Card games on Diwali have been a long held tradition in Indian households. Families sit long hours after Diwali pujas and celebrations to play various games such as teen patti, rummy and poker.

This year however, a new trend was observed. Well, calling it new may not be appropriate as this practice has been gathering pace for the last few years. People across the country chose to switch to online poker on and around Diwali. And this was not observed among just the usual suspects. Many recreational players and first timers, especially those unable to make it home for the festival of lights, opted to play online rather than forgoing a beloved tradition.

Poker sites in India also had a part to play in this with most hosting Diwali-special tournaments or offering festive bonuses as means to attract poker lovers online. Websites like The Spartan Poker and PokerBaazi announced tournaments specially for the occasion while others like Adda52 offered bonuses. All in all, with a multitude of offers, poker players across the country were not disappointed.

The results were obvious. User traffic on most websites doubled over the extended festive weekend. The Spartan Poker and PokerBaazi which have in the vicinity of 400 to 500 players on a regular night, saw participation numbers close to 1000. The average wagers were also increased during this period with websites reporting upto 30% higher-than-normal average bet sizes.

Navkiran Singh, CEO of, spoke to PokerShots on the increased expectations of users during Diwali and what they mean. “Diwali is a special time for everyone in India and card games are an integral part of the festivities. With online poker portals becoming widely popular, it was inevitable that this would happen. At PokerBaazi we are running the Diwali Cash League where the winner gets a package to Australia during next year’s Aussie Millions while our 5 Laks Freeroll tournament on Diwali was a huge sell-out. 

MD and co-founder of TheSpartanPoker, Amin Rozani spoke to the Times of India about the mega promos running on his platform during Diwali –  “Across multiple tournaments like Elite, Diwali-special edition and Spartan Super Series Platinum edition, we are offering prizes from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 1 crore and Rs 3.3 crore in prizepools.

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