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Indian Poker Card (Anime)

A typical Indian Poker card, as seen in the anime.

Indian Poker (インディアンポーカー Indian Pōkā?) is a type of card which allows one to view the dreams of another.[1][2] Originally devised by Kuriba Ryouko based on work carried out at Clone Dolly Ideal,[3][4][5] they have been created and spread around Academy City.


Indian poker, or blind man's bluff, is a poker game where the players see the cards of the other players except their own. Each player is dealt one card which is displayed to the other players, traditionally stuck to the forehead like an Indian feather, followed by betting as to whether they have the highest card based on the other player's cards and their bets.


Indian Poker - Card Design

A typical Indian Poker card, as seen in the manga.

In the manga, Indian Poker cards are depicted as rectangular and light-colored, with a slightly darker hued strip running along the right border and two concentric arches of similar hue in the bottom-left corner.[1][Additional manga references]

Most of the card's front is taken up by a box with an image. Many of the seen cards have two flower-like shapes, one in the top-left and one in the bottom-right, over a dark background.[1][Additional manga references] Some high-ranked cards have a more shiny image.[6]

In the anime, the card's image has several concentric circles centred on the middle.[7][2]

The type of dream apparently affects the colors on the card, with orange supposedly being an enjoyable or happy dream.[1][8]


A dream is recorded on the card by someone who attaches a machine to themselves when they sleep. Then the person who has the card may view the same dream that was recorded on. To use the card, one must put it on their forehead when they sleep. The aroma elements in the card are smelled while asleep, producing signals in the person's brain and creating the dream.[1]

It is also said that the cards are good for learning by having someone of high proficiency in some subject create a card, for example learning another language or becoming skilled in a sport.[8][6]

The cards' ability to pass on experience and skills to people via dreams has been noted as somewhat close to brainwashing,[9] and they have been described as a Testament in card form.[10][4] The original cards developed in Clone Dolly Ideal, from which Indian Poker is derived, were intended for mental doping and brainwashing,[3][4][11] and capable of influencing an esper's Personal Reality through Personal Reality extracts recorded from another esper.[4][11][5] In its regularly distributed form, Indian Poker does not have these capabilities,[3][5] however the potential power remains within the cards, even though it is quite weak.[5] With the right preparations, that capability can be drawn out.[12][5]


  • Brainwave-reading earpiece
  • Brainwave controlled balls
  • The assembled machine

The machines used to record dreams onto cards are not commercially sold, instead being handmade based on instructions and designs uploaded online.[1][3] They are made from combinations of parts from various toys,[1][3] such as a telekinesis mimicking toy with an earpiece which reads the wearer's brainwaves to control a ball.[1] There are multiple combinations of different toys which can be used to construct the card dispenser.[1][3]

Once the card dispenser is built and a blank card is ready, the supplier goes to sleep while connected to the machine and it will record their dream on the card, with the aromatic elements inside the card being mixed according to the contents of the dream and the color reflecting the type of dream (e.g. orange for joy and happiness).[1][2] One problem is that the supplier usually doesn't know what kind of dream they will have and be recorded. However, with esper abilities capable of manipulating the brain to a certain degree (such as Mitsuari Ayu's Mental Stinger and Shokuhou Misaki's Mental Out) and the right preparations, it is possible to control the sleeper's mind to make them have a specific dream,
  • Recording the dream
  • Reproducing the dream
which aside from producing a card with the desired dream also allows for the production of multiple copies.[13]

To use an Indian Poker card, the film on card's front must be peeled off to activate it, then the card must be placed on a person's forehead and if the person is not already asleep, they must go to sleep.[1][2][14][15] The enclosed aromatic elements and electrical signals stimulate the sleeper's brain while they sleep to reproduce the dream inside their mind.[1][2] If the film is peeled off before the time it is intended to be used, it will be activated prematurely, reacting and releasing its contents, becoming useless in the process.[14]

In order to experience another person's dream, an image created by the brain during sleep, the actions of the original person's brain during sleep must be reproduced.[12] This means that the card's user experiences the same chemical reactions in their brain as the supplier.[12] Aside from the conditions enabling sleep learning,[8][9][12][4] if the supplier was being affected by an external influence like invasive hypnotism at the time, the user will be also be subjected to the same influence.[12]

