Reflecting tradition wrapped in modernity, playing cards is extremely popular on Diwali day. It is said that on playing cards, the goddess of wealth smile upon the player and ensures her goodwill. The memories of Diwali night can be joyful to the winners and the losers can't wait for the next Diwali to come around.
The tradition of gambling on Diwali also has a legend behind it. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year. This tradition of playing cards- flush and rummy with stakes on this particular day continues even to-day.
This day, with its emphasis on money, is also considered lucky for gambling by playing cards. Giving social sanction to a vice, a popular saying states that one who does not gamble on this day will reborn as a donkey in his next birth. Casinos and local gambling houses do brisk business during the Diwali week.
In most homes, people invite their friends and relatives over to play cards. Friends get together to indulge in games of cards. The 'addicts' seek legitimacy for their unusual pastime by referring to the celestial game of dice played by the great lord Shiva with his companion Parvati - a scene superbly sculpted at Kailash temple, Ellora. Others rationalise that this is just to remind oneself of the fickleness of lady luck and to inculcate a sense of balance in the pursuit of material success.