If you’re an avid poker online gambler living in New Zealand, then there may be opportunities awaiting you at gambling sites that you don’t even know about.

Online casinos in NZ offer a wide range of different online poker game types, such as online poker for real money, free online poker, live poker, video poker and many other different styles of this card game.

This gives you the real-life thrill of betting against equally poker players or against the computer free or for real money, while still enjoying the comforts of your own home.

Read the article below to learn how New Zealand (NZ) natives, or visitors, can get the most out of their online poker experience and find the most trusted poker online sites to play at.

Best poker sites in NZ

Is playing poker online legal in NZ?

Poker online and online gambling laws are different depending on the region you live in. So it is sensible to ask, can you even play online poker in NZ?

Thankfully, playing poker online at overseas casino sites is absolutely legal, though there are some local legal stipulations involved.

New Zealand’s Gambling Act of 2003 prohibits online gambling institutions from operating within NZ, but betting and gambling on offshore gambling sites it is 100% legal.

Is it safe to play poker online?

However, local players are free to play in an online setting so long as that operation is based outside of NZ. This leads to a second question, is it safe to play at those offshore?

This depends primarily on the casino you choose.

The legal status of online gambling in NZ means that any criminal or fraud charges are determined by the local legal system that the casino operates in.

When choosing an organization for online poker, pick one that is located in a legal gambling zone.

They will be certified and regulated, reducing the chances of fraud and providing legal recourse to players in a worst-case scenario.

How to play poker – Rules!

Online poker is accessible and relatively easy to learn. Technically speaking, all you need is a computer and a functional internet connection.

You will usually be asked to join an online membership and provide all the relevant personal data necessary for the operator to see that you’re not gambling online illegally.

This just means that they need to know you’re over eighteen and that online gambling of this type is legal in your location.

Once your membership clears you can deposit a set amount and turn that into online poker “chips” with which to play.

Online poker real money vs free online poker

One of the great things about an online casino is that you don’t necessarily have to play with real money, even in a live game. If you enjoy online poker simply for the fun of it there are betting options available to you that limit your risk. This is a great tool for those just starting out who haven’t learned poker yet.

However, the returns are obviously limited and an online casino will typically still charge some kind of fee for using their services. Still, free online poker is a good way to brush up on skills, learn a new game, or simply unwind if you enjoy the game but don’t want to spend too much on it.

What are the types of poker games online?

The online casino options available to poker players offer a wide variety in game styles.

These include both the poker classics as well as some more innovative types of gameplay.

live dealer on online poker

How to choose the best poker online rooms?

Once you know the poker game you want to play how do you pick the best online poker room? Typically digital tables are sorted by betting amount. This means that it is crucial to choose the right room, with a game style and betting amount that best suits your preferences and budget. Here are some tips to remember going in.

  1. Loud poker tables are more profitable. This is a common phrase in traditional poker, referring to the fact that people who are having fun tend to bet more freely. This increases your chances of walking away with a decent winning.
  2. Watch the players bets. If your goal is money then keep an eye on the player betting amounts just as much as the poker table bet limit. If players are keeping tight to the minimum then chances are you’ll be putting in a lot of time and getting a minimal return on that investment.
  3. Learn the other players. This is true of poker games regardless of the setting, you’re playing against one another, not the dealer. Get a feel for how the other poker players bet and their experience level so that you can predict their moves and make bets to your own advantage.

Don’t miss pro poker tips before you play online!

Poker, whether online or in-person can be a major rush. However, keep these five tips in mind to help guide you to a rewarding experience.

  • Set a pot-limit – A pot limit is just a consistent amount that you’re willing to spend per day. Establish a pot-limit and stick to it, win or lose to help you keep track of your poker earnings.
  • Play poker for fun – Profit is up or down in the gambling world but if you enjoy yourself you’ll always feel like you came out ahead. In a practical sense, letting yourself get anxious or obsessive impairs your ability to objectively view a situation and see advantages or disadvantages.
  • Avoid alcohol – Sometimes people play poker more to socialize than to win, so drinks often flow freely around the poker table. However, alcohol impairs your judgment and observation skills and there are other players who might take advantage of this and get you to spend more than you should. If you really want to unwind with a drink and an online poker game then consider a free play game or a smaller betting amount.
  • Create a distraction-free space for online gaming – The convenience of online poker can be appealing, however, it is sometimes a double-edged sword. Get yourself too comfortable and you may end up with only one eye on the screen as you play games or browse online. That’s an easy way to end up in a losing streak.
  • Consider your comfort – This sounds self-indulgent but it can translate to real benefits. Poker can often be a waiting game and that means staying at the height of focus. Make sure you have a comfortable set up or you may end up making snap decisions because a sore back is bugging you.

