Casino games are as popular today as they were 100 years ago, especially with the rise in popularity of the online casino. This has allowed millions of people around the world to enjoy their favourite casino games from the comfort of their home. Online casinos also tend to offer a much larger selection of casino games than a land-based casino ever could. On top of this, payouts are often higher, due to the lower operating costs.

With so many casino games to choose from, it can be tough to know what you’re going to enjoy and what is going to give you the best chance of winning big. That’s where we at New Zealand Casinos come in. We have countless years of experience amongst the team with all sorts of games, in both online casinos and land-based casinos.

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Top New Zealand Casino Games

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Casino Games: A Brief History

Many people may see gambling and casino games as a modern obsession but in fact, human beings have loved gambling ever since we figured out how to gamble. If we wanted, we could write thousands of words on the history of casinos, casino games, and gambling, but we thought instead, we’ll just give you a relatively quick rundown of the past few thousand years. Almost every culture that has records which survive to this day has some mention of gambling and casino games, including Ancient Egypt, China, and Rome. Having said that, though, the exact origins will likely never be known as records from the long ago have been lost to time.

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Casino Game: The very beginning

The exact origins of gambling and casino games aren’t known but the first recorded mention of gambling comes from Ancient China, in roughly 2300 BC. There are also many Chinese sayings and proverbs that have been heavily influenced by games of chance. We also know that the Roman Empire was very fond of gambling, and it even became a bonding experience a father and son could share.

The beginnings of casinos

As for the origins of casinos themselves, we have a pretty good idea of how they got started in the Western world. The word casino is derived from an Italian word meaning ‘little house.’ This was normally used to describe a small building on a property that was used by the hosts to entertain guests. Eventually, it became popular for games of chance to be played in this building.

The birth of playing cards

Many of the most popular casino games these days use playing cards, but who developed those? If we look back in history, we can see that the first official mention of playing cards in historical records comes from France in the 1300s. These playing cards though are completely different from the ones we use today. They were normally made out of wood and used faces of famous Kings and Emperors.

Certain card games can trace their origin back to a similar period. With Blackjack being based on a French game called ‘Trent et Un,’ which means 21. Poker is thought to have surfaced even earlier than Blackjack. It is believed to have developed from a Persian game called ‘As Nas’ and evolved into the game we all know and love today.

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The Beginning of Slots

If you look at gambling today, you’ll see that one of the most popular types of casino games are slot games or pokies. Whether people are playing slots online or at a land-based casino, these casino games are everywhere and have millions of fans around the world. But, this was not always the case so how did the pokie revolution get started?

The Liberty Bell

It all began back in the 1890s when an American gentleman by the name of Charles Fey invented the first slot machine, called Liberty Bell. This was a simple casino game by today’s standards, having just three reels and a single payline. However, it was unlike anything people had ever experienced before, and the game became a massive success. Technology would slowly improve, and the games would become a bit more complicated over time, however, it wasn’t until the 1980s that things changed.

The RNG

This was when the random number generator was invented, and slot games started to move into the digital age. The internal mechanical workings of the pokie machines were replaced with computers and screens. These first video slots made games far more complicated than before, offering more symbols, paylines and reels. When Online Casinos first burst onto the scene in the 1990s, it was quite easy for these new video slots to make the jump from land-based casinos to the online world.

Types of Online Casino Games

There are thousands of online casinos and online casino games available on the Internet today. There is a huge range of games that are sure to intrigue many casino players out there, but such a huge variety can also be a bad thing. Players can become overwhelmed by the choices in front of them, and this is where New Zealand Casinos comes in to help. Some casino games are more popular than others; we know which online games those are and why they have gained popularity. Below is our list of the most popular online casino games around:

Not only do you have a good number of popular casino games, but each of these games will have several different versions. In the case of online pokies, there are thousands of different games out there. This means that no matter what type of game you’re looking for, we can help you find it.

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Online Pokies

Online Pokies will see players spin 3 or more reels filled with symbols. When the reels stop moving, the game will analyse the results, checking what symbols have landed on a payline or what symbols are next to each other, and determine if the player has won or lost. No matter where you are in the world, people love to play slot games. These games are very easy to play and more importantly, they are fun. They also have the potential to change your life with one lucky spin. These are some of the best online pokies that we think you should try:

  • Immortal Romance
  • Mega Moolah
  • Starburst
  • Jurassic Park
  • Hitman
  • Avalon
  • Thunderstruck II

There are countless different slot titles available online, as well as different variants. Whether you’re looking for a simple, classic pokie with three reels and a small number of paylines, or a more complex modern slot machine featuring five or more reels, there’s something out there for you.

