Online Poker is one of the most popular online casino table games in New Zealand today. Bets are placed on the value of a player’s hand. Online Poker rounds are decided by the strongest hand, which will win the game and the pot. Poker, as a game, has become a fun pastime for Kiwis to play with friends before playing for money.

With dozens of variants, Online Poker caters to any gambler. With classics like Texas Hold ’Em and Seven Card Stud available on almost every online casino in New Zealand, gamblers are spoilt for choice. Progressive Jackpot Online Poker is one of the most popular adaptations for Poker players throughout the world. This is due to the connected games available from various software developers like NetEnt and Microgaming. Progressive Jackpot games have a collective pot that is added to every time a player makes a bet.

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History of Online Poker

The game of poker has a variety of influences that shaped the game we know today. The earliest game of poker recorded was in 10th century China, where the game was played with dominoes. In the 16th century, two versions were played in Spain and the Middle East. Primero, which originated in Spain, had a big influence on poker as we know it today. In Primero, players were known to bet and ‘bluff, ’ and the game eventually made its way to France and Germany. The game then became known as ‘Poque’ in France, or ‘Pochen’ in Germany.

When the game finally migrated to America and the new world in 1894, the game we know as poker was born. By the 1970s, the game spread to mainland Europe, and finally to computer screens in the 1990s. Poker as we know it now has many versions and all of them are available to New Zealand players at online casinos.

Online Poker Versions in New Zealand 2017

As we mentioned above, Online Poker has many variations. Online poker today can have themes, or different rules depending on the version. Listed below are some of the most popular Online Poker variants in New Zealand.

Texas Hold ‘Em

By far one of the most popular versions of poker, Texas Hold ‘Em was first played in Texas in the 1900s. Considered the “thinking man’s game,” Texas Hold ‘Em became popular because players could use strategies to try and win. Poker uses a 52 card deck, each player is dealt two cards by the online poker dealer. The player on the dealer’s left is known as the “small blind” and must make a bet that is half the table’s pot limit before they see their cards. A Kiwi poker player next to the ‘small’ is referred to as the ‘big blind,’ and has to bet the limit without seeing their cards.

Once the big and small blind bets have been placed, the other players have a few options.  Kiwi players can call, fold, check or match the bets according to their hand. Three cards will then be dealt and put face up on the table. The three faced up cards can be used by players to create a hand, referred to as a flop. Players must then bet again before the fourth card is placed with the others. The fourth card is referred to as the ‘turn.’ Another round of betting will occur once the turn is set on the table.

In this version of Online Poker, players have to use two of their cards and three community, or shared, cards to form their hand. Once all of the bets have been made a ‘showdown’ will occur. Online poker showdowns will reveal the highest ranked card, and the winner will receive the bets made.

Omaha

Omaha Online Poker is similar to Texas Hold ‘Em, but players will be dealt four cards instead of two in the first round. These cards are known as ‘hole’ cards, and players must place a bet once their cards have been dealt. The dealer will then deal three community cards and will signal another betting round. The ‘river’ card is the last card to be dealt and signals the final round of betting. Online poker players will then have to use two of their four cards and three shared cards to make their hand. As in Texas Hold ‘Em, the showdown will then determine the highest ranked hand once all the players have shown their cards.

Seven Card Stud

This version of poker is different from the outset. Before the game begins, players must place a bet, known as the ‘ante.’ Players will then be dealt two ‘hole’ cards and one face up card, called ‘third street.’ The player with the lowest ‘third street’ must pay the minimum bet amount, known as a ‘bring in.’ The fourth card to be dealt, or ‘fourth street,’ is dealt after the player to the left of the ‘bring in’ starts the betting round. The ‘fourth street’ will also be positioned face up for all players to see.

The standard check, fold, call or match bets apply to Seven Card Stud after each round. The player with the highest ‘fourth street’ card starts the next round. The fifth card will then be dealt to each player, placed face up and signals another betting round. The sixth card also referred to as ‘sixth street,’ will be placed face up and signal another betting round. The final card, or ‘river,’ is positioned face down and will then signal the final betting round. The player with the best ranked five-card hand wins.