Certain espers are capable of either reading the information on an Indian Poker card,[16] or skimming and copying it to a blank card,[17] without actually using it.[17][16]

Dream RankerEdit

Those with the ability to create great dreams for others are known as a Dream Ranker (天賦夢路 (ドリームランカー) Tenpu Yumeji (Dorīmu Rankā)?, lit., "Natural Talent Dreamer"). Those that can create useful cards are given ranks, with the highest being "S" or "A" rank, whose cards can sell for lots of money.[1][8][2] A similar ranking system is also used for the cards produced.[6]


Normally, Indian Poker cards are exchanged between circles of friends without any monetary exchange involved. However, the demand for particular cards increases as the value of the card increases, allowing people to earn an income out of performing transactions involving Indian Poker cards. (One notable exception is the high-ranking Dream Ranker known as BLAU, who distributes his Indian Poker cards for free.[8]) For this reason, some people act as "traders", who mainly engage in transactions involving Indian Poker cards, notably the exchange of a single card of a particular rank for multiple low-ranked cards or the direct purchase of a card using money.[6]

With Indian Poker cards being sold online, certain people have taken advantage of it for a con, attaching a photo of an attractive girl to a card and claiming that it is part of the dream to sell it for a high price and make a profit.[18]


Shundou Toshizou with the original card - Astral Buddy Ch15

Shundou Toshizou with the original card used in Ideal

The original cards which became the basis for Indian Poker were developed as part of the experiments being performed at Clone Dolly's third laboratory, Ideal.[4][5] Kuriba Ryouko, the creator of Indian Poker, visited Clone Dolly several times prior to its closure.[3] By recording and teaching an impure version of an esper's Personal Reality extracted through their dreams to alter multiple espers' powers in a desired direction, researchers hoped to guide them into creating the "ideal" power they sought, with Yuuri Senya acting as the core.[4] Shundou Toshizou had plans to spread the cards throughout Academy City after the experiment, but they were dashed by the experiment's disastrous outcome and the subsequent shutdown of Ideal after his Board sponsor pulled out (as part of a deal with Shokuhou Misaki).[11]

Long after the Ideal incident, following the conclusion of an experiment where she had been separated into two cyborgs for a year before being recombined, Kuriba Ryouko learnt of her mechanical doppelganger, supposedly another soul created as a side-effect of the experiment which had come to reside in the combined cyborg parts. Unable to come up with a solution to the problem with her own knowledge, she hoped that by distributing the method to create Indian Poker cards and spreading her knowledge through the cards, it would eventually mutate to produce a solution or find someone capable of achieving a breakthrough.[3][19] Around the same time as Indian Poker was spreading, persons associated with Clone Dolly Ideal, moved to make use of the cards to accomplish Ideal's unachieved goal.[5][13]


Toaru Kagaku no RailgunEdit

Dream Ranker ArcEdit

Main article: Dream Ranker Arc
Misaka Mikoto was introduced to Indian Poker by Hokaze Junko, who gave
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E16 04m 58s

Saten explaining how the Indian Poker card works.

her a card in an attempt to apologize for causing a quarrel between her and Shokuhou Misaki, explaining it as a popular card used to peek into the dreams of someone. Seeing Mikoto's card, Saten Ruiko explained its purpose and how it was made. Using the card that night, Mikoto dreamt of a world filled with Gekota, which greatly pleased her. She frolicked with the Gekota until she was led to a castle by one of them and met the queen, who turns out to be Shokuhou. Mikoto was then forced to be her maid for the remainder of the dream, until her sheer rage allowed her forcefully leave the dream.[1][2] The following day, Saten told Mikoto about how the cards could be used for sleep learning. After Saten left, Mikoto met Hokaze again (though she did not tell her how she found
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E16 13m 29s

BLAU's comeuppance

the dream) and was invited to tea. On arriving, she found Shokuhou also there, displeasing both of them. Hearing Hokaze mention Indian Poker, Shokuhou told the two not to go any further with it. They then overheard Aogami Pierce, going by the Dream Ranker name BLAU, distributing erotic dream cards to other boys for free. After hearing about cards that involved them, the two Level 5s teamed up to destroy the cards, erasing electronic evidence and memories.[8][2]