Poker hands

In poker, the hands are as follows:

  • Royal Flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, all in the same suit.
  • Straight Flush  Five cards in sequence, all of the same suit.
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same rank.
  • Full House – Both three of a kind and a pair.
  • Flush Any –  five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence.
  • Straight Five  cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit.
  • Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same rank.
  • Two Pair – Two different pairs.
  • Pair Two  cards of the same rank.
  • High Card – when you haven’t made any of the hands above, the highest card plays.
hand ranking and value videopoker
Here you can see hand value for every possible outcome in a poker game!

What are the key aspects of online poker?

Well, in poker the goal is to beat the other poker players and not the dealer. As such you receive five cards which, when combined in the right order, form a hand. Hands come in varying hierarchies and the poker player with the strongest hand wins the round.

  • Starting hands: contain any number of pairs of cards of the same rank. You can also have multiple pairs, as in two 2’s and two Jacks.
  • Marginal Hands: consist of straights, as in five cards in a sequence, or flushes, five cards in the same suit.
  • Medium hands: usually feature for or five cards in sequence, or multiple pairs simultaneously, like a Full House consisting of three 10’s and two 3’s.
  • Strong hands: have all five cards both in the same suit and in a sequence. The Royal Flush is the best hand in the game and consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all in the same suit.

Choose the best poker table position!

In online poker, there are usually two positions, referred to as Early and Late Position. The terms refer to which section of the table the player inhabits and in what order they play.

  • Early Position: faces both the small and large blinds and, as the name implies, go first
  • Late Position: inhabits the farther end of the table, near the button and plays after early players.

Online poker tournaments

Well, online poker tournaments function a little differently than a normal poker game, naturally.

Joining an online tournament usually involves paying the casino an upfront fee to buy a seat at the poker table and a set number of online chips.

However, these poker chips have no inherent value except that you want to end the tournament with as many as possible to collect the pot. Poker players who lose all their chips are eliminated.

All poker glossary!

Poker glossary is really huge because the game is so popular that in time so many slang words have created from the players. In this section, we have tried to find all possible glossary words in poker. So lets begun!

Most used poker glossary

  • All-In: When a player bets all their chips into the pot.
  • Call: Player contributes the minimum necessary to play a hand.
  • Check: Player passes on betting.
  • Action: Essentially players turn during a hand. Usually used to bet or raise.
  • Flush: A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.
  • Straight: A hand with 5 cards in sequence.
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same suit.
  • Fold: Player opts out of around by placing cards face down on the table. Whatever bet was made up to this point is forfeit.
  • Raise: Wagering more than the minimum needed to call. This forces the other players to put more money in or fold.

