MATKA GAMBLING IN INDIA: AN INTRODUCTION
Matka gambling or Satta Matka (सट्टा मटका / సత్కా మట్కా) is a dated lottery-based betting game, which has its roots in India. It became widely popular during the 1950s right after the country’s independence.
The game originally involved placing bets on the opening and closing rates of cotton transmitted between the New York Cotton Exchange and the Bombay Cotton Exchange. Later, cotton was replaced with other commodities and eventually playing cards.
Today, Satta Matka stands outlawed in India if organized and played for real money. However, its immense popularity has inspired the iGaming and lottery community to come up with online variants that follow the rules more or less and let you legally enjoy the game.
How Did Satta Matka Begin in India?
This form of lottery originated in the city of Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay) in the State of Maharashtra in pre-independent India. At that time, it was known as Ankada Jugar (आंकड़ा जुगाड़), which translates to ‘number betting.’
The concept was more of a consequence of the flourishing textile mills in Bombay in 1854. Betting on numbers was popular among the mill workers who saw the activity as a means of unwinding and relaxation.
They would bet money on the possible opening and closing rates of cotton transmitted via teleprinters between the Bombay Cotton Exchange and New York Cotton Exchange. Whoever correctly predicted the rates would win.
After India gained its independence in August 1947, the simple prediction game turned into a massive lottery that was widely played across the State and even beyond. Ankada Jugar met its turning point after the New York Cotton Exchange discontinued the practice of transmitting the rates in 1961.
Players started looking for alternatives to continue betting on something to keep the business alive. It was then that Ratan Khatri – a Sindhi migrant from Karachi, Pakistan came up with the concept of betting on the opening and closing rates of imaginary products.
Part of this new game was a large earthen pot (matka) filled with pieces of paper that had numbers ranging from 0 to 9 written on them. A dealer (Matka King) would pull a chit from the pot to declare the winning numbers. This is how Ankada Jugar eventually got christened as Matka.
This was only the beginning. Over time, the chits were replaced with playing cards three of which were drawn for each player. However, the name ‘Matka’ was retained in honor of the popularity of the game.
Further changes were introduced in 1962 by Gujarati farmer Kalyanji Bhagat, who started the Worli Matka. Yet again, in 1964 Ratan Khatri introduced the New Worli Matka with modifications that turned the winning odds in favor of the players.
For this reason, the New Worli Matka easily outdid Bhagat’s Worli Matka although the latter was conducted every day and the former only five days a week from Monday to Friday. For players, the periodicity did not matter as long as the odds of winning worked in their favor.
Why Was It Banned?
Between the 1980s and 1990s, Matka gambling in India had peaked with transactions crossing crores of Rupees. This was insane money back then. According to market researchers and reporters of that era, at times the overall monthly bets would exceed ₹500 crores!
Local bookies were quick to notice the rising popularity of Satta Matka and even quicker to get on the gravy train. Betting shops had mushroomed, especially around the textile mills in Central Bombay’s Parel and South Bombay’s Kalbadevi area.
By 1995, more than 2000 medium and big bookies had already established their ‘Matka dens’ in Bombay as well as the neighboring cities. Unfortunately, the sheer rampantness of the activities soon earned Matka the flak of the law that deemed it an immoral and illegal way of making money under the Public Gambling Act of 1867.
After all, it wasn’t generating revenue for the Government. Instead, it was simply raising lovely lolly for the bookies and posing a threat to the society and economy.
Moreover, the format of the game being that of single-digit lotteries, the risks were even higher. For the uninitiated, single-digit lotteries come with great winning odds and can be super addictive.
Also read: Delhi Dhamaka Lottery
Keeping all the risks in mind, the keepers of the law didn’t shy away from conducting raids and cracking down on these purveyors of luck.
Some shut shop while others fled or flew under the radar. The established Matka dens were moved to the outskirts of Maharashtra and beyond to States such as Rajasthan and Gujarat. By the 2000s, the number of bookies had reduced to fewer than 300 and their average monthly turnover to roughly ₹100 crores.
What Happened After the Ban?
The cleansing had serious countereffects. The previously unregulated Satta Bazar (Matka market) was now not only unregulated but also undisclosed. Covert operations were being conducted by fraudsters who ran unfair trade to dupe unsuspecting old patrons yearning to play the lottery.
Most draws were rigged and people were swindled out of their money. Investment once lost was lost forever; there was no way to retrieve it. Matka had earned a bad name and was nowhere close to what Ratan Khatri and Kalyanji Bhagat had once envisioned.
With the disappearance of a fair source for Matka gambling, people resorted to other ways of trying their luck, including zhatpat lotteries and cricket betting.
Meanwhile, the Internet had set foot in India and online gambling was becoming a thing. So, a chunk of the punters, especially high rollers, set out to explore their options for playing lotteries online.
Despite this evolution, the craze for Matka lottery in India has not died out entirely, although it has been banned nationwide. This is evident from the numerous Satta Matka rackets that are being exposed daily.
Those who understand the dangers and legal consequences that follow have already resorted to playing international lotteries online. The sites hosting them are foreign-based, which keeps them and the players safe from Indian law.
Some of them have even gone that extra mile to come up with Matka-like online lotteries to cater to lovers of this age-old lottery.
