7 Best Female Poker Players in India

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Online poker for real money has become very popular in India recently. In addition to men, women have engaged in and achieved recognition in the game of skill. However, the gender disparity in the poker industry is more pronounced than in most other professions or hobbies. 

For decades, the world of poker has been stereotypically perceived as a male-dominated domain. Consider the WSOP 2016 Main Event, when women comprised just 268 of the 6,737 players that entered, or 3.978 percent of the field! However, a new wave of talented female players is rising through the ranks in India, shattering those perceptions and proving their skills at the felt table. 

This article dives into the stories of some of India's top female poker players, exploring their journeys and successes.

Top Female Poker Players in India

Rank Player Name Total Winnings
1 Nikita Luther $535,584
2 Minissha Lamba $92,292
3 Maria Kirloskar $15,727
4 Muskan Sethi $122,122
5 Shuchi Chamaria Agarwal $29,586
6 Deepanshi Tomar $6,157
7 Kanchan Sharma $67,649

Nikita Luther

Nikita Luther, hailing from Goa, is a true pioneer for women in Indian poker. Dubbed the "Superwoman of the Indian Poker World," she began her journey in 2008, initially playing low-stakes online games. Her dedication and natural talent propelled her to success, culminating in her historic win at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) India Main Event. 

This victory marked a significant milestone, making her the first female Indian player to win a WSOP bracelet, a prestigious symbol of excellence in the global poker scene. Nikita's aggressive playing style and focus have earned her the respect of fellow players and cemented her position as a leading force in Indian poker.

Minissha Lamba

Minissha Lamba, a renowned Indian actress, might surprise some with her prowess at the poker table. While acting remains her primary career, Minissha is a passionate poker player, showcasing her skills in both live and online tournaments. Her celebrity status has helped bring wider recognition to the game, particularly among women. 

Her presence in the poker scene inspires aspiring female players, demonstrating that individuals from diverse backgrounds can enjoy poker.

Maria Kirloskar

Maria Kirloskar, known for her analytical and strategic approach to the game, is another prominent name in the Indian female poker circuit. She has carved a niche for herself in live tournaments, consistently reaching the final tables and securing impressive finishes. 

Maria is also actively involved in promoting the game, often participating in talks and workshops aimed at encouraging women to explore the world of poker. Her calm demeanor and focus at the table, combined with her willingness to share her knowledge, make her a role model for aspiring female poker players.

Muskan Sethi

Muskan Sethi's story is an inspiration for anyone with a passion for poker. Starting her journey at a young age, she honed her skills by playing online games with friends and family. Despite initial resistance from her family due to societal stereotypes, Muskan persevered and turned poker into a successful career. 

She has achieved significant success in both live and online tournaments, earning recognition for her aggressive playing style and sharp decision-making. Muskan is also known for her philanthropic endeavors, often using her winnings to support social causes.

Shuchi Chamaria Agarwal

Shuchi Chamaria Agarwal is a rising star in the Indian female poker scene. While still relatively new to the competitive circuit, she has already demonstrated her potential with consistent and impressive performances. Shuchi's calm and calculated approach to the game, coupled with her relentless focus on improvement, has earned her the respect of veteran players.

As she continues to gain experience, Shuchi is expected to become a major force in women's poker in India.

Deepanshi Tomar

Deepanshi Tomar is a young player making waves in the Indian poker scene. Her fearless approach and impressive skills have caught the attention of the poker community. Deepanshi's story is an example of the growing confidence and talent emerging among younger female players in India.

As she continues to develop her game and participate in tournaments, Deepanshi holds the potential to become a prominent figure in Indian women's poker.

Kanchan Sharma

Kanchan Sharma is a multi-talented individual who excels in poker and entrepreneurship. She utilizes her strategic thinking and problem-solving skills honed in the business world to her advantage at the poker table. Kanchan's presence in the game showcases her playing abilities and inspires women from diverse professional backgrounds to explore poker.

Why Poker is Becoming Popular among Women in India

Several factors contribute to the growing popularity of poker among women in India:

  • Poker Games More Accessible Than Ever:   The rise of online poker platforms has made the game more accessible than ever before. Women now have the convenience of playing from the comfort of their homes, eliminating geographical barriers and creating a more inclusive environment.
  • Increasing Awareness on Social Media:   Social media has played a crucial role in bringing poker to the forefront. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch feature content creators, tournaments, and discussions about poker, exposing a wider audience to the game and inspiring women to try it out.
  • A Rise in the Number of Celebrity Female Players:   The presence of successful female poker players like Minissha Lamba is breaking stereotypes. Seeing other women excel in the game encourages and inspires aspiring female players and demonstrates that poker is a game for everyone.
  • Growing Support for Aspiring Female Players:   There's a growing support system for aspiring female poker players in India. Communities, online forums, and coaching programs are available, providing women with the resources and guidance they need to improve their skills and compete at a higher level.

