Long back on a fateful day in 1962, the unthinkable happened. An odd man visited the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office and called out to some of the crime reporters there. He wanted them to come with him to cover a sensational story.
The arrival of Matka
The man then led those reporters to a shop where an earthen pot or ‘matka’ was kept. Beside the pot, there was a pack of cards too. The man introduced himself as Rattan Khatri. Khatri then proceeded to remove the king, queen, and jack cards from the deck. Afterward, to everyone’s surprise, he put the remaining cards inside the ‘matka.’
He then offered the reporters to each withdraw a card from the pot by putting their hands inside it. He then declared the drawn card numbers would be the lucky numbers for the day. Khatri confidently announced that a new form of gambling was born, which will be known as ‘matka.’ In the near future, you can also play matkasafely online soon.
The Matka King
Having discovered the game and providing it the required fame, Khatri was deservedly called the ‘The Matka King.’ Unfortunately, he breathed his last on May 9, leaving an unfilled void in the world of gambling. He had suffered a brain stroke which is being attributed to his untimely death.
Given his vast popularity and someone who was the cause of the twist of multiple fates, many in the gambling world are still unaware of his death. According to sources, even at a ripe age, Khatri always used to play games of chance.
The usual passer-by would often spot him at the Mahalaxmi racecourse dressed up in a white kurta-pajama with a black bandana on his forehead. The news of Khatri’s death sent pangs of nostalgia across the county, reminding the nation of the old Bombay city.
What is ‘matka’ and how to play it?
Matka is a bit like Tambola, where people bet on specific lucky numbers. To play ‘matka’:
- Pick any three numbers from 0-9. Let’s suppose you chose 3, 6, and 7.
- To make the game more exciting, you can also introduce the element of adding up the three chosen numbers. We arrive at the sum: 3+6+7= 16. 16 is now the final SattaMatka number.
- The last digit of 16 would be used for the draw. So, your first draw would be 3,6,7, 6. This would be the first set of numbers. Similarly, we will arrive at a second set of numbers following the same procedure. Now, we have two sets of numbers.
- The game of MatkaSatta has various payouts ranging from 9/1 to 999/1. The bookie has all sorts of bets at your disposal. You can predict whether your number will come up first or last. This makes the game exciting because of the attractive payout multiples.
A parallel king: Kalyanji Gala
There was another man who made fortunes and rose in the gambling world with the help of the game of Matka. He was none other than Kalyanji Gala, who hailed from Kutch. He was a loyal fellow and was popularly called “The King of Kutch.” Kalyanji used to run a Kirana shop when he learned about the rising popularity of gambling and its lucrativeness.
The late Kalyanji devised a game of his own. He found the waiting system for the numbers an inefficient process since it occurred only on five days of a week. He instead thought of constructing a system where people could place bets on numbers using a deck of playing cards.
The deck consisted of 12 numbers where the queen and king represented the number ‘11’ and ‘12’. The idea was a hit and exploded within a month. It was subsequently known as ‘WorliMatka’ since its place of origin was Vinod Mahal in Worli.
The primary reason for its popularity was that people were free to bet any amount starting from one rupee. Mainly mill workers arrived in large groups to try their luck at the game.
Zaveri Bazar was a popular betting spot, so many bookies had contacted Kalyanji, but he did not have time to start the game in another area. He decided to hand over the franchise to Khatri instead. It came as a surprise to police officials that there were hardly any law and order issues in Matka dens, unlike liquor dens.
With the rise of cricket betting, the popularity of Matka betting gradually started dwindling. Many old-timers complain that the old honesty and integrity associated with the game now usually seem to be missing. It has disappeared now from the offline sphere and is gaining prominence in the online world now. We are yet to witness a proper transition, but we have high expectations from a game with such an exciting story.