Guide to the Best Online Casino Poker Sites New Zealand

Verified by Lee James Gwilliam

Welcome to our extensive guide to the best online casino poker sites in New Zealand. Our casino experts at Casinos.com explain poker games and rules and give quick reviews of the best poker sites NZ and the biggest online poker bonuses and offers for 2023. Whether you're an experienced poker player at online casinos in NZ, or a newbie just looking to learn the game, read our complete guide now!

Affiliate disclosure: At Casinos.com, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. This means that if you visit a website through our link and make a deposit, Casinos.com will receive a commission payment at no extra cost to you.
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Recommended Online Casino Poker Sites

With online poker enjoying a new surge in popularity, there is a huge array of poker sites in the UK to choose from. We have the same approach when it comes to the best casino websites. So instead of listing every poker room available to New Zealanders, our Casinos.com team has put together a list of just the best ones. You’re going to find that most casinos offer online poker in some form. There isn’t a massive range of games to choose from, so this makes them harder to find.

But that’s why we’re here! Throughout this guide, we do all the leg work for you. We highlight who's offering the best poker games right now, take a look at poker bonuses linked to those games, go through strategies that can be applied, and give you an overview of everything you need to know when playing online casino poker.

How We Review Online Poker Sites in New Zealand

One of the things we pride ourselves on the most at Casinos.com is our reviews. We try to go above and beyond what the competition is offering in an attempt to bring you comprehensive and unbiased advice.

Like all casino games, online casino poker has a dedicated team here at Casinos.com that works through casinos, looking at how they are set up for the game and, ultimately, if they are any good or not.

The team comes packed with experience. We’ve been lucky enough to get a mix of professional casino players, game designers, and online casino specialists on board to create what we think are the best reviews in the industry.

While it’s their role to see how good a casino is, the majority of our reviewers consider how things work for online casino poker players specifically. Given that online poker games and sites are a little less widespread than, say, roulette or blackjack sites, it means we have to work a little harder, but this is all part of the process.

An easy place to start for the team is the range of games that are on offer. As we've mentioned, numbers will be less than some of the more popular table games, but there is a difference between a good casino and a bad casino in this regard.

Another area that we like to look at is the availability of live online casino poker with real-life dealers. This is becoming even more popular as live casinos continue to grow in popularity, and the games are becoming better and more engaging as a result.

These games are limited compared to blackjack and the best online pokies, but some of the bigger software developers do work on them, so the quality is high across the board. Again, we highlight where you can access them and look at the games on offer from within the live casino sector.

You can also find poker games at the best roulette sites and blackjack casinos.

Even though we spend a lot of time reviewing the online casino poker section of each casino, we think it’s important to report on the whole package. It’s rare to find players that are solely looking for just online poker 100% of the time, so we take into account the range of other games that are included.

We also delve a little deeper into casino companies, assessing things like the licence in place, their customer support team, and even the software options that are available from the casinos.

Finally, we look at other incentives to play at the casino, which are mainly in the form of bonuses and promotions. Online casino poker is not always eligible for the main welcome offers, so this is an area that has to be checked as well.

It’s very much a team effort here, which means that no stone is unturned in making sure you know exactly where your hard-earned cash is going.

How to Find and Choose the Best Online Casino Poker Sites NZ

As the number of games starts to increase with online casino poker, it means that the choice becomes more difficult, in a good way. We give you as much information as we can, but ultimately the decision of where to play comes down to you.

The first place we would start is the range of games on offer. It doesn’t have to be a huge range here, just enough to make sure you have enough choices to keep coming back. We also recommend that you check the quality of the games, as these can come from different software providers.

Another area to check is the casino bonuses on offer. Not all welcome offers are accessible to online casino poker players, so you need to do some work to check the T’s and C’s here.

What you need to look out for is the contribution towards clearing the bonus. Most games come with a percentage between 0% and 100%. However, online casino poker is usually at the lower end of this scale. Anywhere around a 10% contribution is about the standard, so any higher than that, and you’re onto a winner.

