Popular Casino Games Among Kiwis Beyond Pokies


Pokies are a big hit in New Zealand. You’ll find them in casinos, bars, clubs, and online. New Zealanders like them because they are easy to play.

But there are many online casino games, including card games like blackjack and roulette, where you have much better odds of winning than gaming machines.

Poker is a good example, is popular in its different forms, like Texas Hold’em—some like games with dice, like craps. And there’s video poker, which mixes electronics and poker.

Let’s discuss these games in more detail. Each has unique rules, making casino gaming varied and fun.

Casinos worldwide offer diverse options for players seeking excitement and variety. Let’s explore the most popular casino games.

Traditional Table Games

New Zealanders have a diverse taste in casino games, extending beyond the beloved pokies. Traditional table games such as Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat have carved out a special place in the hearts of Kiwi gamblers.

Traditional table games like Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat offer a refreshing alternative to pokies in the New Zealand casino scene.

1. Blackjack

  • Card Game: Blackjack is a card game.
  • Reach 21: The goal is to get a hand value as close to 21 as possible without going over.
  • Player vs. Dealer: Players compete against the dealer, aiming for a better hand.
  • Strategic Choices: Players make decisions like hitting, standing, doubling down, or splitting for an advantage.

The allure of Blackjack lies in its strategic nature. Unlike some games of chance, Blackjack requires players to make calculated decisions. This blend of skill and chance creates an exhilarating atmosphere where players aim to beat the dealer without exceeding 21.

Blackjack’s simplicity is part of its charm. Players receive two cards and must decide whether to hit, stand, double down, or split their cards.

2. Roulette

Types of Online Roulette Games
Types of Online Roulette Games
  • Wheel of Numbers: Roulette is a game with a spinning wheel featuring numbered pockets.
  • Betting Variety: Players can place bets on specific numbers, red or black colours, odd or even numbers, and more.
  • House Edge: Different roulette versions exist, like European and American, with varying house edge percentages.
  • Quick Outcomes: Roulette provides swift results as the ball’s final resting place determines winning bets.

Roulette is the quintessential game of chance. Players place bets on the outcome of a spinning wheel, which offers various options, such as numbers, colours, and combinations.

Roulette offers a unique blend of excitement and uncertainty. The spinning wheel creates a sense of anticipation as players watch the ball’s journey, hoping it lands on their chosen bet. Whether it’s a single number or a colour, the potential for big wins keeps players coming back for more.

3. Baccarat

High limit Baccarat
High limit Baccarat
  • Elegant Card Game: Baccarat is an elegant card game popular in New Zealand casinos.
  • Two Main Bets: Players can choose between “Player” or “Banker” bets, with a third option of a “Tie” bet.
  • Simple Rules: Baccarat is known for its straightforward rules, making it accessible to new players.
  • Low House Edge: Some variations, like Mini Baccarat, offer a low house edge, providing fair chances for players.

Baccarat is a straightforward card game that has found favour among Kiwis. It’s known for its simplicity and easy-to-understand rules, making it accessible to players of all levels.

Baccarat attracts players looking for a relaxed and straightforward gaming experience. With only three possible bets – player, banker, or tie – and no complicated strategies to master, it entertains.

Poker Variants

Poker variants offer a diverse and strategic gaming experience in casinos, complementing the popular pokies.

Games like Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud Poker attract skilled players and newcomers seeking engaging card games.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is renowned for its widespread popularity in online and offline casinos. Its appeal lies in its strategic gameplay and straightforward rules, attracting players of all skill levels.

In Texas Hold’em, you get two hole cards and try to make the best hand from them and the five community cards on the table. During the game, you decide when to fold, call, or raise.


Omaha is a highly regarded poker variant cherished by players worldwide. It resembles Texas Hold’em but introduces a captivating twist to the gameplay.

Omaha is unique because you get four-hole cards, giving you more options. You must use two hole cards and three community cards to build your best hand. This rule adds complexity and strategy, making Omaha a favourite among poker fans.

Omaha has several variations, including Pot Limit Omaha (PLO), 5-card Omaha, 6-card Omaha, Fixed Limit Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo. Each variant introduces nuances, keeping the game fresh and exciting for seasoned players.

Stud Poker

Stud poker, including variants like Seven-Card Stud, stands out in poker with its unique gameplay. Unlike Hold’em and Omaha, stud poker deals players a combination of face-up and face-down cards throughout multiple betting rounds. This distinctive approach adds an element of mystery and strategy to the game.

