the Players will privately compare their cards without showing them to other Players at the table. The Player with the worse meld must immediately fold their hand. If there is a tie, the Player who requested the Compromise must immediately fold.
After a Compromise, the betting continues with the Requesting Player if they won, and the next Player if they did not.
Betting then continues infinitely, until there is one of two occurrences.
End of Betting Phase
The Betting phase will end if all Players but one folds their hand. If this happens, then there is no Showdown (simply called the Show in Teen Patti) and that sole Player wins the full value of the pot.
The Betting phase will also end if all but two Players have folded, and one of the Players declares a “Show” on their turn. Even if there are only two players remaining at the table, they are free to continue wagering until one of them decides to Fold or declare a Show.
Declaring a Show begins the Show phase, called the Showdown in other comparing card games. The Show can only occur when there are two players remaining at the table, and there can never be a three-or-more-person Show in Teen Patti.
Seen Players are not permitted to call Show if their remaining opponent is a Blind Player. This means the Blind Player may force a continuous chain of betting for as long as they wish until they declare Show.
Once Show has been declared, the Player who declared Show must “Pay for the Show”. Blind Players pay a wager equal to the Current Stake. Once a Blind Player has paid for the show, they may look at their cards.
Seen Players may only declare a Show if the other remaining Player is also a Seen Player. In this case, either Player may pay twice the Current Stake during their turn in order to end the betting phase and declare Show.
Here the Show follows the normal Comparing game procedure. Players compare their melds and the higher meld (According to the Ranking Chart given below in the “Hand Rankings” section) wins the hand. In the case of ties, the Player who paid for the show will lose the pot.
Collection and New Stakes
Cards are collected once a Player collects the pot, either through all but one player folding, or two remaining players entering into a Show, and then new Stakes are paid into the pot, this stake the same agreed upon Stake from the start of the first game, rather than any Current Stake.
Teen Patti Rules
The rules for 3 Patti can be summarized as follows:
- As Players bet, on their subsequent turns after the first, Blind Players are able to become Seen Players at the start of their 2nd/3rd/4th turn by turning over their cards. However, this comes with all of the drawbacks of being a Seen Player, and Seen Players can never become Blind Players.
- Players may be Seen or Blind Players, conferring particular betting requirements for each.
- The Current Stake is always based on the previous Player’s total wager at the end of their turn.
- When a new hand begins, use the Agreed-Upon Stake, rather than any Current Stake.
Teen Patti uses its own hand rankings, explained in the table below:
|Meld Name||Hand Example|
|Trio/Three-Kind||8♦ 8♣ 8♠|
|Pure Sequence||4♦ 5♦ 6♦|
|Sequence||7♦ 8♠ 9♣|
|Colour||8♦ 10♦ Q♦|
Melds follow the normal Ranking of cards, with Aces the highest and 2s the lowest.
A meld composed of higher-value cards is of greater value than the same meld with lower cards, meaning two Trios will not tie if one Player has 4s and one Player has 7s.
A higher-ranking meld will always trump a lower-ranking meld, even if it is composed of lower-ranking cards. For example, a Trio will always beat a Sequence, even if the Trios is made of 2s.
Imagine the following is your hand once you are a Seen Player in a game of Teen Patti:
J♦ 3♥ 3♣
This is a very low double, and as such has very low odds of actually winning the game. The only formed meld that this trumps is a double made of twos. While this hand does beat all non-meld hands, a character with no meld is going to fold very early in the betting phase.
If Players continuously bet the maximum, consider folding. Although you may be getting bluffed, you yourself do not have a strong enough hand to truly call a bluff. However, if Players are all betting low and every Player at the table is a Seen Player, consider trying for compromises.
If you are able to win a compromise, or even two, it will be easy to convince other Players that you have a strong hand, and then it might be you making the bluffs, instead of folding to them.