By contribution, we mean the amount that counts towards clearing the bonus. So, a 10% contribution would mean that $1 for every $10 staked counts towards clearing the bonus.

Finally, make sure you stay up to date with any reviews and articles that we have on the site. We’ll keep this page up to date with the latest online casino poker offers and promotions. We also outline wagering contributions for each bonus so you know what you’re getting into before you sign up.

Be aware that just because one casino works for one player, it might not work for another. We rank casinos in the list based on what we think is the best, but there will be cases where a casino that is ranked #20 is better suited for a certain player than one that is ranked #1.

Remember to keep this page bookmarked, as we are always changing the sites that we think offer the best value to the widest range of players.

Online Casino Poker Bonuses in New Zealand

There are two main bonuses for new players playing online casino poker in New Zealand. When players join brand new online casinos, they can usually claim a welcome bonus and, if they're lucky, a dedicated online poker bonus.

Welcome bonuses are much easier to find as pretty much all online casinos offer one to new players. They are so common that if a casino doesn’t have one, we might suggest you look elsewhere.

A welcome bonus is often a match on the opening deposit. An example of an online casino sign up bonus would be that if a player were to deposit $100, then the casino would match this amount in bonus money, giving you $100 in bonus cash plus your $100 deposit.

The casino then requires you to wager through that bonus amount a certain number of times. For reference, anywhere around the 30x mark or lower is considered to be good.

The casino will also limit the contribution of stakes for each game. We also review the best no deposit casino bonuses at Casinos.com.

The second type of bonus is a dedicated online poker offer. These are quite rare in the industry, but you can still find them.

What you’ll find in terms of a difference here is that nearly 100% of the stakes made on these games will contribute to clearing the offer. The trade-off is the amount of bonus money that you can claim is often quite a bit lower.

There is one more promotion that we have to mention as well. These come in the form of a live casino bonus. Some of these offers will allow non-live online poker games to contribute to the clearing of these offers. They can be way more accessible than standard casino bonuses, offering up a much higher wagering contribution.

A final point that you need to take into account is the maximum contribution per bet. Often bonuses are limited in terms of maximum bet contribution, stopping players from just making a single bet that would cover the full amount and get the bonus money easily.

For example, they might limit this to $10, meaning that if you bet $500, then only $10 would contribute to clearing. You also need to make sure that the bonus does not disregard bets that are over the amount. This would mean that a $500 bet would not count at all towards the wagering requirements, which again can be common.

While there is a lot to take in here, what we will add is that with each review, we take the time to point all of these aspects of casino bonuses out to you. It will then allow you to make a much more informed decision about what casino bonus is best and which you want to claim.

Again, keep checking back to this page to make sure you're up to date with poker offers and the terms for each offer as well.

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Online Casino Poker Games

We mentioned a couple of times about the fact that live casinos are here to stay. One of the games that is popular at live casinos is online casino poker.

To find these games, you usually need to head to the live casino section, however, some online casinos also have virtual poker games without a live dealer. 

Moreover, note that not all live casino sections include poker, but most of the bigger casinos do, plus a few brands that are arguably online poker specialists, like 888. 

Fortunately, the standard of online poker games is higher than ever, and this comes down to an increase in technology for things like streaming, dealers, gameplay and the number of games available around the clock.

Here are some pros of live poker online:

  • Interaction: the live games are all about interaction, and the ability to chat with the dealers and other players is one of the main reasons why so many people enjoy these games.
  • Better graphics: for us, the games look a lot better than the online versions. Most of the live games come from one or two game providers who have set the bar high.
  • Game flow: poker is a game where you go head to head with the dealer, so the ability to slow the game down a little is never a bad thing within the live games.

 Like all games, there are downsides to playing live online poker, which we have listed below:

  • A limited number of games: there isn't a huge variety of games to choose from with poker at the best of times, and you will find just a couple of live games
  • Slower pace: we mentioned the slower pace being a positive above, but if you’re an adrenaline junkie when it comes to casino games, live games might seem frustrating.
  • Lack of bonuses: there aren’t all that many dedicated live poker bonuses.

