The rise of mobile poker games in India has occurred at breakneck speed. Teen Patti, a native version of poker that entails the use of only three cards, has usurped traditional mobile gaming powerhouses such as Candy Crush in terms of monthly downloads. In the most recent statistics of top grossing games in India released by Google Play, two different versions of Teen Patti came in higher than Candy Crush, while Zynga Poker also made the top 10. Gaming developer Octro, which launched Teen Patti in 2013, currently boasts over 40 million users, 3.5 million of which play on a daily basis. Other games such as Rummi have shot to prominence, signalling a shift toward traditional card games by Indian mobile gaming consumers.
Numerous iPhone poker sites have also recorded large growth in their player databases in recent years. While gambling remains tightly controlled and is legal in only three Indian states, many poker operators have ridden the wave of increased smartphone usage and developed sleek poker apps to attract new users. Some are also investing in innovative marketing strategies to sustain the spike in player numbers. Adda52.com, the country’s largest online poker operator, even enlists the help of India’s famed Bollywood stars to promote their platform. Indian poker websites have also begun hosting lucrative tournaments that have generated wider user interest and led to a growth in full-time poker players.
The boom in smartphone usage, mobile gaming downloads and poker play has been largely driven by millennials, a population that is thriving in India. This target group is not only tech savvy, but also accustomed to spending a significant amount of time locked to their smartphones on a daily basis, such as when they commute to and from work each day. Additionally, many millennials enjoy using online gaming as a pastime, as well as a means of removing themselves from the day-to-day stress of their professional lives. It’s behaviour such as this that is helping India’s mobile betting and online gaming app developers thrive.