During Shirai Kuroko's cooperation with Miyama Shaei, a young girl used knowledge obtained from Indian Poker to make a chemical which she thought would keep cherry blossom trees in bloom year-round, but ended up creating a highly flammable compound which caused a large fire in the park.[20][21][22][6][23]

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E18 07m 41s

The only S-rank card Bust Upper

Several days later the tea party and shortly after the fire, Mikoto watched Saten's skillful use of a kendama toy, learned through Indian Poker, with Saten looking to get a pen twirling one next. Shortly afterwards, she encountered a man who had set up a makeshift stand for trading and selling cards. Kinuhata Saiai was also present as the card trader's customer, looking for a story dream rather than a skill one. Mikoto did not seem to recognize her, and Kinuhata was off-duty and did not want to engage in unnecessary business. Still apprehensive after her previous experiences with Indian Poker, Mikoto kept her sentiments until the trader brought out his only S-rank card in possession, which he identified as the Bust Upper.[6][24]

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E18 21m 59s

The girl appear to have a bigger bust size than before.

A short dispute between Mikoto and Kinuhata resulted in the trader's cards being scattered and mixed up, with the Bust Upper card lost among them. Buying all of the cards, the two teamed up to go through them all and find the information they wanted.[14][24] Outbursts due to several dreams resulted in the girls being forced to use an outdoor location and subsequently a crow made off with the shiny Bust Upper card while they were sleeping, with the card eventually ending up in the hands of a girl who had been at the trader shortly before the dispute. Saten and Uiharu Kazari later saw the girl, now apparently with a larger bust.[25][24]

Scientists also began making use of the cards to record their knowledge as a form of insurance. News that information on the Tweezers had apparently been leaked via the cards came to the attention of SCHOOL.[26] During their investigation, Yobou Banka used his ability to skim the contents of a card in a vault and copy them to his own blank one, while a team attempted to abduct Saten, who had previously posted about obtaining a card from 'someone who could use chopsticks to grab even the smallest things'.[26][17] Frenda Seivelun's intervention to save her led to SCHOOL's sniper Yumiya Rakko being dispatched and a battle between the two which ended in the latter's defeat.[17][27][28] SCHOOL ultimately managed to obtain information on where the Tweezers would soon be used, under a week before the events of October 9th.[28]

The proliferation of Indian Poker led to information previously restricted to School Garden leaking outside, with the nature of the card's production complicating the schools' efforts to prevent information leaks. After toys used to make the card dispenser were recalled by their manufacturers, likely under pressure from School Garden, an alternative design using different toys was uploaded. Judgment and Anti-Skill attempted to find the uploader without success.[3]

Around the same time, Keitz Nokleben had identified Kuriba Ryouko as Indian Poker's creator for Shokuhou Misaki, who had recognized the theory behind the cards and intended to crush the one who had spread them.[3] Learning of the experiment she was involved in, Shokuhou asked Mikoto for assistance,[3][29] after teasing her about the previous incident, having read the trader's mind.[30] The two made contact with Kuriba shortly after her doppelganger had escaped,[3][29][18][19] two months before the point where Kuriba calculated she would get a solution.[31] The ensuing events led to the doppelganger's termination, ending the problem the cards were meant to help solve.[32][33]

Jailbreaker ArcEdit

Main article: Jailbreaker Arc

Following the resolution of the problem faced by its creator and with the card supply cut off, Indian Poker started to die off. Saten managed to buy a card for a youth Olympics level running long jump right at the end, and hoped to use the skill in the Jailbreak Trial, but never got the chance to do so.[34]

Known Indian Poker CardsEdit

Image Dream Source User Details

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E16 06m 27s Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E16 06m 34s Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E16 07m 23s Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E16 07m 34s Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T E16 07m 48s

Gekota and Friends, Maid and Queen Hokaze Junko Misaka Mikoto A card which Hokaze Junko gave Misaka Mikoto as an apology for an earlier incident. It was orange - the color of a fun dream.[1][8][2]

The dream is set in the grounds of a castle, surrounded by fields and woods. Gekota and friends live in the fields and woods, while the castle is owned by a queen, a role played by Shokuhou Misaki, who is expecting a new maid, a role which will be filled by the dreamer when they arrive.[1][2]

