Andar Bahar: An Indian Gaming Tradition

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The History of Andar Bahar: The Real Card Game

Andar Bahar originated in southern India centuries ago and can now be found everywhere in India where gaming is offered, whether in-person or online.  A player would be hard-pressed to find a game that has a more basic set of rules, that has fewer requirements to play, or that takes less time to learn.  All you need to play Andar Bahar is a friend (or a few!) and a deck of cards. If you know how to play Bacarrat or Teen Patti, you’ve already mastered a more complicated game than Andar Bahar.

The name of the game, Andar Bahar, refers to the two piles players must choose from: Andar (Hindi for ‘inside’) refers to the pile on the player’s left and Bahar (Hindi for ‘outside’) refers to the pile on the player’s right.  It is often referred to as Katti or simply A.B. and is one of the most popular games in India. Andar Bahar is the perfect game to play with your next deposit bonus!

Basic Andar Bahar Rules

The player’s only objective in a real Andar Bahar card game is to predict which of two spots a particular card will land on, as the dealer pulls cards from the deck and alternates back and forth placing them on the Andar spot and the Bahar spot.  But which card are you hoping will appear on the spot you chose for your bet?

The card everyone is hoping to see is the first one that matches the rank of the first card dealt by the dealer in the center of the table, between the Andar and Bahar spots.  For example, if the dealer deals the 9 of hearts in the middle at the start of the hand, the winning spot will be where the 9 of spades, 9 of clubs, or 9 of diamonds appears as the hand progresses.

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More Andar Bahar Rules

When you choose which spot to place your bet on, it would be a great advantage to know which spot will get the first card dealt to it, right?  That’s because if the matching card comes out on the first try, then the second spot doesn’t even get dealt a card at all! This advantage is balanced by the different payouts for each spot, depending on which spot received a card first.  Like any real card game, the payouts get better as the odds get longer.

Andar Bahar Rule Variations

You might encounter a simple variation of the rules for an Andar Bahar game where the first card dealt to a side spot will always be dealt to the Andar (left) side.  If you find yourself playing in a game with this rule variation, the wise player will always place their bet on the Andar (left) side.  The house still has a slight advantage with this strategy, but it is not as much as if you are playing on the Bahar (right) side when it is always dealt a card second.

In addition to the basic rules explained above, some Andar Bahar games include more complicated supplemental rules to spice up the game.  Many game rooms allow for a variety of side bets to keep the action going and give players more ways to get their money involved in the action.  Examples of this type of rules include betting on the number of cards that will be dealt before the winning card is, or even betting on what the suit of the first card will be. 

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Andar Bahar Betting

Andar Bahar betting is as simple as the rules.  Each player chooses the betting spot they think will receive the first card to match the middle card, then receives a payout if they chose correctly and forfeits their bet if they chose incorrectly.  The winning bets will receive different payout rates depending on which side the first card was dealt, which we’ll cover in more detail below.

If the winning card is dealt to the Andar or Bahar spot that received a card first, then the bets there will receive a lower payout to offset their advantage noted earlier.  Those bets will be paid out at only 90% of the bet amount, while a winning card dealt to the spot that received a card second will be paid out at 100% of the bet amount. The most common way the dealer determines which side the first card is dealt to is by the color.  If it is black, the dealer will place it on the Andar (right) side. If it is a red card, the dealer will instead place it on the Bahar (left) side.

Andar Bahar Strategy

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Compared to many casino games, Andar Bahar is relatively heavy on luck and light on skill.  After all, picking one of two spots doesn’t sound too different from picking heads or tails in a coin flip.  There are slight differences, however, where some skill and strategy can provide an advantage over a purely luck-driven approach.  

For starters, it’s essential for any serious Andar Bahar player to know the basic odds of the winning card landing on the spot that received a card first or second.  Whichever side receives the first card will win the hand 51.5% of the time, with the other side (second card) will only win 48.5% of the time.

Once you’ve grasped those basic odds, you can gain more playing experience and get involved in the more interesting side bets, if they are available where you’re playing.  One of the most exciting side bets in an Andar Bahar game, with the highest payout, is the longshot bet on over 41 cards being dealt before a match for the center card arrives.  This bet will rarely win, but it can pay out as high as 120 times your bet and I’m sure you can imagine the tension and excitement building as the number of cards dealt creeps higher and higher.

Online Andar Bahar: Where Can I Play for Real Money?

 A player will be most likely to find an Andar Bahar live dealer game at an online casino that caters to Indian customers, as this game is less popular in other parts of the world.  That being said, some of the most popular sites to play an online Andar Bahar live dealer game are Bodog casino, 22 Bet, and Jeetwin.  Many online gaming sites do not (yet) consider Andar Bahar a real card game and offer it to their players, at least not with real money, but there are still plenty of options available.  Good luck and happy playing!

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