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Is it legal to play rummy for cash on Rummy.com?
Yes, it is absolutely legal to play rummy for cash on Rummy.com. It is legal because rummy is a game of skill and playing online rummy for money is protected by the Constitution of India. Playing a game of skill like rummy is legally considered a business activity and the activity of playing a game of skill with cash is protected under Article 19(g) of the Constitution of India.
The Supreme Court of India ruled in 1968 that rummy is a game of skill. This judgment has been relied on and followed in many subsequent judgments. In 1996, the Supreme Court of India also stated that (i) a competition where chances of success depend on a significant degree of skill is not gambling, and (ii) despite the fact that there is an element of chance, rummy is preponderantly a game of skill and thus may be considered a game of ‘mere skill.’
However, the state laws of Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Telangana do not permit playing online rummy for real money. Therefore, Rummy.com does not allow players residing in or logging in from the aforementioned states to play cash rummy games/tournaments on Rummy.com. However, players residing in or logging in from the aforementioned states can still play our free practice games, and we may permit them to play our cash games and tournaments in the future when these states’ laws change.
Is rummy a game of skill?
Yes, rummy is considered to be a game of skill or mere skill by the courts of law. Games of skill or mere skill do not fall in the category of betting and gambling. Rummy is excluded from the applicability of laws that prohibit betting and gambling, except in a few states in India that prohibit real money gaming.
The gist of a ruling by the Andhra Pradesh High Court is as follows: "Rummy, on the other hand, requires certain amount of skill because the fall of the cards has to be memorised 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 chance in Rummy is of the same character as the chance in a deal at a game of bridge."
Another instance is the Supreme Court ruling of 1967, (also known as State of Andhra Pradesh vs K. Satyanarayan) which states that rummy cannot be declared a "game of entire chance" and therefore "is mainly and preponderantly a game of skill."
What are games of chance and games of skill?
According to Indian law, gambling or betting is an act of wagering or betting money on a game of chance. Any game in which the result is primarily based on luck or chance is considered a game of chance. Playing such games for money is gambling, which is an illegal activity.
Games of skill are games in which the outcome is primarily based on the skills of the players. Playing such games for money is legal as it is considered a business activity.
Online rummy is completely legal to play for real money as it is a game of skill. You require decision-making skills and a sharp memory along with acute observation of players’ moves while playing rummy. Players with advanced skills are much more likely to win than beginners.
Are games of skill legally protected?
Yes! The Supreme Court of India stated in 1957 that competitions (cash and others) that involve significant skills are categorized as business activities which are protected by the Constitution of India under Article 19(1)(g). Therefore, except for a few states (Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Telangana, Sikkim, and Nagaland) that prohibit real money gaming online, playing online rummy for cash is completely legal in India.