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Online Roulette – Spin it to Win it

Roulette sees players placing a bet on where a ball will stop, once it is placed into a spinning wheel by the croupier. The wheel has numbered and colored compartments in it and players place bets on where they believe the ball will land. This is perhaps one of the most well-known casino games out there, with many people picturing this game when they think of a casino or a casino game. On the surface, the game is very straightforward and easy to play, with numerous different bets available to players. You can play it safe and bet on Red or Black, Odd or Even, or you can take bigger risks and bet on a specific number for larger payouts if you win.

Variations of Online Roulette

As with many online casino games, there are several different versions available to players. European and French Roulette are largely the same, and these are the ones you want to play if you have the choice. These wheels only have a single Zero on the wheel and offer players the better odds than the American version. The North American version of Roulette has the same wheel layout, except it has an additional Zero. This may seem like a small change but it significantly increases the house edge, so we’d recommend staying away from this version if possible.

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Online Blackjack – 21 or Bust

Blackjack is a card game that sees players competing against the dealer, also known as 21. The winner is decided by whoever has a hand value of 21, or as close as possible. Should your hand’s value exceed 21, you go bust and lose the round. There are several versions out there and this is another game that has gained popularity because it is easy to learn and good fun to play. Some of the most popular Blackjack variants include:

  • European Blackjack
  • Classic Blackjack Gold
  • Gold Bonus Blackjack
  • Atlantic City Blackjack

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Live Dealer Casino Games

One of the more recent developments when it comes to online casinos is the advent of Live Dealer Casino games. These games use an actual dealer and casino equipment and stream a video of the dealer to the players. This means that it feels more like you’re playing your favourite table game in an actual land-based casino. The fact that the dealer is going to use real gambling equipment has the added benefit of reassuring players who might not 100% trust a random number generator. Most popular table games will have a Live Dealer version of the game including:

  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Keno

How we find the best online casinos in New Zealand

When it comes to choosing an online casino, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming for any New Zealand player. There are thousands of choices, all claiming to be the real deal, but how do you know which one to go for? One of the biggest mistakes players make is using a search engine and choosing one of the casinos displayed there. This is where New Zealand Casinos comes in. We know what to look for, and we are aware which online casinos meet out strict criteria. Below is a basic breakdown of what we look for in a top online casino.

A Good Welcome Bonus

The Welcome Bonus is what many online casinos use to attract new players to their casinos. Typically you’ll be able to get quite a bit of extra money to use at the casino thanks to these bonuses. We sure love them, and we think you’d be making a mistake if you ignored them. We’ll tell you which casinos offer the best welcome bonuses and let you decide which one you want to claim.

All about the games

One of the most important aspects of an online casino is the games it has on offer for you to play. A poor game selection could mean that you get bored at the casino, or the quality of the titles is poor. What you want is a huge selection of high-quality games that you can have fun playing and hopefully win some amazing payouts.

The Customer Service

This may not be something most players think of when choosing an online casino but it is crucial. We all hope we’ll never have any issues with our accounts, but sometimes things do go wrong. The last thing you want is then to have to wait hours for the customer service department to assist you. What you want is an online casino with 24/7 customer support, and multiple methods of contacting them.

Safety and Security

There are many players out there who still believe that online casinos are rigged and will scam you out of your money. This is why it is important to choose a reputable online casino because there are some out there that are scams. We meticulously check all casinos we review and make sure that they are properly regulated and licensed by third-party organisations like the Malta Gaming Authority, U.K. Gambling Commission, and eCOGRA. These organisations will ensure the games are fair and that players are protected from any unfair practices. As long as an online casino is properly regulated, there isn’t any risk gambling there.

The Banking Options

This is another less glamorous aspect of choosing an online casino, but you do need to make sure that whatever casino you choose, you’ll be able to deposit and withdraw funds from your account. You want to ensure that an online casino offers several different banking methods to ensure that there will be a selection of options that will work for you.

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Tips and Tricks for Online Casino Games

While we all love winning money and dream of taking home a big jackpot, most of us understand that winning a jackpot is unlikely. So, the primary reason we play online casino games is to have fun. Having said that,  there are a few things  which might help players in their quest for that big jackpot win.