  • Stud Poker Observation: Requires sharp memory and observation skills.
  • Exposed Cards: Players can see opponents’ cards and make decisions based on this information.
  • Deducing the Deck: The key to the game is figuring out which cards are still in play.
  • Variety in Stud Poker: Besides Seven-Card Stud, there are other intriguing variants like Five-Card Stud and Razz, each with unique rules and strategies.

Dice Games


How to play Live Craps by Evolution at NZ Live Casinos
Craps Game

Craps is an exciting and popular casino dice game that combines luck and strategy. It’s played with two six-sided dice and offers a range of betting options, making it a favourite among gamblers.

  1. Pass Line Bet: The game starts with a “Come Out Roll” where you bet on the “Pass Line” or “Don’t Pass Line.” If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, Pass Line bets win. Rolling a 2, 3, or 12 results in a loss.
  2. Point Phase: If the Come Out Roll establishes a “Point” (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), the game enters this phase. Players aim to roll the Point again before a 7 is rolled.
  3. Additional Bets: You can make various other bets during the game, such as “Place Bets,” “Field Bets,” and “Come Bets,” each with its own rules and payouts.

Craps involves a shooter rolling the dice, aiming for specific outcomes based on bets.

The tension builds as players anticipate the roll’s result, making it an engaging and dynamic game.

Strategic betting is key, with players choosing their bets wisely to maximize winnings or minimize losses.

Lottery Style Games

Lottery-style casino games are games that work a lot like traditional lotteries. You pick numbers or symbols in these games, and luck decides whether you win. Here are some easy-to-understand examples:

  1. Keno:
    • It’s like picking lucky numbers. You choose some numbers, and a machine randomly picks some, too. If your numbers match the machine’s, you win!
  2. Bingo:
    • You get a card with numbers. Someone calls out numbers, and if they match the ones on your card, you shout “Bingo!” and win.
  3. Scratch Cards:
    • These are like digital lottery tickets. You scratch a virtual card to reveal symbols or numbers. If you find certain combinations, you win prizes.
  4. Lottery-Style Slots:
    • Slot machines that have a lottery twist. You spin the reels and hope they show the right symbols, just like picking the right lottery numbers.
  5. Number-Based Games:
    • You pick numbers or combinations, and then the game reveals random results. If your picks match, you win.
  6. Virtual Sports and Racing:
    • Betting on virtual sports or races. It’s like guessing who will win a computer-generated horse race or soccer match.

These games are easy to play and rely on luck. They’re like buying a lottery ticket at the casino but offer different ways to have fun and maybe win some money.

FeaturePokies (Slot Machines)BlackjackRouletteBaccaratPokerVideo Poker
Type of GameMachineCard GameTable GameCard GameCard GameSlot Machine
House Edge2-10%0.5-1%2.7%1-1.4%0.5-2%0.5-3%
Skill InvolvedLowMediumLowLowHighMedium
Pace of PlayFastMediumFastFastMediumFast
Social InteractionLowMediumMediumMediumHighLow
Minimum BetLowLowLowLowLowLow
Maximum BetHighHighHighHighHighHigh
RTP (Return to Player)90-98%99.5-99.75%97.3%98.9-99.6%98-100%95-100%

Why To Choose Online Casino Games Beyond Pokies?

Choosing online casino games beyond pokies offers several compelling reasons:

  1. Variety of Experiences: Online casinos provide diverse games, from skill-based card games like poker and blackjack to luck-based options like roulette and baccarat. This variety ensures that there’s something for every type of player.
  2. Skill and Strategy: Games like blackjack and poker require skill and strategy, allowing players to influence the outcome. This element of skill adds depth and engagement to the gaming experience.
  3. Better Odds: Some non-pokies games, such as blackjack, offer lower house edges, increasing the player’s chances of winning in the long run compared to pokies.
  4. Social Interaction: Many non-pokies games, especially poker, offer opportunities for social interaction. You can play against real opponents, chat with them, and even participate in live dealer games that simulate the casino atmosphere.
  5. Low Minimum Bets: Most non-pokies games allow players to start with low minimum bets, making them accessible even for those with smaller budgets.
  6. No Deposit Bonuses: Online casinos often offer no deposit bonuses for non-pokies games. This means you can play and win without risking your own money.
  7. Engaging Gameplay: Each game offers a unique and engaging experience, keeping players entertained and challenged.
  8. High Maximum Bets: Non-pokies games often have high maximum bet limits, which allows for substantial wins for high-rollers who prefer to wager more.

Choosing online casino games opens up a world of exciting options with varying degrees of skill, strategy, and social interaction.

