If three card brag is a traditional British card game then Teen Patti is brag’s Asian half-brother. Teen Patti is a gambling card game that bares a tremendous similarity to three card brag. These similarities can almost certainly be accredited to the march of the British Empire that colonised much of the Indian subcontinent, leaving behind many British traditions including playing cards and card games.
Teen Patti has many similarities to three card brag such as a prial, or a ‘trial’ as it’s known in Teen Patti, being the strongest hand and betting similarities like antes, calling and raising. Players also have the option to play blind during a game of Teen Patti as they would in a game of three card brag.
Teen Patti is an enormously popular card game in countries such as India and Nepal and is traditionally played by millions during Diwali, the Festival of Light, where the Asian variant is played as a ‘shagun’, indicating luck or fortune regarding financial success for the coming year. Millions of Hindus come together each autumn to celebrate the victory of good over evil and at the same time play this popular spin-off to three card brag.
The popularity of Teem Patti has seen it move into the technological age of iPhone apps. That’s right, you can now play Teen Patti from an iPhone against other users of the popular handheld device but there is still to be a three card brag app. (Come on you Apple developers!)
Teen Patti is also the name of a popular Bollywood movie starring Sir Ben Kingsley. The film is about a maths professor who is attempting to write a thesis on probability using the game of Teen Patti to demonstrate his theories.
So that’s Teen Patti, a hugely popular alternative to three card brag that can be found being played across South Asia.