Make use of the free play option

If a casino allows you to play a game for free, we highly recommended that you take them up on this offer. It will give you time to learn the game, get used to the rules and features, and understand how it all works. You can even use the free play game mode to try and develop and test different strategies and techniques to see how they work out for you. Because you’re playing for free, you don’t have to worry about losing money and can focus on improving your game.

Set a budget and stick to it

The last thing we want is our players bankrupting themselves and their families because they didn’t know when to stop playing. Always set yourself a budget before you start playing. Decide how much money you’re going to spend and when that money is all spent, walk away. It is also advisable to pick a game that fits with this budget of yours. If you only have $50 to spend, you can’t play a game that has a minimum bet of $10, now can you?

Budget your time as well

Just as you’ll set yourself a monetary budget, you also need to decide how long you’re going to play. It’s very easy to lose track of time and play for hours on end, which can cause problems at home.

Study the game

Spend time learning the games you’re going to play. Find out as much about these games as you can, including how the bonus rounds work and what your odds are.

Resist temptation

Don’t drink. This is especially important at a land-based casino where you’ll often be offered free drinks, but it is just as important when playing from home. Alcohol will impede your judgment and contribute to you making poor decisions. Keep a clear head so that you can make the best bets and decisions possible. Alcohol is not your friend in this situation.

Take breaks

Tying in with the point above, take regular breaks to keep your mind fresh. Stand up, walk around and get away from your computer for a few minutes. This will make you feel cool and keep you focused

Take advantage of the promotions

We’d also recommend that you make use of all the bonuses and promotions that you can, especially the welcome bonus. These will give you extra play time, free of charge, and you might just get lucky. As long as you’re aware of the T&Cs, you’ll be able to enjoy the bonuses without any worries.

Take note of the betting range

Becoming a multimillionaire overnight is a dream that many of us share. The best way to do this is to play a progressive slot game and hope you get lucky. We’d also recommend you make sure that you place the maximum bet, to avoid winning a percentage of the jackpot. You wouldn’t want to win it but be denied the full amount because your bet was too small, would you?

Keep in mind that these tips and tricks don’t guarantee you’ll do any better when playing online; they just try to ensure you’ll have the best possible chance to win some money.

Free Online Casino Games

Learning a new casino game can be a daunting exercise, especially if you’ve got money on the line. Thankfully, most online casinos will allow you to try out a wide selection of their games for free. It wasn’t always like this, as a few years ago there were almost no online casinos that allowed you to do this. If you wanted to learn a new game, you had to spend money from your account, which could get expensive.

Being able to play for free means that new players can take some time to learn how to play a game before putting their money on the line. It will also allow slightly more experienced players to take some time to develop and test new techniques or strategies to see how well they work. Once you feel comfortable enough, then you can deposit some real money into your account and have some real fun.

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No deposit bonuses

No deposit bonuses are hugely attractive bonuses that many players are always on the lookout for. These were quite common but in recent years they have become relatively rare, which only makes players want them more. As the name suggests, a No Deposit Bonus doesn’t require a player to make a deposit to claim it. They’ll normally be given a small amount of money, around $10 in most cases, or they might get some free spins for a particular slot game.

Glossary – Learn the Lingo

If you plan on becoming an expert online gambler, these are some of the basic terms you’ll need to know.

  • Action – This term refers to how much money a particular player wagered during the gambling session
  • Ante – the smallest bet in a card game that a player must wager before being able to play their hand.
  • Banker – A special term used to describe the dealer in certain card games, such as baccarat.
  • Blind Bet – placing a wager in poker without looking at the cards in your hand.
  • Card Counting – when a player tries to keep track of what cards have been dealt, to know what cards are left in the deck and change their strategy accordingly.
  • Croupier – The name for the ‘Dealer’ in Roulette. Essentially this is the person who tracks player bets and is responsible for putting the ball into the Roulette wheel.
  • Deal – The act of giving players their cards
  • Deuce – When a player rolls a pair of dice and gets a 2
  • Dog – an old term for a player that other gamblers consider to be weak and likely to lose their money.
  • Edge – This term is the same as ‘advantage’. It is typically used to describe the advantage a casino has over the players (House Edge).
  • Face Cards – These are any playing cards that have a face on them, King, Queen and Jack.
  • Hand – This term refers to the card a player will be using to pay that round of the game.
  • Hit – Used in Blackjack, this is when a player wants to request an additional card.
  • Stand – Another Blackjack term, used when you do not want another card.

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Casino Game FAQs

How much can I win?
What is a progressive jackpot?
Do I play with other players or by myself?
Do I need to download software?
Can I count cards?
Are online casino games fair?