Matka gambling, also known as Satta Matka (सट्टा मटका / సత్కా మట్కా), is an old lottery-based betting game that originated in pre-independence India. It gained immense popularity in the 1950s, shortly after the country gained independence.
Initially, the game involved betting on the opening and closing rates of cotton traded between the New York Cotton Exchange and the Bombay Cotton Exchange. However, with time, cotton was replaced by other commodities, and eventually, playing cards became the norm.
In present times, Satta Matka is illegal in India if organized and played for real money. Nevertheless, its popularity has led the iGaming and lottery communities to develop online versions that adhere to the rules to some extent, allowing players to legally enjoy the game.
How Did Satta Matka Come to Be in India?
The origins of Satta Matka in India can be traced back to Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, in the state of Maharashtra during pre-independence India.
Originally called Ankada Jugar (आंकड़ा जुगाड़), which means ‘number betting’ in English, the game was popular among mill workers who used it as a form of relaxation and entertainment.
This was largely due to the thriving textile mills in Bombay in 1854, where workers would bet on the opening and closing rates of cotton transmitted via teleprinters between the Cotton Exchange in Bombay and that in New York.
Those who guessed the correct rates would win the money pooled in the game. After India gained its independence in August 1947, Ankada Jugar became increasingly popular and transformed into a massive lottery game that was played throughout the state and beyond.
However, the game faced a turning point when the New York Cotton Exchange stopped transmitting the rates in 1961, prompting players to seek alternatives to keep the game alive.
It was then that Ratan Khatri, a Sindhi migrant from Karachi, Pakistan, introduced the concept of betting on the opening and closing rates of imaginary products. He created a new game where a large earthen pot, or matka, was filled with pieces of paper that had numbers ranging from 0 to 9 written on them.
A dealer, known as the Matka King, would draw a chit from the pot to declare the winning numbers, and Ankada Jugar was eventually renamed Matka in honor of the popularity of the game.
Over time, the game evolved, and the chits were replaced with playing cards, three of which were drawn for each player. However, the name ‘Matka’ remained popular, and in 1962, Kalyanji Bhagat, a Gujarati farmer, introduced the Worli Matka.
Then, in 1964, Ratan Khatri introduced the New Worli Matka with modifications that made the winning odds favorable to the players.
Despite being conducted only five days a week, the New Worli Matka easily outdid Bhagat’s Worli Matka, which was conducted every day.
This was because players were more interested in winning than the frequency of the game. Thus, Satta Matka remains a popular form of lottery in India to this day.
What Led to Matka Gambling Getting Banned in India?
During the 1980s and 1990s, Matka gambling had gained massive popularity in India, with transactions worth crores of Rupees.
This was huge money back then. Market researchers and journalists from that era reported that the monthly bets would sometimes exceed ₹500 crores!
The increasing popularity of Satta Matka did not go unnoticed by local bookies, who quickly took advantage of the situation. Betting shops began to spring up, particularly around the textile mills in Parel, Central Bombay, and Kalbadevi, South Bombay.
By 1995, more than 2000 medium and big bookies had established their ‘Matka dens’ in Bombay and neighboring cities. Unfortunately, the widespread nature of these activities soon drew the attention of the law.
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 deemed it an immoral and illegal way of making money since it didn’t generate revenue for the government, but only enriched bookies, posing a threat to society and the economy.
Moreover, the game’s format, single-digit lotteries, made it riskier. Single-digit lotteries have high winning odds and can be extremely addictive for the uninitiated.
Taking all these risks into account, law enforcement agencies did not hesitate to conduct raids and crackdowns on these providers of luck.
Some bookies shut shop, while others fled or went underground. The established Matka dens were relocated to the outskirts of Maharashtra and other states such as Rajasthan and Gujarat.
By the 2000s, the number of bookies had dwindled to fewer than 300, and their average monthly turnover had dropped to around ₹100 crores.
The ban on Matka gambling had a significant impact on the industry, but it was necessary to curb illegal activities and protect the citizens from its harmful effects.
What was the Scenario Post Ban?
After the prohibition, the consequences were severe. The once unregulated Satta Bazar (Matka market) became not only unregulated but also undisclosed. Fraudsters ran unfair trades to deceive unsuspecting customers who wanted to play the lottery.
Most draws were manipulated, and people were cheated out of their money. Once the investment was lost, it was lost forever; there was no way to recover it. Matka had earned a bad reputation and was nowhere near what Ratan Khatri and Kalyanji Bhagat had envisioned.
A similar story highlights the benefits of online lottery compared to traditional methods. It describes how a Punjab lottery winner almost lost ₹2 crore, suggesting that online lottery is a better option.
With the disappearance of a fair source for Matka gambling, people turned to other forms of gambling, such as zhatpat lotteries and cricket betting.
Additionally, the advent of the Internet in India brought about online gambling, which was gaining popularity. High rollers, in particular, explored their options for playing lotteries online.
Despite the advancements, the passion for Matka lottery in India has not entirely died out, despite being banned across the nation. This is evidenced by the numerous Satta Matka rackets that are exposed daily.
Those who understand the risks and legal consequences have switched to playing international lotteries online. These sites are based abroad, which makes them and the players safe from Indian law.
