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Andar Bahar and Katti

Introduction

Andar Bahar is an Indian gambling game that is said to have originated in Bengaluru (Bangalore) in the southern state of Karnataka, and it is also known in Tamil as Mangatha or Ullae Veliyae. It is a game of pure chance in which the dealer places a card face up and the player bets on one of two piles: Andar (inside) or Bahar (outside). The dealer then deals cards alternately to the two piles until a card appears that matches the initial card. The pile where this matching card appears is the winning pile. In the 21st century Andar Bahar has become a popular game in Indian online casinos.

Katti, another pure chance game, is also described on this page. It also features bets on inside or outside, and for this reason it is understandably often confused with Andar Bahar but the mechanism of Katti is different.

Players and Cards

A standard 52-card pack is used. The dealer operates the bank and there can be any number of players, who traditionally sit in a circle around the dealer. The players have nothing to do except place bets, watch the deal, and receive their winnings if successful.

Procedure

The dealer shuffles the cards thoroughly, cuts them and deals one card face up. This is the card that must be matched, often known as the ‘trump card’ or ‘joker’ though these terms are misleading. In normal English card game terminology a trump is a card that can beat any card of a different suit, irrespective of rank, and a joker is a wild card that can be used to represent any card the player desires. Therefore it seems better to call this first card the house card, or maybe just the middle card, since the two piles are sometimes dealt on either side of it.

Now the players place their bets on either of the two piles, known as Andar and Bahar, that the dealer will create. The minimum and maximum bets must be agreed in advance in a private game, and will be determined by the house in a casino game. In Hindi the words Andar and Bahar (sometimes written Baahar) mean inside and outside respectively, and in Tamil the two piles have the equivalent names Ullae (inside) and Veliyae (outside). This may be because in the traditional game the inside pile is the pile nearer to the dealer and the outside pile is further from the dealer. In online versions the layout may be like that or Andar and Bahar may simply be to the left and right respectively of the house card.

Many online versions of the game allow additional types of bet. These are described in the Variations section below.

The dealer now deals single cards face up from the remainder of the deck alternately to the Andar and Bahar piles. If the house card is black, the first card is dealt to the Andar pile; if the house card is red the first card is dealt to the Bahar pile. The deal continues until a card appears that matches the rank of the house card. Players who bet on the pile where this matching card appears win; those who bet on the other pile lose.

Variations

It is apparent from the various descriptions of this game on the web that there are a number of variants. I would be particularly interested to hear from people who have taken part in private games in India, and can confirm what rules are most often used in the traditional offline versions of the game.

Where the first card is dealt

Instead of choosing the side on the basis of the colour of the house card, in many places the first card is always dealt to Andar, the second to Bahar and so on. In that case of course the odds offered on Andar are 0.9 to 1 and on Bahar 1 to 1.
Some descriptions imply that it is not the house card but the first player card whose colour determines whether this first card is dealt to the Andar or Bahar pile. This modification does make the initial bet almost a 50/50 chance since the colour of this card is not known when the bet is placed. Possibly that is the motive for this rule, but despite it appears that the payout remains as 0.9:1 for winning bets on the side of the first dealt card and 1:1 for winning bets on the side of the second card.

Second bet after seeing two cards

Some allow the player to place a further bet on either side after seeing the first two cards, if neither of them matched the house card. At this point the odds in favour of the first match appearing on the same side as the first card dealt are very slightly better than at the start of the game (approximately 51.58%).

Bet on number of cards dealt

Although it is not a feature of the traditional game, many online casinos allow the player to bet on how many cards will be dealt until the house card is matched. These bets may be offered in ranges,

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