Mikoto had fun frolicking with Gekota and friends in the first part of the dream, but was less pleased about being made to serve as Shokuhou's maid in the second part, eventually waking up in rage.[1][2]

Indian Poker - Ninja Training Ninja Training Kuruwa Misaka Mikoto One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, it was used by Misaka Mikoto while she and Kinuhata Saiai were trying to find the Bust Upper that had got mixed among the cards.[14]

One of Kuruwa's dreams, it involved ninja training with Hattori Hanzou. The training included running, hanging from ropes in a forest, and walking a canyon tightrope over a river.[14]

The ninja training was not what she imagined, thinking ninja techniques included summoning frogs and make clones of oneself. Wanting to quit, she ended up being attacked and pursued for desertion after saying it out loud.[14]

Indian Poker - No Growth No Growth Yoshikawa Kikyou Misaka Mikoto One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, it was used by Misaka Mikoto while she and Kinuhata Saiai were trying to find the Bust Upper that had got mixed among the cards.[14][25]

The dream had Mikoto take on the role of Yoshikawa Kikyou, looking at her unchanging monthly chest measurements and thinking about Yomikawa Aiho in comparison. She tried to look at it positively as a sign of maintaining her youth, only to see that her waist measurement had increased.[25]

Indian Poker - Kinuhata and Tsuchimikado Maid Outfits Tsuchimikado Maika Kinuhata Saiai One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, it was used by Kinuhata Saiai while she and Misaka Mikoto were trying to find the Bust Upper that had got mixed among the cards.[14][25]

The dream involved Tsuchimikado Motoharu trying to get his sister Maika (whose place Kinuhata took) to try on outfits in their apartment.[25]

Indian Poker - Street Artists Street Artists Unnamed roadside artist Misaka Mikoto A card being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, it was used by Misaka Mikoto while she and Kinuhata Saiai were trying to find the Bust Upper that had got mixed among the cards.[14][25]

In the dream, Mikoto was in the role of a street performer with a guitar, watching Fusou Ayame perform on a street at night. After the performance, Fusou got her a canned drink and on being asked, described the reasoning behind her choice of attire.[25]

Indian Poker - Secret Techniques Ninja Techniques Kuruwa Kinuhata Saiai A card being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, it was used by Kinuhata Saiai while she and Misaka Mikoto were trying to find the Bust Upper that had got mixed among the cards.[14][25]

One of Kuruwa's dreams, it involved reading a scroll describing feminine techniques to charm and ensnare men. Kinuhata was annoyed at the emphasis on breasts throughout the text, her mood briefly improving on reading a section about using legs instead, only to wake up in rage after a comment that they still couldn't beat breasts.[25]

Indian Poker - Classroom Antics Classroom Antics Himegami Aisa Misaka Mikoto One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, it was used by Misaka Mikoto while she and Kinuhata Saiai were trying to find the Bust Upper that had got mixed among the cards.[14][25]

In the dream, Mikoto assumed Himegami Aisa's place in a classroom of A Certain High School, watching Fukiyose Seiri deal with Aogami Pierce and Tsuchimikado Motoharu's antics, with Himegami thinking how Fukiyose shines while she is always hiding behind her and wondering if she could change if she had one of her traits. However, Himegami's example of having Fukiyose's chest rather than a 'mere' C-cup, caused Mikoto to wake up in rage.[25]

Indian Poker - Kuriba Ryouko Kuriba Ryouko Kuriba Ryouko Misaka Mikoto One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, it was used by Misaka Mikoto while she and Kinuhata Saiai were trying to find the Bust Upper that had got mixed among the cards.[14][25]

Unlike with the other dreams, Mikoto didn't assume the clothes and role of another. In a black void, Kuriba Ryouko appeared before her and cryptically spoke of dreams and hopes for the future, as well as a threat which could not be ignored but could lead to another threat if eliminated, splitting down the middle as the dream concluded.[25]

Bust Upper Bust Upper creator (allegedly) Unnamed girl A silver S-Rank card, the only one held by the Indian Poker Merchant at the time of Misaka Mikoto and Kinuhata Saiai's visit.[6] It supposedly contains the dream of a certain genius scientist who vanished, someone said to be eccentric even by Academy City standards, and the details of their final research project. The essence of the Bust Upper is said to be sealed inside.[6]