How Is Satta Matka Played?
Playing Satta Matka is a cakewalk because the basic rules are simple. Each game happens in two rounds (generally termed ‘day’ and ‘night’ or ‘open’ and ‘close’).
In each round, players need to choose 3 numbers from 0 to 9. These numbers are then added up. If the result is a single-digit number, it is considered for the final sequence. If it is a two-digit number, the last digit is considered for the final sequence.
For instance, let’s assume three numbers 1, 4, and 8 are picked in the first round.
The total would be 1 + 4 + 8 = 13. Here, the last digit 3 would be the first digit in the final sequence.
Again, let’s assume the numbers 2, 3, and 4 are picked in the second round.
The total would be 2 + 3 + 4 = 9, which will be the second digit in the final sequence.
Eventually, the final number sequence would look something like this:
1, 4, 8*3 X 9*2, 3, 4
The player would wager on whether the first digit/sequence or second digit/sequence or both would be drawn. Bets on individual digits/sequences must be placed prior to the respective rounds. Bets on both digits/sequences must be placed prior to the first round.
For each round, the organizers would draw 3 cards from a deck of 52 playing cards. The values of these cards would be added up. Aces are valued at 1, 2 through 9 at face value, and 10 at 0.
The above process is then followed to get to the final number sequence. Please note that the Kings, Queens, and Jacks are not considered in a game of Satta Matka.
If the digits/sequences predicted by the player match the ones drawn by the organizers, a win will be registered.
Payouts in Satta Matka are made in the range of 9:1 to 999:1. For every ₹100 you bet, the payout would be as follows:
- 9 X 100 = ₹900 for guessing one digit/sequence correctly
- 90 X 100 = ₹9,000 for guessing both digits/sequences correctly
Of course, there are variations to the basic rules and payouts. For more information, read our detailed article on how to play Matka.
Top Matka Gambling Games
The offline market is brimming with several Matka variants of which, we have listed the top Matka gambling games below. Please note that none of them are legal and should not be played in India for real money. This list is for informational purposes only.
- Kalyan Matka
- Worli Matka
- New Worli Matka
- Milan Day / Night Matka
- Tara Matka
- Matka 420
- Matka Boss
- Madhur Matka
- Gali Satta
- Rajadhani Matka
- Sridevi Matka
- Supreme Matka
- Time Bazar
- Lotus Matka
- Prabhat Satta Matka
- Star Matka
- Fix Fix Wapka Matka
Is Satta Matka Legal in India?
Satta Matka played by staking real money or material things is illegal in India. But it does not necessarily amount to any criminal offense if played for fun. However, setting up a physical gambling den and visiting one to play Matka could be considered an illegal activity under the Public Gambling Act of 1867.
Who Is a Matka King?
The one who draws the chits/cards/numbers for the players in a game of Satta Matka is generally known as the Matka King. However, the term might also be used to denote winners. For patrons of the old form of this lottery, Ratan Khatri is the one and only Matka King.
Can You Play Satta Matka Online?
You can play online Satta Matka on legit lottery websites such as Lottoland and Jungliwin. The rules and payouts of these lotteries are based on the original Satta gambling game with slight deviations.
How to Check Matka Results?
There are two ways to check Matka results – offline and online. If you play this lottery, you must personally contact the Matka King or the person conducting the draw to know if you won. The activity being illegal, result sheets are handed out only in private.
Alternatively, numerous sites on the web publish results of various Matka games held every day. Although the origin of the sites and the authenticity of the results they publish cannot be verified, they are considered the go-to platforms when players want to check Matka results online.
We recommend neither. It is better to play the legal online variants and check results on legit lottery websites. The games might not be the same, but the results are authentic and the payout is guaranteed to winners.
Is There Any Matka Gambling Software?
If learning Matka tricks is on your mind, no Matka gambling software is currently worth using. They are neither legit nor reliable. You would be simply wasting time and energy if you are looking for one. This is a game of luck where only randomness determines who wins.
However, if you are referring to a legit software that you can use to play the game, try your luck in Lottoland’s Jhatka Matka, which has been developed in-house by the owners of the site.
Which Matka Game Pays Full Rate?
No Matka game pays the full rate, whatsoever. Websites claiming to do so are nothing but a sham. A full rate in Matka means you would receive a minimum of ₹10 for every ₹1 you bet. The operator of the game would make no profit at all.
Traditionally, Matka pays out 9/1, which is ₹9 for every ₹1 you bet. The operator is then expected to make a profit of 10% on each bet. Higher payouts are often advertised by scamsters to lure in hopeful players.
- Matka Gambling in India: An Introduction
- Is Matka Legal in India?
- How to Play Matka: a Beginner’s Guide to the Basic Rules
- 11 Facts About Ratan Khatri – the Original Matka King of India
- Kalyan Matka: Open, Close, Chart and Other Terms Beginners Must Know
- Dpboss Satta Matka: Another Illegal Single-Digit Lottery or Matka Results Site?
- Fix Fix Wapka Matka: 20 Questions Answered
- Tara Matka: 22 Questions Answered
- Star Matka – 6 Questions Answered
- Bhootnath Matka: 19 Questions Answered