Poker Rules Explained for NZ Gamblers

Learn how to play poker like a pro with our easy-to-follow guide, designed specifically for New Zealanders. From the basics of the game to advanced strategy, we've got you covered!

Best Casinos For Playing Poker

Join Betway Today!
  • Video Poker Options
  • Live Poker
  • Great Welcome Bonuses

Poker Rules for Players in New Zealand

Poker is one of the most revered card games worldwide, cementing its spot in land-based and online casinos. Despite Poker's popularity, associated technicalities make it a tad overwhelming for newbie players.

To give you the push required to kick-start gameplay, this guide sheds light on vital Poker basics — betting options, hand rankings, and more!

Let's get started!

Betting Options in Poker

Before Poker gameplay starts, players are dealt cards. Upon card dealing, bettors can perform any of these actions:

  • Raise: A raise means increasing the stake value of an existing bet. If a player raises during Poker gaming, subsequent players must match this amount to remain active. 
  • Fold: Folding occurs when bettors forfeit their gaming cards. This action ends their participation in a current hand, meaning they can't execute further actions to win the pot.
  • Call: A call signifies matching another bettor's wager or raise during a definite Poker stint. The latter wins the pot if opponents don't call the player's raise or bet.
  • Check: Before the first bet's placement; players can decide to check — abstain from placing wagers. Checking allows you to take betting action as the stint progresses. If all bettors check, they remain active, and the round ends. 

Poker Hand Rankings

Poker hand rankings determine what player wins a betting round. By getting insight into Poker hand rankings, you can implement strategies that'll improve your winning chances during gameplay.

Here's an overview of the Poker hand rankings (from the highest to the lowest):

  • Royal Flush: The Royal Flush ranks as the best Poker hand. This five-card hand constitutes the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, featuring one suit. Here's an example — A♠️-K♠️-Q♠️-J♠️-10♠️.
  • Straight Flush: A Straight Flush is the second-best Poker hand, featuring five consecutive cards of one suit — 5♦️-6♦️-7♦️-8♦️-9♦️.
  • Four of a Kind: The Four of a Kind hand hosts four numerically matching Poker cards — 3♣️-3♠️-3❤️-3♦️-K♠️.
  • Full House: The Full House appears as a Three of a Kind (three cards of the same value) and a Pair of similarly ranked cards. If two players have a Full House during gameplay, the bettor with the highest-valued Three of a Kind wins the round. Here's a Full House example — Q♠️-Q❤️-Q♣️-5❤️-5♦️.
  • Flush: A Flush hosts five cards of one suit in no set order — 7❤️-2❤️-6❤️-8❤️-4❤️. When two or more players have a Flush, the person with the highest-valued card wins.
  • Straight: A Straight is composed of five consecutive cards hosting different suits — 3❤️-4♦️-5♣️-6♠️-7.
  • Three of a Kind: Three of a Kind features three cards of the same numerical value hosting distinct suits — 3♦️-3♠️-3♣️-4♣️-5♠️.
  • Two Pair: This hand consists of two distinct pairs of numerically matched cards in different suits, such as — 9♠️-9♣️-K❤️-K♦️-4♣️. 
  • Pair: This Poker hand fields one pair of similarly ranked cards with different suits — 10♦️-10❤️-3♣️-7♦️-K♠️.
  • High Card: Here, the highest card is your best hand. In this High Card example — 4♠️-6♦️-K♣️-8♠️-3❤️ — the King of Aces (K) is your most valued card. 

Betting Rounds in Poker

Many Poker variants exist, incorporating distinct betting rounds. However, here are the betting rounds to expect in the two most popular Poker formats worldwide — Texas Hold'Em and Omaha Poker:

  • Pre-Flop: The dealer issues two-hole cards to players in the pre-flop betting round. Betting commences from the big blind's left side and goes clockwise. When it's a player's turn to bet, they can act in one of three ways — call, fold, or raise.
  • Flop: Once the pre-flop ends, the flop begins. This round sees players receiving three community cards from the dealer. These cards are dealt face-up at the table's centre, allowing bettors to construct a 5-card hand. Here, players can either call or check. 
  • Turn or Fourth Street: When the turn begins, the dealer releases a fourth community card to players to create the best Poker hand. The betting alternatives available to players are reminiscent of the flop round. 
  • River or Fifth Street: After the turn betting round ends, the river starts. Here, the dealer issues the fifth and final community card for players to form the highest 5-card Poker hand. Like the flop and turn rounds, players can either check or call.
  • Showdown: The showdown summarises a Poker session. Active players must show their 5-card hands during this round, and the highest-valued hand wins the pot. 

Betting Limits in Poker Gaming

Betting limits refer to the values players can stake or raise during gameplay. Most Poker games utilise different betting limits. Notable mentions include:

  • No Limit: Poker games featuring a No Limit structure give bettors the leeway to place wagers and effect raises to any amount when they act.
  • Pot Limit: Poker titles utilising the Pot Limit betting system allow players to bet or raise to any amount matching the existing pot. However, wagers and raises mustn't exceed the pot's given value (at any time) as the round progresses.
  • Fixed Limit: Fixed limit Poker titles feature fixed raises and bets in a specific session. These amounts can be set before or when a round starts. 

3 Poker Tips to Revamp Your Poker Adventure

If you'd like to transform your Poker adventure from losses to winning streaks as a beginner, adopt these three tips:

#1 Don't Play Many Hands

One notable mistake most Poker newbies make is playing too many hands. During gameplay, it'll be best to ignore the "any hand can win" phrase and focus on variations that'll improve your winning chances.

For a refresher, look at the "Poker hand rankings" segment above for context into the highest-paying and lowest-paying Poker hands.

#2 Reduce Bluffing

Seeing how Poker pros bluff on revered events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) might seem exhilarating. Although bluffing is a winning ingredient, it isn't the final piece of the jigsaw. 

Bluffing can make you lose sight of your intended goal — winning! To maximise your winning chances, focus on playing your cards right.

#3 Stay Attentive

Paying rapt attention during gameplay offers perspective on how your opponents play. This tip applies even when you're evicted from the round. 

When you study your opponents' playing patterns, you'll have a higher chance of defeating them in subsequent rounds. 

Parting Shot

Consider Poker if you're looking for a fun and exciting gambling adventure. This article has delivered a detailed overview of its associated rules to help you commence gameplay with aplomb. 

Although you might not rank #1 at first, constant practice and adopting the aforementioned Poker tips should place you among the greats in no time! 


Ijeoma Esther is an iGaming content writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the New Zealand mobile casino industry. While initially diving into online casino gaming as a hobby, she soon found herself immersed in the enthralling world of mobile slot and live casino games.Through the years, she discovered that writing about her favorite pokies was just as fun as playing them.