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Online Poker FAQ

Below we have compiled a number of Frequently Asked Questions and answers for players looking to play online poker in New Zealand. Before you take an unnecessary risk, or worry about a detail, take the time and check out the useful information we've compiled for you.


Online Poker Play

Real Money Play



Deposits and Withdrawals


Online Poker FAQ

Can I play online poker legally in New Zealand?

Absolutely. While owning and operating an online poker site is illegal within New Zealand, online poker is fully legal for those playing in New Zealand. All sites will allow you to play, but like in everything, do your research and select the best site for you.

Are my winnings tax free?

Yes and no. Casual Kiwi poker players have the rare benefit of not having their winnings falling under tax laws. If your poker play is more than a hobby though your winnings could be considered an income. If you have a concern about this, it's always best to consult a financial advisor.

Can I play with New Zealand dollars?

Yes. With the popularity of online play in New Zealand, there are beginning to be options that allow play in NZD. But, make sure you verify with each site you consider. Some Kiwi-friendly sites accept deposits of NZD but will play in another currency. If you play in another currency you need to be more aware of the exchange rates to keep track of your winnings and losses. The conversion of the funds happens automatically upon deposit and typically will be into USD, CAD, GBP, or EUR.

Online Poker Play

What games can I play online?

Texas Hold'em is the biggest game in town, but you will also be able to play 5-Card Stud, 7-Card Stud, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo.

What poker games are the most popular?

By far, the most popular online game is Texas Hold'em.

What stakes will I find online?

You will find a wide array of stakes online, more options than in live casino play. You can choose from very small stakes up to high, poker-pro stakes, whatever fits your skill and bankroll.

Which online variation has the best winning odds?

As poker is a game of skill and not a game of luck, the odds of winning depend on the player playing and their ability at a particular variation. You have the best odds of winning at the game you play the best and at the stake level that best fits your skill.

How is playing online different?

The biggest differences in online play are that players do not have much opportunity to play "tells" and that play is generally faster. Playing online, players do not see who they're playing against and therefore cannot gain information from reactions or style of play. As for speed, online play typically comes with a time limit for play that moves the game along at a greater clip. It also allows for playing multiple games simultaneously giving the player a chance to see a greater number of hands in an hour of play. Find out more in our online vs offline guide.

How do live dealer games work?

Live dealer games are relatively new to the online poker scene. Basically a casino will set up a live dealer with a camera covering their deal and play. Hold'em is currently the offering that is available to players. You are playing heads up against the dealer and playing a simplified version of the game. You'll place an ante, and then be able to place a bonus bet before the flop. After the flop, the dealer will place a bet of twice the ante. You can fold or call. A call will give you the turn and river. You can beat the house and then gain bonuses for high-ranking cards.

Real Money Play

Real Money Play

Is it safe to play for real money?

Yes. Online play with real money is as safe as it is to play in a live game. Online sites typically advertise the emphasis they put on security measures.

Can I practice for free before using real money?

Sure. But be aware that people tend to play differently when they do not have anything at risk. While it's a good way to get used to the interface and concepts of online play, it may not provide an accurate assessment of how players will perform when money is at risk.

How are my winnings paid?

You have a number of options for payment. You can have money deposited into your eWallet account which offers almost immediate payment (although then transferring to a bank account takes additional time). You can have money transferred to your bank account via wire transfer. You can even request a check payment, which will require additional processing and delivery time.

Can I withdraw winnings straight away?

Yes. You can withdraw winnings at any time. Bonuses will typically require time before they can be withdrawn.


Do I have to download software?

No. Although you can download a site's software to your system and is probably recommended for serious online gambling, it is not required to play. Site software will run directly from the browser and has improved greatly in quality over the last several years.

Can I play on my Mac?

Yes. Sites will run and provide you a poker outlet whether you run a PC, Mac or Linux machine.

Do sites offer poker on mobiles and tablets?

Yes, many sites offer options for playing on your mobile or tablet devices, so you can take your game play with you anywhere.

Can I play on my desktop and mobile?

Sure. The sites offer game play versions on both mobile and stationary computing devices.

Does play vary much between platforms?

No. Designers have gone to great lengths to make sure play is similar between platforms.

Which offers the best experience?

The experience depends greatly on your needs from your poker playing platform. If mobility is your biggest need, then playing on your mobile or tablet will give you a better experience and meet your needs better than your Linux machine or Mac. If you're looking to sit for hours in the comfort of your home and play regularly, then downloading the site's software onto your desktop or laptop will serve you much better than the more smaller-screened options.


How do online poker bonuses work?

Sites offer a variety of bonuses to entice players to deposit funds and play hands. The more hands played, the bigger the rake the site gets. An example bonus would be a site offering 50% additional bonus funds for deposits up to $400 (so $200 bonus). There are typically requirements for this bonus to be realised fully (number of hands played, amount of rake, etc.).

Why do sites offer these bonuses?

Sites offer bonuses to encourage traffic and new business.

Who is eligible to claim?

Typically it is offered to first-time depositors, but different sites offer different promotions all the time. You may be able to take advantage of an additional bonus after you've already been playing a while.

Which one should I choose?

There's no sure answer here as bonuses may change as sites offer different promotions. The best strategy is to research the different sites and find the one that best fits your needs.

Can I claim a bonus if I first wish to play for free?

Yes. Sign up and play for free first to acquaint yourself with the user interface and to get used to online play. When you're ready to step into the real money games, then take advantage of a bonus offer and start grinding.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Deposits and Withdrawals

What banking options are available?

In New Zealand you can use various deposit methods such as your credit or debit card. You can also purchase a prepaid credit card and deposit that way. Other eWallet options NETELLER, POLi, Ukash and MoneyBookers offer another choice that can lead to unlocking bonus funds at certain sites.

What payment method is the safest?

NETELLER seems to be widely accepted as a very safe method with their 128-bit encryption technology and other measure to protect against fraud and theft. Prepaid credit cards also offer a way to deposit funds without having the deposit source attached to additional monies.

Should I use a credit card if available?

This is a point of preference. Credit cards often offer additional security for their holders, but other payment modes may offer additional bonuses on the site.

When are winnings paid into my account?

Winnings are paid into your play account immediately.

Can I withdraw these immediately?

You can withdraw money at any time. Electronic methods of payout typically offer the fastest service for receiving payouts.


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