Some of these sites have even gone the extra mile to create Matka-like online lotteries to cater to fans of this ancient game.
What are the Rules of Satta Matka?
Satta Matka is a straightforward game to play as the fundamental rules are easy to understand. Each game is divided into two rounds, which are typically referred to as ‘day’ and ‘night’ or ‘open’ and ‘close.’
In every round, players need to select three numbers ranging from 0 to 9, which are then added up. If the total is a single-digit number, it is considered for the final sequence. If it is a two-digit number, only the last digit is used for the final sequence.
For instance, let’s suppose that the numbers 1, 3, and 7 are chosen in the first round. The sum would be 1 + 3 + 7 = 11, and the last digit, which is 1, would be the first digit in the final sequence.
Similarly, if the numbers 1, 2, and 3 are picked in the second round, the total would be 1 + 2 + 3 = 6, which would be the second digit in the final sequence. Eventually, the final number sequence would look something like this: 1, 3, 7*1 X 6*1, 2, 3.
The player would then wager on whether the first or second digit/sequence or both would be drawn. Bets on individual digits/sequences must be placed before the respective rounds, while bets on both digits/sequences must be placed before the first round.
For each round, the organizers would draw three cards from a standard deck of 52 playing cards, and the values of these cards would be added up. In this game, aces are valued at 1, 2 through 9 at face value, and 10 at 0. The same process is then followed to arrive at the final number sequence.
Please note that in Satta Matka, Kings, Queens, and Jacks are not considered. If the predicted digits or sequences match the drawn digits or sequences, a win is declared. Payouts in Satta Matka range from 9:1 to 999:1. For every ₹100 wagered, the payout would be as follows:
- ₹900 for correctly guessing one digit or sequence (9 X 100 = ₹900)
- ₹9,000 for correctly guessing both digits or sequences (90 X 100 = ₹9,000)
It’s worth noting that there are variations to the basic rules and payouts in Satta Matka. For more information, please read our comprehensive article on how to play Matka.
Play the Best Matka Gambling Games
If you’re looking to play Matka gambling games offline, you’ll find several variants to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of the top Matka games available, but it’s important to note that none of them are legal and should not be played with real money in India. This list is only for informational purposes.
Some of the top Matka games include…
- Dpboss Matka
- Gali Satta
- Kalyan Matka
- Lotus Matka
- Madhur Matka
- Matka 420
- Matka Boss
- Milan Day/Night Matka
- New Worli Matka
- Prabhat Satta Matka
- Rajadhani Matka
- Sridevi Matka
- Supreme Matka
- Tara Matka
- Time Bazar
- Worli Matka
For those who prefer to play Matka games online, there are also several options available. Some popular online Matka games include…
- Jhatka Matka by Lottoland
- Matka by Aura Gaming
- Worli Matka by Royal Gaming
It’s worth noting that online Matka games may also be illegal in some regions, so it’s important to check the local laws before playing.
Is Matka legal in India?
The legality of Satta Matka in India is not black and white. Playing the game by wagering real money or materials is considered a crime according to the law, but if it is done purely for fun, it is not a punishable offense. Nonetheless, setting up a physical gambling den to host Matka and visiting one to partake in the game is considered a criminal act under the Public Gambling Act of 1867.
What is a Matka King?
Anyone who draws the numbers for the participants in the game of Satta Matka is often referred to as the Matka King. Nevertheless, the phrase could also be used to refer to the winners. For those who have an affinity for the classic version of the lottery, Ratan Khatri is the only Matka King.
Can Matka be played online?
With websites such as Lottoland and Jungliwin, it is now possible to play Satta Matka online from the comfort of your own home. These sites offer Matka-like games, but with some twists to the original rules and payouts. The fun factor, nevertheless, remains the same.
Is there a way to check Matka results?
If you are playing the Matka, you have two options to check the results – offline and online. To check the results offline, you must contact the Matka King or the person conducting the draw in person to find out if you have won. This activity is illegal, which is why result sheets are not publicly available.
Alternatively, several websites on the internet provide the results of the Matka games held every day. Although the sources of these websites and the accuracy of the results they post cannot be confirmed, many people still rely on them to check Matka results online.
However, we advise against such practices and instead suggest playing the legal, online variants of the game. You can check the results on legitimate lottery websites and be assured that the results are authentic and the winnings are guaranteed.
Does any Matka gambling software exist?
If you are searching for software to assist you in Matka gambling, know that there isn’t a reliable or credible program out there that is worth your time. The game of Matka is based largely on luck, so any software would be of little help.
Instead, you can try your luck with Lottoland’s Jhatka Matka, a game created and managed by the site’s owner. This is the best chance to get in on some Matka fun.
Does any Matka game pay the full rate?
No Matka game pays the full rate, no matter who promises it. A full rate in Matka would be a minimum of ₹10 for each ₹1 bet, which would mean the operator of the game would not make a profit at all.
Normally, the payouts are 9/1, giving the player ₹9 for each ₹1 bet, with the operator making a 10% profit on each wager. Unfortunately, there are some websites that advertise higher payouts to try and entice people to join, when in reality they are just scamsters.