Other Online Poker versions NZ

Most versions of Online Poker at New Zealand online casinos are based on the three versions above. Each of these versions is played with real money wagers, though many NZ online casinos also offer free to play versions. All of our recommended online casinos will have a free play mode, as well as live dealer poker games. Free play poker helps gamblers to find their feet with different poker versions or to familiarise themselves with the rules of the game. Live dealer poker features an actual dealer and players. A few more popular poker versions are listed below:

  • Razz
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • Irish poker
  • H.O.R.S.E.
  • Badugi
  • Triple draw
  • Five card draw

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Online Poker Hands

The card ranks for online poker are fairly standard, as shown below. The cards are ranked from highest to lowest, and start with Ace, then the face cards and numbered cards. These cards can be used to form the highest ranked hand at a table, the combinations and ranks are shown below.

Rank    Type    Description
0

 

Five of a KindThe 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of a specific suit
1Straight/Royal FlushFive cards in sequence and matching suit
2Four of a KindFour cards with the same value
3Full HouseOne pair and three of a kind
4FlushFive cards of the same suit
5StraightAny five cards in order
6

 

Three of a KindThree cards with the same value
7Two PairsTwo set of pairs
8One PairTwo cards with the same value
9No Pair/High CardWhen no other hand is held, the card with the highest face value will lead the hand. Ace is the highest and two being the lowest.

New Zealand Online Poker Game Rules

A few general rules to keep in mind when playing Online Poker are listed below:

  • New Zealand players must call, fold, check or match bets in each betting round.
  • Players must try to create the best hand with the cards available to them, including their hand and community cards.
  • All cards of the hand determine the winner.
  • A player can call, even if they don’t have a lot of chips.
  • The highest ranking hand will always win in Online Poker.
  • If a player loses or folds, they cannot claim their bets back.

Tips and tricks

A few tips for Online Poker games are below, as well as strategies players can test out while learning the game.

  • Memorise the card ranks and rules for the variant of Online Poker being played. This will allow players to make faster choices to improve their game.
  • Use the free play option to practice the game until a Kiwi players is comfortable with the game.
  • Being comfortable with the game will allow players to concentrate on the game and learn strategies from other players.
  • Make use of live game footage and tutorials to see how professionals play; this will be helpful to developing personal strategies.
  • New Zealand gamblers should ensure that all hardware and software available to them on any device can support a good game.
  • Players should play last if the option is offered. This will help players to make decisions once all other players have, and give them insights on other strategies.
  • Gamblers should also take notes after a game to see which choices worked, and which didn’t, to learn from their mistakes in a game.

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Online Poker Glossary

Limits:

  • No Limit: allows players to bet or raise any amount freely.
  • Pot Limit: players can bet or raise the preceding bet up to the pot limit.
  • Fixed Limit: a player can bet, or raise the bet before the round, according to a fixed amount.

Bets:

  • Open: when a player makes the first wager in an Online Poker game.
  • Check: when a player decides not to place a bet until another player begins the round.
  • Fold: When a player folds, they drop out of a round and lose their bets up to that point to the pot.
  • Call: Players may call, or bet the same as the player before them.
  • Raise: When a player raises the wagering amount, the next player can choose to match that bet.
  • Bluff: this is when a player continues to play even if their hand is not highly ranked.
  • Pot: the total amount of bets placed during a game, and is given to the player with the highest hand rank.
  • Blind or Ante: when a player is forced to make a bet to stay in the round.
  • Action: this is another word for a player’s turn in a betting round to bet or raise.
  • Under the Gun: the player to the left of the big blind is known as being ‘under the gun,’ because they must either match or call the previous bets.
  • Small Blind: the person to the left of the dealer, who must bet before seeing their cards.
  • Big Blind: the player on the left of the small blind who must also bet without seeing their cards.
  • Bring In: the minimum bet amount a player with the lowest ranked ‘third street’ card must pay.

Cards:

  • Community cards: the shared cards used by all gamblers to make a hand.
  • Flop: the first few shared cards to be dealt are called a flop, usually three cards.
  • River: the last shared card dealt is a river card. In 7 card stud, this will be the seventh card and placed face up.
  • Tilt: a name for reckless decisions made after a losing streak by a player.

Streets:

  • Third: the third card dealt to each player, and is positioned face up in 7 card stud.
  • Fourth: the fourth card dealt to each player, and is positioned face up in stud poker versions.
  • Fifth: the fifth card dealt to each player, and is positioned face up in 7 card stud.
  • Sixth: the sixth card dealt to each player, and is positioned face up in stud poker versions.

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Online Poker FAQs

Can I play Online Poker at mobile casinos?
Is there a difference between an ante and a blind?
Is Online Poker legal in New Zealand?
Is there a difference between playing Online Poker and traditional poker?