Best poker sites for New Zealand players

Best poker sites for New Zealand players

New Zealand’s online gambling laws are in place to restrict online gambling to an extent, however it is absolutely safe and legal for New Zealand based punters to play poker online for real money – provided they play at the right sites.

It is illegal to operate an online casino or poker room site within New Zealand, however that law does not restrict New Zealanders from gambling at offshore websites. We have gathered the best safe and regulated online poker rooms for New Zealand punters – not only are the following poker rooms trustworthy, they also have a premium selection of quality games and payment options appropriate for New Zealand currency (NZD).

888 Poker for New Zealanders

888 Poker App10 million players who use 888 Poker can vouch for the quality of its poker services. It has won EGR’s ‘Best Poker Operator of the Year’ over three consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013), as well as the ‘Best Gaming Product’ in 2012 and ‘Socially Responsible Operator of the Year’ in 2010. 888 Poker has earned the eCOGRA seal of approval, so you can rest assured its games are safe and fair. Play games in free play mode and real cash mode.

You can download 888’s gaming software for free (PC only) or access 888’s games instantly via the Web, without downloading the gaming software (Mac and PC). 888 also has its own dedicated non-market app for mobiles and tablets (iOS users play via a Web app which replicates the non-market app – access the site here direct from your device, and you’ll be prompted to install the application).

Types of poker games at 888 Poker:

888 Holdem

  • PokerCam Tables: live cash games and tournaments where you play against others who also have WebCams – read your opponents behavioural cues through their Web Cams.
  • 3D Poker: superb visual quality games with genuine stereoscopic displays which add unique 3D depth to your poker tables – just throw on your 3D glasses and you’re good to go.
  • Private Games: play in private games with your friends – invite multiple players and face off against each other via WebCam.
  • Teams Poker: standard poker tournaments but with an added feature; choose your favourite football team and a portion of the prize pool is shared by all the players in the winning team or teams.
  • Poker Tournaments: daily Challenge Series poker tournaments (winner at the end of every day), Double or Nothing Tournaments, 24/7 SNG Tournaments (buy a seat and play immediately) and more.
  • Freeroll Tourneys: free to join with lower prize pools. 888 Poker recommends beginners start off with Freerolls tournaments, especially as you’ll largely be competing against other beginners.
  • Ring/Cash Games: play against at least two other players and bet as much real money as you wish – unlike tournaments, you can win more based on how much you wager. Join or leave as you wish.
  • Texas Hold’em
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
  • Omaha Hi
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • Snap Poker

Playing at 888 with NZD

While you can play many of 888 Poker’s games for free, if you wish to challenge for real money, there are over 20 different payment options available. Sign up for an account (no costs involved) and you will earn $88 in bonus cash (no deposit required), and when you make your first deposit, you can claim a 100% welcome bonus of up to $400. New players also receive seven entry tickets to the $500 First Depositors Free Tournaments and one ticket to the First Depositors Challenge Tournament. Deposit your New Zealand dollars* in to your account with the following payment methods: Visa credit and debit cards, MasterCard credit and debit cards, EntroPay Virtual Visa cards, Neteller and Direct Bank Transfers.


PokerStars Online RoomPokerStars has more real money poker tournaments than any other website in the world, with gaming software for both Windows and Mac computers downloadable for free. A mobile application is available to download for Android and iOS users along with a PokerStars TV app and PokerStars Clock app which you can use to manage mobile poker tournaments.

If you’re new to poker, there are a heap of educational videos within the site which can help you improve your strategy. The site has a huge selection of games for free or for real money play, including:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Omaha: Omaha Hi/Lo, 5 Card Omaha and Original Omaha.
  • Stud Variants
  • HORSE Poker – a mix of five different poker variants.
  • Couchevel
  • Razz
  • Five Card Draw
  • 2-7 Single Draw Lowball
  • 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
  • 8-Game Mix Poker
  • Badugi
  • Triple Stud Poker
  • Spin and Go Tournaments: where you can buy in for as little as $1 and can win up to $90,000.
  • Tournaments: PokerStars has so many tournaments we can’t list all of them here. Major tournaments include the Sunday Million, the Daily Bigs, the Hot Turbo, VIP tournaments and many more daily, weekly, monthly and annual tourneys.

Secure New Zealand Dollar transactions

While you don’t actually play in NZD, PokerStars deals directly with New Zealand dollars for numerous deposit and withdrawal options, with no conversion fees. The following payment options are available for NZ players: Skrill, Neteller, Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards, EntroPay, local bank transfers, Paysafecard (Ukash), and even cheque withdrawals. Players signing up for a new account will receive $20 for free with no deposit required simply by entering ‘FREE20’ upon registration, while first deposits are rewarded with a 100% match up to $600 when entering the bonus code ‘STARS600’.

Full Tilt Poker for NZ punters

Full Tilt Online PokerFull Tilt Poker is a reputable and fun virtual casino for poker enthusiasts all over the world. You can download its gaming software and play for free for as long as you wish against other free play player, but it’s real money catalogue of titles is slightly larger than the free-play mode games. A downloadable app is available for Android and iOS users from the App Store or Google Play – a must as this premium app won the 2014 IGA Gaming Awards title of Best Poker App of the Year.

Online and mobile poker games at Full Tilt include:

  • Rush Poker Tournaments
  • Adrenaline Rush Poker: in this tournament you can only raise or fold, thus increasing the stakes.
  • Ante Games: where each player pays an ante before the hole cards are dealt.
  • Speed Tables: all players have half the usual decision time so the pace of the game is a lot faster.
  • FreeRoll Tournaments: tourneys with no entry cost which still hold cash prizes.
  • Rebuy Tournaments: where you have the option of buying more chips once your stack is reduced to a certain amount, to give you a second chance at winning a piece of the prize pool.
  • Knockout Bounty Tournaments: there is a bounty on each player from the get go. Each time you knock a player out of the tournament you get to collect their bounty.
  • On Demand Tournaments: those which commence as soon as enough players have signed up.
  • New to the Game Tournaments: only beginners can gain access to these tournaments.
  • Multi-Day Tournaments: these tournaments are so extensive they take more than one day to complete. You’re playing for a bigger prize pool in these tournaments.

NZD currency at Full Tilt Poker

If you want to play poker with real money Full Tilt Poker will reward you generously. As a welcome bonus you can redeem a 100% deposit bonus on your first deposit all the way up to $600, just make sure to opt-in by heading to the ‘my promotions’ tab when making your first deposit. The following payment options are compatible with NZ dollars: Visa debit and credit cards, MasterCard debit and credit cards, Neteller, Skrill, POLi, Paysafecard (now incorporating Skrill), local bank transfers and EntroPay.

*Note: each of the above three poker rooms allow for NZD deposits and withdrawals – those funds will be automatically converted to your choice of USD, CAD, GBP, or EUR at the current exchange rates for actual gameplay. When you wish to withdraw, your funds will be converted back to your original currency at the same exchange rate as when you deposited.