In the western world, poker is to card games what Pokémon is to video games – ubiquitously popular. But while Pokémon has proven itself a highly successful export from the East to the West, poker hasn’t made the reverse journey quite so well. The reason? Because many parts of Asia already have their own equivalent card game, named teen patti (or “Flash”).
Unlike Pokémon, teen patti originated in India not Japan, but has since spread all throughout the Asian sub-continent and, thanks to the advent of online casinos, beyond. But what exactly are the rules of teen patti? And how does it differ from poker? For those keen to find out how to play the Flash card game, all is revealed below.
The first thing to note is that the English translation of teen patti is “three cards”, which is exactly what each player is dealt at the beginning of each hand. Already this is a key difference from poker. Although the rules differ depending on the specific game being played, Texas hold’em (one of the most popular types of poker) dishes out two cards apiece, then supplements these with three more communal cards known as the flop, the turn and the river.In teen patti, no such communal cards exist. Instead, players must rely solely on the cards in their hands to make the best combination possible.
The ranking of the various hands are very similar in poker and teen patti – but with some key differences. These are mostly down to the fact that the latter uses just three cards to compile its hands instead of five, but also involves some discrepancies in how the hands are judged. For example, teen patti rates three of a kind has the most powerful hand, while a straight flush trumps four of a kind in poker.Meanwhile, the terminology used to refer to these hands also differs between the two games. For example, three of a kind is called a trio, a straight flush is a pure sequence, a straight is a sequence, a flush is colour, and a pair is a double. Nonetheless, the actual mechanics of all the aforementioned hands are very similar.
Both games begin the betting in the same way – with the laying of an ante, boot or blind to start things off. However, in poker, players are invited to look at their cards immediately. In teen patti, a player can choose to view his cards and become “seen”, but doing so will necessitate doubling the previous bet for the remainder of the round. If he remains “blind” (without looking at the cards), he must only match the bet prior.
Another key difference is the existence of the compromise in teen patti, variously known as the backshow or the sideshow. This occurs when a player asks the one who played prior to him for a compromise, which he can either accept or reject (a maximum of three times in one hand). If the player accepts the compromise, both will compare cards privately and the one with the lowest scoring hand must fold. If the hands are equal, he who called for the compromise is eliminated.
Those are the key differences between poker and teen patti. Although they are significant enough to affect gameplay substantially, a basic understanding of one game will make a player pick up the nuances of the other with relative ease.