‘Teer Gambling’ or the game of archery is in the veins of Indians. Right from history, you can see the use of ‘Teer’ during war times or as a sport. However, teer takes a different meaning in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. Here Teer is a betting game that’s played every day in the capital and the rules are quite simple.
You have to predict the last two digits of the total number of arrows that hit the target. For example, if 1,050 arrows hit the target, then the winning number is 50, and if 1,075 arrows hit then the winning number is 75, and so forth.
Streamed Live on Facebook
Lately the state of Meghalaya has announced the comeback of its popular archery-based betting game, Teer, with the action set to be streamed live on Facebook. The Indian government allowed the non-contact sporting activity to resume as it slowly begins rolling back measures introduced to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In response, the Teer authorities have turned to Facebook Live to resume the games without spectators to help ensure physical distancing is maintained. Before the lockdown, crowds of up to 300 would regularly descend on arenas to watch the archers and place bets.
The number of archers permitted in the shooting arena will be reduced from 50 to 30 with a strict distance of five feet between them to be enforced.
According to the president of the Hills Archery Sports Institute, Philip Gean Khonsingi, they have decided to live stream the shooting. Five bookies will be allowed in the arena to ensure there is no manipulation.
He added: “There are around 5,000 people who are directly employed through Teer. More than a lakh are indirectly employed.” There was no mention of how betting would work without a crowd, though.
Meghalaya- The main center of Teer gambling
Meghalaya has around 5,000 Teer counters across its 11 districts, and betting stakes usually vary from Re 1 to Rs 100. However, some high-rollers are known to bet thousands of rupees on each bet. The pastime was legalized in the early 1980s and is governed by the Meghalaya Amusement and Betting Tax Act.
Every counter needs a license to operate. It is the owners of these counters and bookies who are the big fish in this business. But the betting also provides employment to more than 10,000 persons – mostly those who sell the tickets at the archery counter.
Now, every counter has to obtain a yearly license worth Rs 3,000 from the tax department and maintain a record of daily earnings. In addition, counters also have to provide Rs 20 every day towards the conduction of the sport, mainly the daily allowance of the archers. In recent times, illegal bets have crept in as the association no longer has to provide a No-Objection Certificate to the various counters.
The Association has 12 affiliate clubs – Malki, Laitumkhrah, Mawlai – to name a few who help in the daily conduct of Teer. These clubs have their own counters, not exactly free from conflict of interest but they take turns, providing some counter-measures to check blatant fixing.
Every day, from 10 am to 3.30 pm, people buy tickets to place their bets on numbers from 0 to 99 and at 3.30 pm, the action shifts to the archery grounds in Shillong where archers shoot arrows at target.
The daily archery shooting is conducted by the Khasi Hills Archery Sports Association, which is a group of 12 archery clubs from a particular locality of Shillong. Every day, 50 archers shoot 30 arrows each at 3.30 pm and 20 arrows in the second round at 4.30 pm.
The archers are paid Rs 250 to 300 a day. The traditional target is made of cane and is placed at a distance of 50 yards. Two results are announced every day – for the first round at 3.30 pm and the second round at 4.30 pm. A person can win Rs 80 for every Re 1 gambled on a number in the first round and Rs 60 for every Re 1 spent on the second round. If one is able to predict the number of both the first and second round, then the winning amount is much higher – as high as Rs 4,000 for every Rs 1 gambled. Punters has kept the betting game alive and well in Shillong.
Odds and Bets
Odds offered for a correct guess are uniform throughout and a winner can claim his prize by producing slips which betters are provided by the counters. There are several ways of placing a bet:
- Single: This is the most common form of placing a bet. Single or more numbers are picked and for every one rupee placed on the day’s number, the payout is eighty rupees in the first round and sixty in the second.
- House: Bets can be placed on houses or a sequence of numbers. A bet placed on 1 house would mean betting on the numbers 10 to 19 and 2 houses would mean 20 to 29. Bets would have to be placed in multiples of 10. A bet of 100 rupees on the correct house would mean a bet of 10 rupees per number and the payout would be 800 as per the rules above.
- Ending: Payout changes as bets can be placed on numbers ending with a particular digit. If 21 was the lucky number and the better had placed 100 on 1 ending, then the payout would be 900 for the first round (90 per number) and 800 for the second, slightly higher than the previous two games.
- Pair: The reward is the same as the first two and here, bets can be placed on pairs, i.e 11, 22, 33 etc.
- Forecast: The biggest game of them all. Here bets are placed for both rounds as bets would have to be placed on both rounds simultaneously. A person selecting both numbers correctly in the proper sequence (first round, then second round) would stand to make 4000 for every rupee bet. But remember, the odds of picking the probability of picking the correct pair is 1 in 10000.
Indians can also play dart games online at various online casinos which are though not similar to live teer gambling but have same style of games.