Are you searching for the best poker sites in New Zealand? You’ve come to the right page. Whether it’s poker tournaments, free-rolls, standard tables, or if you want to just take on a dealer in a live casino, our list of the best poker sites has it all. This list has been created after hours of research and intensive analysis, all to bring you access to the best poker gaming platforms currently available.
Fancy trying your luck? Pick a site from our list and play poker online at the top sites right now.
How we select the best poker casinos
It’s one thing to just provide a list of the best poker sites, but it’s another thing to share the process of coming up with our recommendations. But we believe in being as transparent as possible with our readers, which is why we’d like to show you the criteria we follow to source the best sites right here:
- Enticing welcome offers
- Licensed to provide this gaming product
- Simple gaming interfaces
- Low betting requirements
- Great range of poker variations
- Poker games available on mobile
By finding sites that contain such elements, you will get value through bonuses and enjoy poker with limits that suit your bank balance. But, most importantly, you’ll be playing poker at sites that have received our stamp of approval for their safety and security. To play poker online at sites that support such factors, it’s critical to stick to recommended sites, such as the ones listed on this page.
How to play & poker rules
Poker can seem a complex game, but after learning the basics, you will be in prime position to make the most of the best poker sites. There are quite a few variations with online poker, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s focus on Texas Hold’em:
- Two individuals will be allocated as the ‘big’ and ‘small blind’ for each hand
- Every player at the table is given a pair of cards
- To play the hand, you must stake at least the big blind (or more if someone raises)
- Three cards are then dealt – known as the flop
- Another round of betting, calling, raising, checking, folding commences before ‘the turn’ (one card issued following the flop)
- The final card drawn is known as ‘the river’, and after this card is dealt we will see who has the best combinations to win the hand
Important Poker Terms
As stated in the poker rules above, there are 5 main moves you can make when you play poker online:
A call is where you decide to ‘call’ the bet that has been made by another player at the table. This is necessary if you want to remain involved in a hand.
When you want to raise the stakes at the table, you can raise by putting in money to the pot. Other players must match the stake to keep playing.
If you are satisfied with the amount of money in the pot and don’t want to bet/raise, you can ‘check’ the hand. Everybody needs to check if the next card is to be dealt without any additional money being thrown in.
When you put money into the pot before anybody else has previously done so through a raise. This is referred to as a bet.
If your cards aren’t looking good, or you don’t want to stump up the amount of cash that another player has raised or bet, you can fold to exit the hand.
Most of the time, if you are going to get involved with poker tournaments and live poker tables at an online site, you’ll need to download poker software. When you find that a site has software available for you to download, this software is usually proprietary and unique to the site you are playing at. There is a key difference between poker software which you must download to play tournaments and software providers that are behind online poker games.
Although competitive online poker often steals the headlines, there are a number of standard poker games listed at online casinos thanks to several software providers. Some of these games include Three Card Brag, Caribbean Stud, Pai-Gow, Seven Card Stud and more. Typically, these are the games you’ll get at the best live poker sites. Just to confirm, here you are taking on a dealer in a one-on-one game rather than playing at a live poker table.
The best poker sites offer a blend of these poker games, which provides the perfect all-in-one solution.
Online poker variations
Although Texas Hold’em is viewed as the most common and popular of all poker variations, there are quite a few others to take note of. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with these variations here before you register with one of our suggested sites:
7 Card Stud
This is one of the simplest of all online poker forms, which makes it a perfect choice for those that are new to playing poker. Basically, you are issued 7 cards from the dealer and your job is to then make the strongest combination you can out of these cards. Unlike other poker forms, here you pay ‘antes’ instead of posting big or small blinds.
Omaha is somewhat similar to 7 Card Stud in that you still need to make the best 5-card hand that you can based on what you are dealt. However, here you are only dealt 4 cards instead of the 7 like in 7 Card Stud. Therefore, you need to then take on cards from the community deck to make your final hand.
Here we come back to the classic poker variation that most players want to learn, mainly because there can be some awesome tournaments to participate in for this variation. After being dealt two cards from the dealer, you can perform various actions such as call, raise, bet, check and fold as you try to win the pot. Texas Hold’em gives you a bit more control over the outcome and you can apply your poker skills to try to claim victory.
When you take the plunge and sign up with any of the best poker sites we’ve listed, expect a flurry of poker bonuses. Currently, online sites provide quite a few bonuses. One of the most common is a deposit match incentive, where your initial deposit could be matched to the tune of 50-100%, and even more at the top sites. In addition, certain sites will also give you free tournament tickets after registering, which allow you to play without using your own cash to enter. Finally, some sites also hand out no deposit bonuses, although these are slightly rarer compared to the other two.
It’s not like new players have all the fun at the best poker sites either, as many sites also hand out these kinds of bonuses to existing players.
After installing the native apps from the top sites, you essentially have poker tournaments and other online poker games available at all times – all from your smartphone. These mobile apps are incredibly sophisticated, with simple yet effective gaming interfaces and full-screen play on offer for all poker variations. Wherever you might be, you can simply sign-in through the app on iOS or Android and be involved with your favourite poker games in seconds.
If you like what you’ve seen here and you feel ready to play poker online at the top sites in NZ, just choose a brand and get started today.