An accident led to the card being lost among others and while the two girls were dreaming through the cards to find the Bust Upper,[14][25] a crow made off with the shiny card. After being startled, the card fell into the hands of another girl, who was later seen with an apparently larger bust.[25]

BLAU's dream BLAU's Dreams Aogami Pierce (BLAU) Various boys Erotic dreams involving celebrities and notable figures, produced by Aogami Pierce (aka BLAU) and given to other boys (including Saraku) for free.[8][2]

The cards had heart shapes on their frontal image.[8] They were destroyed after Misaka Mikoto and Shokuhou Misaki overheard talk of dreams involving them.[8][2]

The image is from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Volume 11's bonus content.[35]

Conversational English Someone fluent in English One of the cards mentioned by Saten Ruiko when explaining the 'sleep-learning' capabilities of Indian Poker. The apparent example she had heard of was someone mastering conversational English in a night from the dream of someone fluent in English.[8]
Pro-level Bowling A famous bowler One of the cards mentioned by Saten Ruiko when explaining the 'sleep-learning' capabilities of Indian Poker. The apparent example she had heard of was someone learning pro-level bowling technique from the dream of a famous bowler.[8]
Chemicals Someone with chemical knowledge Unnamed girl A card which gave the user knowledge involving chemicals, which they used to make a compound which they thought would make cherry blossom trees bloom all year round, administered by ampoules into the ground near the trees. Unknown to them, it resulted in the trees being filled with a flammable organonitrogen compound.[20][22][6]
Kendama Saten Ruiko A card which Saten used to obtain Kendama skills.[6]
Pen Twirling Expert pen twirler A card which Saten planned to get to obtain pen twirling skills.[6] Whether she obtained it or not isn't known.
Portugese Portugese language professor One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, produced by a Portugese language professor for learning the language.[6]
Card Tower Card tower expert Saten Ruiko A card produced by a card tower expert which Saten sought.[25] She obtained it but wasn't entirely successful with her attempt to build a card tower.[26]
Crackers American cracker champion One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, produced by an American cracker champion.[26]
Coin Stacking Record holder One of the cards being sold by the Indian Poker Merchant, produced by a coin stacking record holder.[26]
Chopsticks One of the cards sold to Saten Ruiko by the Indian Poker Merchant, produced by someone with amazing skill using chopsticks, capable of grabbing even the smallest things.[26]

The description led SCHOOL to consider it as a possibility for the card holding the leaked information on the Tweezers, resulting in an attempted abduction.[26][17]

School Garden Information Leak Source Various Various Cards with dreams from people related to Tokiwadai Middle School, School Garden and major companies, containing secret information which is common knowledge to insiders but valuable to outsiders. Mentioned in a Judgment meeting regarding the information leaks.[3]
Long Jump Youth Olympic-level athlete Saten Ruiko A card which Saten bought during clearance as Indian Poker was dying off, for a youth Olympic level long jump. She hoped to use it during the Jailbreak Trial, but did not get the catch.[34]

Concept Art DesignsEdit


  • This concept is similar to the Level Upper in that it was created and spread throughout Academy City, becoming a trend, in order for its creator to resolve a certain problem they are unable to on their own.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 071
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T Episode 16
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 085
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 015
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 019
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 077
  7. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T - Dream Ranker Arc PV
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 072
  9. 9.0 9.1 Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 003
  10. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 093
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 016
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 010
  13. 13.0 13.1 Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 023
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 078
  15. Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 007
  16. 16.0 16.1 Astral Buddy Manga Chapter 004
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 081
  18. 18.0 18.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 087
  19. 19.0 19.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 088
  20. 20.0 20.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 074
  21. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 075
  22. 22.0 22.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 076
  23. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T Episode 17
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T Episode 18
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 25.12 25.13 25.14 25.15 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 079
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 080
  27. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 082
  28. 28.0 28.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 083
  29. 29.0 29.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 086
  30. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 084
  31. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 090
  32. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 095
  33. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 097
  34. 34.0 34.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 099
  35. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Volume 11
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