Rules of Poker Game

Step 1: Learn the Hand Rankings

The first and most crucial step in learning poker is to understand the hand rankings. Below are the hands listed from highest to lowest:

  1. Royal Flush (A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit)
  2. Straight Flush (Five consecutive cards of the same suit, e.g., 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 of hearts)
  3. Four of a Kind (Four cards of the same rank, e.g., four Kings)
  4. Full House (Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, e.g., three 6s and two Kings)
  5. Flush (Five cards of the same suit, but not in consecutive order)
  6. Straight (Five consecutive cards of different suits, e.g., 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 of mixed suits)
  7. Three of a Kind (Three cards of the same rank, e.g., three Queens)
  8. Two Pair (Two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, e.g., two Aces and two 7s)
  9. One Pair (Two cards of the same rank, e.g., two Kings)
  10. High Card (When you don't have any of the above hands, the highest card in your hand plays)

Step 2: Understand Betting Structures

Poker games can have different betting structures, which determine the minimum and maximum bets allowed. The most common betting structures are:

  1. No-Limit: Players can bet any amount between the minimum and their total chip stack.
  2. Pot-Limit: Players can bet any amount up to the size of the current pot.
  3. Fixed-Limit: Players can only bet a predetermined fixed amount.

Step 3: Learn the Blinds and Antes

In most poker games, players are required to post blinds or antes before receiving cards. Blinds are forced bets that rotate around the table, ensuring there is always something to play for. An ante is a small contribution to the pot made by all players before the cards are dealt.

Step 4: Understand Positions at the Table

The position of a player at the table is determined by the dealer button, which rotates clockwise after each hand. Positions are important because they dictate the order of betting and the amount of information available to players. The main positions are:

  1. Early Position (Under the Gun, Hijack)
  2. Middle Position
  3. Late Position (Cutoff, Button)
  4. Blinds (Small Blind, Big Blind)

Step 5: Know the Betting Actions

Players can take various actions during a hand, depending on the game situation and their hand strength. The main betting actions are:

  1. Bet: Making the first bet in a round.
  2. Call: Matching the current bet.
  3. Raise: Increasing the bet amount.
  4. Fold: Discarding your hand and forfeiting interest in the current pot.
  5. Check: Declining to bet when there is no bet in front of you.
  6. All-in: Betting all your remaining chips.

Step 6: Understand the Showdown

If two or more players remain after the final betting round, they must reveal their cards in a showdown. The player with the best five-card hand combination wins the pot.

Step 7: Follow Table Etiquette

Poker has its own set of unwritten rules and etiquette that players should follow to ensure a fair and enjoyable game. Some common etiquette rules include:

  1. Don't discuss the contents of live hands.
  2. Protect your hand by keeping it concealed.
  3. Avoid angle shooting (unethical behavior to gain an advantage).
  4. Be respectful to other players and the dealer.
  5. Follow the established betting rules and procedures.

By learning and following these steps, you'll have a solid understanding of the fundamental rules and concepts of poker, which will help you navigate the game like a pro.

Final Thoughts

The landscape of Indian poker is experiencing a refreshing shift. With talented female players like Nikita Luther, Maria Kirloskar, Muskan Sethi, and many others leading the charge, the game is becoming more diverse and exciting than ever before. These women are not just phenomenal poker players; they are role models who are inspiring a new generation of female poker enthusiasts.

As the poker scene in India continues to evolve, one thing is certain: the future of Indian poker is looking bright.

FAQ's

  • Who is the highest rated female poker player?

The highest rated female poker player is Kristen Bicknell.

  • Who are the best poker girls?

Some of the best female poker players include Kristen Bicknell, Liv Boeree, and Vanessa Selbst.

  • Who is the winning female poker player?

Vanessa Selbst is considered one of the winningest female poker players.

  • Who is the biggest poker player in India?

The biggest poker player in India is Aditya Agarwal.

  • Who is the richest person in poker?

Andy Beal is often cited as one of the richest persons in poker, although his wealth comes from various sources beyond poker.