In India, playing Rummy games is legal.
The Indian Supreme Court has declared the Game of Rummy as a game of skill. Games of skill are unlike gambling, which are games of chance. In 1996, the Indian Supreme Court clearly defined gambling as betting and wagering on games of chance only. This judgement by The Supreme Court of India explicitly excludes games of skill, irrespective of whether they are played for money or not, from the definition of gambling.
Rummy Is A Game of Skill
Getting good or bad cards will not determine a win or loss of the game. A player should use a clear strategy and mathematical skills while playing to excel at the game. Our experts write about how anyone can master the game in our blog, ‘Rummy Gyan’ from time to time. Indian rummy is a game of skill which means that the competence of the player determines the outcome of a game.
Supreme Court Orders
“The Supreme Court of India has, for instance, held the game of Rummy is not a game entirely of chance like the ‘three-card’ game mentioned in the Madras case to which we were referred. The ‘three-card’ game which goes under different names such as ‘flush’, ‘brag’ etc. is a game of pure chance. Rummy, on the other hand, requires a certain amount of skill because the fall of the cards has to be memorized and the building up of Rummy requires considerable skill in holding and discarding cards. We cannot, therefore, say that the game of Rummy is a game of entire chance. It is mainly and preponderantly a game of skill”
The word ‘gaming’ subjects itself to interpretation based on judgments pronounced in the two 1957 cases. Here the judgments categorically held that competitions that depend primarily on skills do not fall under the ambit of gambling. The word ‘Gaming’ therefore is an action pertaining to games of chance and indulgence in games of chance are gambling. Gambling clearly refers to acts of betting or wagering on games of chance, where luck and not skill is the governing factor.
Even in a game of skill, the influence of chance cannot be overlooked completely. However, in games of skill – training, practice, nimbleness, familiarity and knowledge of the player holds the key to victory. So, for example, games like those of golf, Rummy and chess are thought of as games of skill. The esteemed Courts of the country have rationalized that there are hardly any games which would fall into categorized of pure skill or pure chance. It would really depend on the pre-dominant factor – skill or chance to demarcate the games as games of skill or games of chance.
Betting and Gambling
In addition to the Supreme Court rulings, it should be noted that under the Constitution of India, ‘Betting and Gambling’ is a state subject and hence games of skill or mere skill are outside the purview of the applicability of Indian laws prohibiting betting and gambling in all Indian states except a few. Since the legality at the time of this writing is unclear in the states of Assam, Odisha, Nagaland, Sikkim and Telangana, sodarummy.com does not accept players who reside in these states.