Andar Bahar is a simple and immensely popular Indian card game that has been part of Indian social life for generations. In this article, we explore the game's cultural relevance and origin and its future place in the online gaming landscape.
Andar Bahar is a simple and incredibly popular Desi card game. The game is played all over the country and has been a part of Indian social life for centuries.
Andar Bahar literally translates to Inside, Outside and is a game of chance. The game's objective is to guess on which side of the table a card equal to the dealer's will show up. The two sides are called Andar(left) and Bahar (right).
See our Andar Bahar page for detailed explanations of game rules and bets.
Before we go into Andar Bahar’s history, we should explore Indian gambling history in general.
In India, gambling dates back thousands of years, and excavations have unravelled terracotta dice sets, which indicate that gambling was enjoyed by ancient civilisations.
In fact, India has contributed to many of the world's most popular board and table games. Gambling is even mentioned Mahabharata – an ancient Sanskrit text of tremendous philosophical and religious importance. The Mahabharata narrates stories of gambling and dice games leading to quarrels and eventually even war.
Throughout our decorated gambling history, three games have found a special place in Desi culture and social life - Teen Patti, Rummy and Andar Bahar.
Andar Bahar has been around for centuries. The game originated in Bangalore, Karnataka, but little is known about when and how exactly the game came about. In Karnataka, the game is known as Ullae Veliyae, while Andar Bahar is the Hindi translation.
The game's straightforward rules have made it a prominent Desi card game, and from South India, Andar Bahar has spread across the country and to neighbouring South Asian countries.
Indians love their card games, and Andar Bahar is played throughout the country. And although archaic gambling laws outlaw the game as it is not considered a game of skill, people's love for this Andar Bahar has made it nearly impossible to suppress.
Andar Bahar is played everywhere by the old and young alike. We play Andar Bahar in our homes, in work settings and at social and family gatherings.
Consequently, our courts do not consider Andar Bahar games held in private settings as a major offence. Illegal gambling houses, however, may face serious charges.
Despite the game being socially accepted, serious players have long been limited to playing at India’s land-based casinos. These casinos are far and few in between and have not been able to satisfy the massive demand for Andar Bahar.
However, online casinos have opened up new doors and made Andar Bahar accessible to millions of people. Moreover, online players are not restricted by local gambling laws and can freely pursue Andar Bahar as a fun pastime or choose to gamble more seriously.
Recent surveys show that an increasing number of Indians are gambling online.
Studies in 2020 showed that India has around 400 million online gamblers, with predictions of reaching 520 million players by 2022.
These figures clearly indicate that online gambling is surging in the country, and this rising trend can be attributed to improved internet connectivity and access and affordable smart devices.
Established casino operators and game developers are following these trends closely and using market localisation strategies to capitalise on a new market with enormous potential.
Empowered by data analytics, prominent iGaming companies are localising their products and gaming content to meet the demands of Desi players.
Consequently, there are numerous casino sites translated to Hindi that allow you to play in rupees. Many even support popular UPI payment methods such as Paytm and Phonepe, allowing Indians to make hassle-free payments using their smartphones. Two excellent examples of such casinos are JungleRaja and PureWin.
The online gambling industry's eagerness to is also reflected in the gaming content. For example, the renowned casino and sports betting site, Betway, has created an exclusive live dealer suite with Indian-themed Blackjack and Roulette games.
Meanwhile, up-and-coming game developers like Super Spade Gaming and Ezugi have created live Andar Bahar games.
These games are hosted by professional dealers and live-streamed in HD quality to closely replicate the gaming experience one would get a land-based casino.
Moreover, Ezugi recently opened a state-of-the-art live casino facility solely dedicated to producing Indian-themed live games.
These trends clearly indicate that the future of Andar Bahar lies online. This cherished card game will most likely remain a fun pastime among friends, co-workers and families; however, an increasing number of Desi players are likely to enjoy Andar Bahar online in the future.
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