Satta Matka is a form of gambling that finds its beginning to pre-independence India. Matka gambling originated with the betting on opening and closing rates of Cotton that was traded on the New York Cotton exchange and transmitted to the Bombay Cotton Exchange. In the pre-independence era, Satta Matka was also called ‘Ankada Jugar’ or gambling of figures.

Players participating in the game pick a number and place their bet on the number. Players who get the number right are rewarded well financially. The winner of the bet or ‘Satta’ is called the ‘Satta King’. The method involved pulling out slips with numbers from an earthen pot or ‘Matka’.

In 1961, the New York Cotton Exchange discontinued this practice which led many people to look for alternatives in order to keep the Matka business alive. It was at this point that a Sindhi Merchant called Rattan Khatri turned up and proposed a new concept of using imaginary products and playing cards to declare the opening and closing rates.

There are two popular Matka games, namely Kalyan and New Worli. These games are named after two Satta Kings, Kalyanji Bhagat, and Rattan Khatri. Kalyanji Bhagat was a farmer from Gujarat who started the Kalyan Matka. The Kalyan Matka ran for all days of the week. He is also the one who started the Worli Matka. The New Worli Matka was started by Rattan Khatri, and he ran the Matka for only five days a week.

Mill workers and labourers were the low hanging fruits for these Matka kings and soon there was an emerging group of bookies in many parts of Mumbai. The Matka business of today is centred majorly around Maharashtra.

There Are Certain Key Terminologies That Are Used In The Game

Satta Matka gambling
  • Matka – An earthen pot that was earlier used to draw the numbers from.
  • Single-A digit between 0-9
  • Jodi / Pair – Digits coming in a pair. For instance, 00-99
  • Patti / Panna – A number having three digits
  • Open result / Close result – Matka results
  • Cycle Patti – Refers to the last two digits of the pattis
  • Faraz – This is the difference between the Opening result and the Closing result
  • Berij – It is the last digit of the sum of the pair of the Jodi

Satta Matka gambling in any form is illegal in India. Despite this, in a data analysis pulled out from Google Trends, Madhya Pradesh had the words ‘Satta’ and ‘Matka’ to be the highest searched items in the year 2018.

In the ’80s and ’90s, ‘Matka’ business was rampant and huge bets in excess of Rs. 500 Crores were placed. With heavy crackdown from the Mumbai police, many of these Matka dealers were forced to flee and move shop to Rajasthan, Gujarat, and other states. Betting as a business had not died down but Matka business had taken a beating by then. New betting avenues started surfacing with sports bets also coming into play.