Less known poker glossary

  • Continuation Bet: The play makes a bet after missing the flop and enters the pot with a preflop raiser.
  • Drawing Dead: Player continuously draws cards that won’t create a winning hand.
  • Flop: The first three community cards dealt after the first betting round.
  • Bankroll: The predetermined amount of money a player has to play with.
  • Boat: Shorthand for a Full House.
  • Full House: Three of a kind plus a different pair.
  • Board: Five face-up community cards that everyone can use in combination with their pocket cards.
  • Muck: All discarded cards in a hand. When players fold they toss their hand “into the muck.”
  • Button: The dealer position, named for the plastic disk used in live poker.
  • River: The fifth community card.
  • Backdoor: Getting the cards you needed to make a hand on the turn and the river.
  • Bad Beat: When a player with a significant lead loses a hand to the opponent after a flop, turn, or river.
  • Rake: The amount taken out of each hand by the house.
  • Freeroll: A term with two meanings. Either a hand where the player can only split the pot or win, or a tournament with no fee.
  • Bubble: The bubble is the top finisher in a tournament that is still outside the pay range.
  • Gutshot: An inside completed by one possible card.
  • Small Blind: The smaller of two blind bets. The position to the left of the dealer button, and to the right of the big blind.
  • Kicker: If players have the same hand at showdown, the one with the highest kicker wins.
  • Limp: Another term for calling.
  • Loose: An aggressive or reckless playstyle.
  • Monster: A very large hand.
  • Burn: Discarding the top card before each betting round.
  • Nuts: The best potential hand one can have at the moment.
  • Offsuit: When you have pocket cards of different suits.
  • Outs: A card that will improve your hand.
  • Overpair: Specific to Texas Hold’em. When there is a pair in the hole larger than the community cards on the board.
  • Play the Board: Using the five community cards instead of your hand.
  • Pocket Pair: Specific to Texas Hold’em. A pocket pair is when a player has a pair in their hole cards.
  • Fourth: Street The fourth community card, placed face-up and by itself.
  • Ring: Game A standard poker game with money wagered every hand.
  • Blind: A position at the table. Refers to both the big blind or the small blind.
  • Side Pot: After players go all-in on the original pot, a side pot is created. This consists of any extra money bet by the other players. Only contributing players can win a side pot.
  • Position: Your placement at the table, generally either early or late. Determines play order.
  • Satellite: Tournament with a small buy-in. Entry fees are pooled and seats awarded to a higher-value tournament instead of cash.
  • Split Pot: Multiple players make the same hand, dividing the pot equally.
  • Top Pair: This a pair with the highest card on the board.
  • Rags: Cards that do not improve your hand.
  • Rainbow: A flop where no two cards are of the same suit.
  • Under the Gun: The player position located in the first-to-act spot. Left of the big blind.
  • Trips: Three of a kind.
  • Sit and Go: A style of poker tournament. It only starts when a certain number of players have registered.
  • Freezeout: The most common style of poker tournament. Players pay their buy-in, get chips, then play until they run out.
  • Heads-Up: Describes playing a pot or tournament against one other player only.
  • Set: A pocket pair that hits on the board and makes three of a kind.
  • Showdown: When more than one player remains after the final round. To determine who wins the remaining players expose their hands.
  • Big Blind: The number of chips the player second to the left of the dealer must bet.
  • Turn: Otherwise called,” Fourth Street.” The fourth community card placed face-up and by itself.

Poker history

Poker, or at least its European equivalent, has a long and storied history that can be traced all the way back to 16th century Europe. The modern version is likely based on a popular 17th-century card game. This game was known as Poque in France and Pochen in Germany.

However, both games are believed to have derived from the Spanish game Primero.

Primero was played by dealing three cards each to every player at the table, with the act of bluffing being a major component in the game. The game spread to North America via French colonists who, lacking modern amenities, had to find cheap ways to entertain themselves.

poker history
Poker back in the days!

Poque spread through French colonies in New Orleans and into nearby regions, growing in popularity. Over the years, it changed and developed into the game we are familiar with today, the French name adapted by English speakers into Poker.

Featuring five cards per player and a deck of 52, this version became a popular game aboard riverboats, spreading it as the boats travel up the Mississippi River and across the country. Eventually, the American version of Poker travelled back to Europe with American troops during World War I.

Poker in New Zealand land-based casinos

New Zealand is a small country with a population of 4,967,670 people. In New Zealand, there are 6 land-based casinos that are open for all 18+ visitors.

Poker is a very popular card game in land-based casinos in New Zealand and there are monthly tournaments that are open for all poker fans.

One of the most popular poker tournaments and NZ Poker Championships are in Chchc casino. The legend of New Zealand poker is Jack Efaraimo aka the “Godfather” of New Zealand poker.

Left on the photo is Jack Efaraimo, also known as The Godfather of New Zealand poker!

Frequently asked question

How do I learn to play online poker?

The easiest answer to that question is that you have to play poker to learn poker. You can learn basic mechanics fairly easily by study or observation. However, a truly good poker player knows how to read the other players at the table and bet wisely. These skills can only truly be developed through experience.

What’s the key difference between poker online versus in-person poker?

The most important difference between the two play styles is probably a simple speed. Since the cards you’re dealt online are electronic the act of shuffling decks, dealing cards, and handing out chips all happens near instantaneously. This makes the pace of an online poker game quite different.

Is there a time limit on decisions?

In online poker, typically there is no limit on how long you can wait to make your bet. However, common courtesy still applies and if you’re taking egregiously long breaks the other poker players may vote to have you kicked off the table.

How do I receive my winnings?

Online poker works a little differently than your typical poker game. Earnings from an online game will usually arrive by way of a mailed check. This can take several days.

How do online casinos make their profit?

In order to cover expenses, these online organizations will usually collect a rake. This is a standard fee taken from each poker hand played online. They may also charge fee’s per player in a tournament. This splits the overall costs between players and means that the casino is never trying to “beat” you because they get paid either way.