Why Do Gamblers in India Love Andar Bahar so Much?

By in Casino & Gaming on
4 Minute Read
Why Does India Love Andar Bahar Gambling

Residents of India enjoy a variety of casino games, including baccarat, poker, and roulette. However, Andar Bahar is definitely the most interesting casino game that they play.

It’s quite rare throughout the world. In fact, many people from other countries are puzzled about Andar Bahar.

On this page, I’m going to discuss more on this game, including its rules, house edge, and why Indian playerss obsess over it.

What Is Andar Bahar?

Andar Bahar is a card game that’s played in both Indian homes and gambling houses. It’s arguably the most popular table game in India.

It requires a dealer and two or more players. Each gambler’s goal is to guess whether the “Andar” or “Bahar” side of the table will win.

Players who guess correctly win a payout worth near or at 1:1 on their original bet. Here are notable rules behind this game:

  • The game is played with a 52-card deck.
  • You either bet on the Andar or Bahar side.
  • The dealer pulls out a middle card to start the round.
  • A winning Bahar bet pays either 0.95 to 1, or 1 to 1.
  • A winning Andar bet pays either 0.85 to 1, or 0.9 to 1.

How to Play Andar Bahar

Each round begins with the dealer placing a card in the middle of the table. Indians sometimes refer to this middle card as the “joker.”
However, the card is never actually a joker. It merely determines the card value that must be matched for either side to win (e.g. six middle card requires a matching six).

You and other players choose to bet on whether the matching card will appear on the Andar (left) or Bahar (right) side. Once wagers are placed, the dealer alternates dealing one card to the Andar side and one to the Bahar side (or vice versa).


The round ends when the card value that matches the middle card appears on either side. You win if you correctly guess the winning side.

Here’s a recap of the instructions for playing this game:

  • The dealer pulls the first card out of the deck and places it in the middle.
  • You bet on whether a card with a matching value will appear on Andar or Bahar.
  • The dealer continues dealing one card to each side.
  • The round ends when a card value that matches the middle card is dealt.
  • You win if you bet on the side that receives the matching card value.

Reasons Why India Goes Crazy for Andar Bahar

India enjoys playing Andar Bahar in online and land-based casinos for several reasons. You can read about each reason below.

Many Indians Learn This Game at a Young Age

As mentioned before, Andar Bahar is widely prevalent in Indian homes. Therefore, many people in this country grow up playing the game.

They relish the chance to bet real money on Andar Bahar when the time comes. Gamblers also feel a sense of nostalgia through this game.

Most countries don’t grow up playing any casino games outside of maybe poker. That said, Andar Bahar has a unique role in India.

Any Beginner Can Quickly Pick up Andar Bahar

Slot machines are popular around the world due to their simplicity. You merely need to push spin to start playing.

Although not quite as simple as slots, Andar Bahar has the same benefit going for it. You don’t need to master complex rules to play.

Instead, you only have to guess if the Andar or Bahar side will win. As long as you know which circle to place your chips in, then you’ll have no trouble getting started.

The Andar Bahar House Edge Can Be Low

Casino games with great odds give you a stronger chance to preserve your bankroll and possibly even win money. Andar Bahar can offer you good odds.

I emphasize “can” here. You must place the right bets to enjoy the lowest-possible house edge. Here are the probabilities along with the house advantage on each wager:


  • Andar side has a 51.5% chance of winning
  • Bahar side has a 48.5% chance of winning

Andar house edge

  • With 0.85 to 1 payout = 4.72% house edge
  • With 0.9 to 1 payout = 2.15% house edge

Bahar house edge

  • With 0.95 to 1 payout = 5.43% house edge
  • With 1 to 1 payout = 3.00% house edge

Is Andar Bahar Legal?

India uses the antiquated Public Gambling Act of 1867 as the basis of their gaming laws. On a federal level, all unapproved forms of gambling are considered illegal in this country.

Only horse racing and lotteries are exempt from the Public Gambling Act. Therefore, Andar Bahar is technically outlawed on a federal basis.

On the other hand, India doesn’t enforce this ancient law. If they ever decided to, the maximum punishments are fairly light (fine of INR 200 and/or up to three months’ imprisonment).


The Public Gambling Act mostly serves as a deterrent for people running illegal gambling houses. The latter are still prevalent throughout the nation, though. You stand very little of being arrested for playing Andar Bahar in an underground casino.

Goa and Sikkim feature legal brick and mortar casinos. You can visit either of these states if you’re looking for to play legal Andar Bahar.

India doesn’t outlaw offshore casinos. So, gaming sites present yet another legal option.

Where Can You Play Andar Bahar?

You have several routes for playing this game both online and in land-based casinos. That said, you’ll experience no trouble finding a game whether you’re in India or elsewhere.

Free Andar Bahar Online

Internet casinos give you the chance to play Andar Bahar for free. You just need to register for an account to get started.

Casinos ask for basic details during this process, such as your name, email, phone number, birthdate, username, and password. Once your account is approved, you’ll be able to play free Andar Bahar.

Some gaming sites don’t even make you register before playing. They simply let you load games through your internet browser.

Real Money Andar Bahar Online

Most online casinos will let you play all the free Andar Bahar you want. Assuming you wish to make real bets, though, you’ll eventually need to make a deposit.

Indian casinos let you use a variety of banking methods, including Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, EcoBanq, AstroPay, and bank transfer. Many sites allow you to deposit as little as INR 100.

After depositing, you may be eligible for a welcome bonus. I’ve seen India online casinos worth bonuses worth up to INR 200,000.

Andar Bahar Live Casino

India is short on land-based casino options. After all, brick and mortar casinos are illegal in all but two states.

If you’re craving the land-based gambling experience, though, you can still get it online. Some gaming sites feature live dealer Andar Bahar.

The live dealer aspect refers to how these games are dealt by a real person. Action streams directly from a brick and mortar casino studio.

You can chat with the dealer and other players (through a chat box). You’ll also enjoy many of the sites and sounds of a regular casino all through your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Brick and Mortar Casinos in Goa or Sikkim

India has strict gambling laws in theory. You must visit underground gaming establishments throughout most of the country.

However, Sikkim and Goa have both legalized casino gambling. They feature casinos on land and on boats.

Goa is on the western side of India, while Sikkim is in a remote northern region. The latter doesn’t offer much else beyond mountain views, but you still may find the casinos worth visiting.

Underground Casinos in India

Most gambling venues don’t operate above board in this nation. Underground casinos are big business when considering the lack of legal options.

I’m certainly not encouraging you to visit these establishments for Andar Bahar alone. However, you’ll probably be fine if you do gamble at one.


Andar Bahar is one of India’s favorite casino games. It offers simple rules, fair odds, and a nostalgic touch for some.

Regarding the latter, Indian families play Andar Bahar for fun in their homes. Children who grow up playing this game later seek it out in casinos.

Unfortunately, the number of legal options for playing Andar Bahar is low. But you can still enjoy it in online casinos, underground gambling dens, and legal casinos (Goa and Sikkim).

Out of these, gaming sites offer the most realistic option. India allows offshore online casinos to serve its residents, so there’s no legal conflict here.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

View all posts by Michael Stevens
Email the author at: [email protected]