Free Online Casino Poker Games

Many online casinos in NZ are going to be able to offer you a look at their free games. These are a sort of “try before you buy" deal, but for the most part, they are called “demo games”.

How this works is that the casino will give you a play money balance to go and test the games. If you’re new to poker online, then this is, without a doubt, the best way to learn without having to invest your own money into the game.

The demo games work in the same way as the real money casino games. The only difference is that your balance is fake money.

We think, as long as you are careful, free games offer one of the best ways to learn about how a casino game works. Online poker games are a little less common than some, but most of the larger casinos, assuming they offer this feature, will give you access.

Online Poker Software Providers

Given that the game is one of the more popular table games, you’re going to see that a wide range of game providers are offering up some sort of variation. The bigger companies have more games, but some of the smaller ones have a better selection.

Playtech is one of the bigger names, and with this, you get a nice variety of games. It comes in with a low house edge overall, starting from around 1.80% to 4%.

Microgaming does well because of its size, and with it comes some huge progressive jackpots. One of the things that we were impressed with is that it reduced the house edge in some of its games by as much as 0.10%. It also offers a great range of payouts on some of the higher-end hands.

Cryptologic is another that has improved by no end. It includes live dealer interaction with online games, and this is a nice touch to experience something different. The games look about as good as you will find, making for the best player interaction of the three mentioned providers. Other game providers include the likes of NetEnt, Rival Gaming, Galewind and DGS.

In terms of live casino games, there are a few that offer online casino poker, such as Evolution Gaming, NetEnt and Microgaming. Evolution Gaming is by far and away the best of the best here, and not only do they offer great-looking games, but they offer a great range of games as well.

Most Popular Online Poker Games in New Zealand in 2023

Without a doubt, the most popular poker game online, and probably offline as well, is Texas Hold’em. Omaha poker is a distant second, but Caribbean stud poker and other game varieties have their legion of fans too. Here are some of the most popular poker games of the moment:

  • Texas Hold’em: The most recognised version of poker, which is estimated to capture over an 80% share of all online poker play. Hold’em poker is played at the prestigious World Poker Series Main Event by the best players around.
  • Omaha: With each player receiving four hole cards instead of two as in hold’em, this is an exciting game that attracts many players, especially for Pot-Limit Omaha.
  • Casino Hold’em: This fairly new version of poker dates back quite recently to the 1990s but quickly grew in popularity at casinos online. The rules are similar to Texas Hold’em, and the hand rankings are the same. Only, you don’t face other players, just the dealer like in many other NZ casino games online.
  • Seven Card Stud: It was one of the most played games in America at one point. But Texas hold’em regulars might find it hard to get used to. You won’t find community cards and it’s usually played with fixed bet limits. This somewhat hardcore version of poker might take effort to perfect, however, it rewards players who boast superior memory and game skills.
  • Razz: Razz kind of flips Texas hold’em on its head. The idea is to get the lowest-ranking hand in relation to traditional poker rules. Razz is fairly easy to pick up and can be played at a relaxed speed. Razz tends to attract more mature players.
  • Five Card Draw: This classic version of poker has similarities to Texas hold’em but also some significant differences that you should watch out for. Five card draw is played with a dealer button and blinds like Hold’em, but it doesn’t have any community cards. Beginners can enjoy five card draw as it’s a fairly simple concept, however, it does involve mind games and strategy, so mentally strong players might excel at this.
  • Red Dog:  A fast-paced banking game played against the dealer, where the player must bet if the value of the third card will fall in between that of the two cards dealt first. You can even find spin-offs of Red Dog Poker, such as Shoot, Slippery Sam and Polish Red Dog.
  • Three Card Poker: This is fairly simple to learn and suits players of all levels. You can play three card poker with ante play, against the dealer, and pair plus where you bet if you will or won’t receive a pair.
  • 2-7 Triple Draw: A more fun poker game where the aim is to make the strongest possible five-card low hand. This game is very popular with online players as it has a different element to Texas Hold’em. You can also have fun with mind games and bluffs.
  • Chinese Poker: A game that veers away from more common poker alternatives and may be better for experienced players as it can take time to learn. A game for skilful players, those who come close to mastering it don’t regret the extra effort. Chinese poker is played with four players, where each player gets 13 cards and then makes three different poker hands. Chinese poker offers a constantly moving game where you’ll need your thinking cap on.
  • Live Dealer Poker: Live dealer poker is great for those who either miss the electricity of Vegas-style traditional casinos, or they always want to get a taste of the action. Live online poker lets you join other players around a virtual and real table and interact with the dealer in real time, via HD streaming technology. You can also play different forms of live dealer poker.