Online vs. Land-Based Casinos for Non-Pokie Games

AspectOnline CasinosLand-Based Casinos
Game VarietyExtensive selection of games, including table games like blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat.Offer a variety of table games, but the options may be more limited than online casinos.
AccessibilityAccessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making it convenient for Kiwis.Require a physical visit to a brick-and-mortar location, which can be less convenient.
Operating HoursAvailable 24/7, so you can play at any time that suits you.Operating hours may be restricted, with some casinos closing at specific times.
Privacy and ComfortYou can play from the comfort of your own home, maintaining privacy.While online casinos have live dealer games for interaction, they are limited compared to in-person socializing.
Bonuses and PromotionsOffer a range of bonuses, such as welcome bonuses, free spins, and loyalty rewards.Land-based casinos may lack the same level of privacy as you’re in a public setting.
Interaction and SocializingThere is an extensive selection of games, including table games like blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat.Land-based casinos provide a social atmosphere, allowing you to interact with other players and enjoy a communal experience.
Betting LimitsIt offers unparalleled convenience, with no travel required, and the ability to switch between games quickly.Betting limits in land-based casinos can vary, and high minimum bets may be required at some tables.
ConvenienceLand-based casinos may have loyalty programs, but the bonuses are typically less generous than online casinos.No travel expenses are involved, saving you money and time.
Skill-Based GamesOnline casinos often offer a broader range of betting limits, catering to casual players and high-rollers.Land-based casinos offer the same skill-based games, but practice opportunities may be limited.
Safety and SecurityReputable online casinos are licensed and regulated, providing a secure gaming environment.Land-based casinos also have security measures, but personal safety can be a concern when carrying large sums of cash.
Payment OptionsIt involves travel to a physical location, potentially with wait times for your preferred game.Land-based casinos primarily deal in cash, though some accept credit cards and offer ATMs.
Travel CostsOnline casinos provide opportunities for practising and developing strategies for skill-based games.Requires travel to the casino, potentially incurring transportation and accommodation costs.

Casino Game Strategies and Tips for Kiwis

Learning casino game strategies and tips is important for Kiwis (New Zealanders). Some of the top strategies include

  1. Choose Trusted Casinos: Select reputable online casinos with proper licensing and a good track record. Look for options catering to New Zealand gamblers.
  2. Set Your Gambling Budget: Before you start, decide on a budget for your gaming activities. Stick to it, and never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  3. Learn the Game Rules: Whether it’s pokies, card games, or table games, understand the rules of the games you play. Familiarity with the mechanics is crucial.
  4. Practice for Free: Many New Zealand online casinos offer free demo versions of games. Use these to practice and become comfortable with the games before betting real money.
  5. Game Selection Matters: Different games have different strategies and odds. Choose games that suit your skill level and preferences. For instance, poker and blackjack involve skill, while pokies are more luck-based.
  6. Leverage Casino Bonuses: Make the most of casino bonuses and promotions. They can provide extra funds or free spins, enhancing your chances of winning. Always read and understand the terms and conditions.
  7. Manage Your Bankroll: Divide your gambling budget into manageable segments and set win and loss limits. Stick to these limits to prevent overspending.
  8. Avoid Chasing Losses: If you’re on a losing streak, don’t increase your bets to recover losses. Stick to your strategy and budget.
  9. Exercise Self-Control: Emotional discipline is crucial for successful gambling. Avoid impulsive decisions and know when to stop, winning or losing.
  10. Stay Informed: Stay updated with the latest strategies and tips for casino gaming. Online forums, communities, and educational resources can provide valuable insights.


What are the basic rules of each game?

Here is a brief overview of the basic rules of each game:

Blackjack: The goal is to get a total of 21 or as close to 21 without going over.
Roulette: Roulette is a game of chance where players bet where a ball will land on a spinning wheel.
Baccarat: Baccarat is a card game where players bet on which hand, the player’s or the banker’s, will have the higher value.
Poker: Poker is a card game where players compete for the best hand. There are many poker variations, but the basic rules are the same for all variations.
Video poker: Video poker is a combination of slot machines and poker. Players are dealt five cards and must choose which cards to keep and which cards to discard.

Why are these games popular with Kiwis?

Ans – These games are popular with Kiwis for a variety of reasons. They are all exciting and fun to play, allowing players to win big payouts. These games are relatively easy to learn and play, even for beginners.

Is poker a game of skill or luck, and what are the most played poker variants in Kiwi casinos?

Poker is a blend of skill and luck. Popular poker variants in New Zealand include Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

Are any local variations or unique casino games popular in New Zealand?

While the classic casino games are prevalent, local variations, such as “Lotto Strike,” may be found in New Zealand casinos. However, these games are not as widely played as traditional casino games.

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.