The Most Popular Poker Formats at Online Casinos in New Zealand

The Most Popular Poker Formats at Online Casinos in New Zealand

4 minutes

Last Updated: February 23, 2024

Poker is one of the most popular card games at casinos around the world, and New Zealand is no exception. For players looking to delve a little more into this world of aces and flushes, here are three of the most popular variants you can find at online casinos in New Zealand as well as some other popular card games you might want to give a shot.

Five-Card Draw

While the next entry on our list is hands down the most popular format for live play, five-card draw is, without a doubt, the most popular format for online poker players. Variants of five-card draw poker can be found at just about every online casino, including one of New Zealand's most popular operators JackpotCity casino, which also offers video poker games based on five-card draw. Whether you're playing against a virtual dealer or other players, five-card draw is essentially the same.

Players are dealt five cards face down and may look at them. Players begin making bets or folding. If there are two or more players left after the initial round of betting, players state how many cards they wish to discard and are dealt the same amount from the deck.

Another round of betting takes place, after which players show their cards if there are still two or more left in the game. Whoever has the best hand wins the pot. Five-card draw uses the same hand rankings as Texas Hold'em, making it a great game for players looking to dip their toes into the world of poker.

Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em for New Zealand Players

Texas Hold'em is the king of card games. There's a reason this is the most popular poker format around the world and why the pro televised events are almost always in this format. No Limit Texas Hold'em forces people to put their money where their mouth is and lay it all on the table.

This classic variant deals players two cards face down with five community cards in the center revealed after rounds of betting. The goal is to make the best 5-card hand possible using some combination of your “hole cards” (the ones you're dealt) and the community cards.

It's a game of skill with a bit of luck as you calculate the various possibilities and lines of action from other players at the table. Are they representing Aces? Do they tend to play any hand that's dealt? Since you're playing online, body language and facial cues won't come into play, but you'd be amazed at what you can learn from another player based on their betting habits and activity.

Take notes on the other players at the table, study your charts, read up on GTO and you'll be dominating the tables in no time.

Short Deck

Short Deck is another popular format thanks to its altered deck size and betting format. In this format, cards 2 through 5 are taken out of the deck, making 6 the lowest possible card and changing the low straight from A2345 to A6789.

There's also a slight change in hand rankings, as you're more likely to make a full house than a flush due to the reduced number of cards. The rest of the rankings are the same, so just remember that a flush will beat your full house in short deck, unlike how in Texas Hold'em a full house would beat your opponent's flush.

Other rules may vary, but generally, everyone has to throw in an ante of 1 big blind in order to get dealt a hand. There is no small blind, just a big blind that everyone will have to call on top of their ante or raise if they're feeling strong. With fewer cards, players are more likely to hit a pair, triple, or straight, making games feel more intense as you're not simply folding dead hands.

At the same time, you have to remember that your opponents are also more likely to have something instead of bluffing after a failed flop. It creates an interesting dynamic you might not find in other poker variants.

Other Popular Card Games

Other Popular Card Games in NZ Online Casinos

Besides poker and its variants, there are plenty of other popular card games at online casinos in New Zealand. If you're tired of Texas Hold'em for one reason or another, you might want to consider trying either of these two popular card games. Both feature skill with a mix of luck, making them perfect for players looking to take a break from the game of the Wild West.


Also known as 21, Blackjack is an immensely popular card game played at casinos all over the world. The goal is simple: your hand needs to beat the dealer's hand without going over 21—also known as busting. If you bust, you lose. If the dealer busts, you win.

This results in a strategy of knowing when to hit, a term for getting dealt another card, or standing, and hoping the dealer either busts or winds up with a total lower than yours. If you're interested, read up on basic strategy and hit the tables. It's a great game and can be extremely entertaining if you hit a hot streak.


Baccarat is a sophisticated card game where players bet on the outcome of two hands: the player's and the banker's. Players can bet on either hand as well as a tie. The winning hand is the one closest to nine, with cards 2 through 9 being worth their face value, 10s and face cards worth 0, and aces worth a single point. Baccarat has a low house edge, similar to blackjack, making it extremely popular among bettors looking to have the odds more in their favor.

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