Online Casino Poker Hand Ranking

Hands in poker online are ranked in the following order:

  1. Royal flush
  2. Straight flush
  3. Four of a kind
  4. Full house
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three of a kind
  8. Two pair
  9. One pair or less

Playing Online Poker on Mobile

The increase in the use of mobiles in our day-to-day life has been an area that copied over into online casinos. We’re now at a point where as many people play casino games on a mobile device (smartphone/tablet), on the top online casino apps and mobile-optimised casinos, as they do online.

This means that access to online poker on a mobile device is as easy as it’s ever been. The games are massively improved over how they were just a few years ago as well.

In terms of access to a NZ mobile casino, all of the major mobile phone manufacturers will be able to play the game. This includes Apple, Android, Windows and many more. There is no drop-off in quality between them either. What you see on an Apple device, you will see on an Android or Windows phone.

One of the main reasons for that is a platform called HTML 5. Without getting too technical, this product has been designed to allow companies to create a game that works on one platform, and then it fits in around the different screen sizes for mobile and tablets. It’s revolutionised the mobile casino sector, and games like poker online are one of the few that are reaping the rewards.

Online Poker Sites Deposits and Withdrawals in New Zealand

We know that the number of casino games seems to be increasing almost daily, but one of the best features of the expansion of both online and mobile is the casino online payment options.

There are dozens to choose from, with most accessible at the bigger online casinos. It’s worth noting that a lot of these are now accessible on mobile devices as well, although they do vary based on where you're located.

For the majority of players, Visa debit and Mastercard are going to be the most popular. These are often the safest methods as well, given that they’re linked to your bank, which adds a degree of security should anything go wrong.

Most casinos won’t charge any fees to get money in or out with these. Typically, deposits will be processed instantly, and withdrawals take anywhere from three to five working days as standard. However, a lot of withdrawals back to a debit card are now being processed on the same day, which is great.

The next category is that of the e-wallets. These are hugely popular with online casinos as they can be kept separate from bank accounts, and they allow players to keep a bankroll for multiple sites.

They work much faster than bank payments as well, with instant deposits and money withdrawn within a few hours at e-wallet-friendly casinos. The most common include casinos that take PayPal, Neteller and Skrill.

You also get a range of mobile payments. Apple Pay and Google Pay are the two big hitters here. It’s worth noting that some payment providers do not include withdrawal options, meaning you need to upload the card you have linked to these accounts for deposits.

All of these payment methods are accessible for playing online casino poker. The only thing we will make you aware of is that not all of them are accessible to claim bonuses. E-wallets are a good example of this, with deposits made using Neteller or Skrill, for example, becoming exempt from promotions. Make sure you check the T’s and C’s before you sign up.

Meet the editor

Matt Bastock
Matt Bastock Editor

Matt Bastock is a Content SEO at Casinos.com. He has years of experience researching, writing and editing articles about sports and gaming, including the world of online casinos and sports betting. Matt enjoys playing many casino table games, especially poker and blackjack. He also loves watching professional sports, particularly English and European football, as well as US football, rugby and cricket.

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