How to Play Poker

Poker and online gambling is almost synonymous for many people, because when you say 'gambling' it reminds them of the card games they play with friends. The basic rules are simple, even though it is possible to add a lot of skill to the game by calling and betting correctly as the game progresses.

In fact, the social card game of poker has grown to such a phenomenal success that you can hardly imagine a land-based or online casino without poker, and there are also professional tournaments that attract many viewers on TV. At some tournaments they play for multi-million dollar stakes. However, you can also have a lot of fun playing poker at online gambling sites like Spin Palace without betting large amounts.

  • Online poker games are found at all our trusted international online casinos, and the games come in different variations.
  • Our recommended sites all offer great sign-up bonuses for New Zealand players and many special offers and prizes.
  • Enjoy your poker online at our recommended sites without any fears about security.
Read more
The top online casinos of 2024

How do online poker gambling games work?

Online casino poker games are available in many different variations, where you can bet different amounts. Some games use animated casino graphics, while some others feature live dealer versions. The live dealer gambling games are becoming very popular, because they recreate some of the atmosphere of the familiar card games at home or at land-based casino poker rooms.

The amounts you can bet will range from small bets to very high stakes. It is best for beginners to start playing at games where the bets are low. When you become more experienced, you could move on to higher stakes.

There are countless variations of poker, based on how many cards are being dealt at the beginning of the game, whether cards are dealt face-down or face-up, and the number of cards that you keep hidden from other players. Poker ‘hands’ consist of five or seven cards.

The rules for the ranking of winning hands also vary. The ranking of the possible hands would normally include (from highest to lowest) straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair and high card.

Most variations of poker fall into one of four ‘families’:

  • Straight poker is where a complete hand is dealt at the beginning of the game to each; players then bet in one round, but with raising and re-raising allowed
  • Draw poker is where a complete hand is dealt face-down to each player. After betting, the players can then discard unwanted cards and ask for new ones to be dealt to them. The best-known draw poker game is ‘five card draw’.
  • Community card poker is also known as flop poker. Here, the players are each dealt an incomplete hand of face-down cards, and then a number of face-up ‘community’ cards are dealt in the centre of the table. Any of the community cards can be used by any of the players to make a 5-card hand. ‘Texas hold 'em’ is the best known variant.
  • Stud poker is where cards are dealt in a combination of face-down and face-up rounds, with a round of betting following each round of dealing. A popular stud variant is called ‘seven card stud’, with a total of three face-down, four face-up cards being dealt and every player then makes the best hand possible.

Choose one of our top recommended online poker sites where you can bet and win real money betting on exciting games of online casino poker. The next big winning poker hand may be yours!

Features A Good Poker Site Should Have

When looking for a good online poker site, there are several different things to consider. Finding a site that uses top of the line software and is part of a reputable network is always a good start but, even then, there are other things to take into account.

For example, a site can use the best software in the world but you won't have any fun there if there's never anyone to play against. A steady stream of players to pit your skills against is very important in online poker, and using a site that promotes itself heavily to players from your region is one way to improve the odds of this being the case.

On the financial side of things you'll want to look for sites that have quick payouts, accept plenty of different deposit options and support deposits/withdrawals made in NZD (as well as a range of other currencies) – these are all good indicators that the site is in good financial health and cares about making things as simple as possible for its users.

Now Choose Your Poker Room

This game has always been popular but, thanks to televised poker and the growth of online gambling, poker has really flourished in recent years and it's no surprise that more and more gamblers are looking to get a taste of the action on the web.

Above we've taken a look at some of the different types of poker online as well as what makes a good poker/gambling site. However, with hundreds of different sites to choose from, that may not exactly narrow things down much!

We've also listed some of the top-rated poker sites for New Zealanders that we've discovered on this page – each one has a generous welcome bonus, accepts Kiwi players and offers a varied and exciting experience. Just click on any of these links, create your account and claim your bonus to get started.


How does playing online poker actually work?

Online poker uses specialized software to connect players from all over the world, just like other multiplayer games do, to recreate the game of poker. Players choose their desired poker variation, stakes, buy-in and so on, then compete against others who have made the same selections.

Where will I find top poker games?

The top-rated sites that we've listed on this page are a very good place to start! They all accept Kiwi players, have high traffic volumes and plenty of different types of poker for you to try.

What variations can I try?

From Texas Hold 'Em and Omaha to HORSE and Guts, and just about everything in between, you'll find tables on the web offering pretty much every type of poker that anyone has ever dreamt up.

As you would expect, more obscure variants tend to have smaller volumes of players but you should still be able to find at least a few opponents who love it as much as you do.

How does it compare to playing in person?

There's an argument to be made that online poker is even more tactical than playing in a bricks and mortar venue. Because you can't study facial expressions or tics to determine whether or not someone is bluffing, the best players online will instead put a lot of effort into examining how often their opponents fold, raise, bet big and so on as well as trying to act erratically enough that they confuse their opponents.

Is poker popular in New Zealand?

Extremely. Whether we're talking about land-based venues or online gambling, poker is growing increasingly popular all over the world and that goes for New Zealand as well!

How much can I win?

The sky's the limit. Player winnings are constrained only by the size of the pot and any limits that may apply to the table where they're playing – get lucky while playing at some high stakes tables or in a tournament and it's possible that you could win tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of NZD in just one night.

Is it possible for players to cheat?

Top-rated poker sites use algorithms, IP monitoring and all sorts of other measures to make sure that there's no collusion between players at the same table. While it can be difficult to prove that players are working together, sites that find evidence of cheating punish wrongdoers severely.

These pages may also interest you