TOP 5 most popular card games in New Zealand

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While there are probably tons of different card games and variations, there are 5 that stand out in New Zealand

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Card games are a historical form of leisure activity that can be traced back to the Chinese language and Arabic cultures. Rather than symbols printed on cards as we are used to today, the original playing cards were made from a wide variety of materials such as tile, wood, parchment, ivory. Its exact origins are unknown, but card games probably started out for fun and have since found their way to all corners of the world. While there are probably tons of different card games and variations, there are a few that stand out in NZ.


Cards have been a good activity for years and you’ll see people playing cards in casinos, pubs, family parties, community centers, old people's homes, and street corners. Card games are virtually played everywhere, but the new variants being introduced haven’t really led to changes in the list of the most played card games in New Zealand. We believe the most popular casino games in New Zealand to be the following 5 games:

Texas Maintain'em

Of all the poker variations on the planet, Texas Maintain'em is arguably the most played variant down under, although we believe the number 5 spot is where it deserves to be. Both online and offline, the Texas Maintains 'em community is widespread and thriving. While it has been a preferred variant in the US for years, it has gained popularity in other corners of the world as well. This relatively recent boost in popularity is mainly due to the World Sequence of Poker tournaments that were broadcasted in the early 2000s, drawing the attention with huge prize pools and a lot of other blows and whistles. In addition, there have been quite a few films about this variant, showing Texas Maintainem's huge contribution in popular culture.

How to play:

For those who are not familiar with this variation, the idea is simple: your goal is to make one of the best hands possible with 5 playing cards out of the seven available. Nevertheless, you are only dealt two playing cards in the first of each sphere and the opposite 5 are common playing cards that every player can see. Texas Maintain'em involves a lot of techniques and psychological skills such as bluffing which are considered essential to be able to win.


Blackjack is a card game that is often played for real money in especially casinos. The goal of the game is to beat the bank, who also fill in the role of dealer. One must try to get closer to 21 points than the bank. If the player exceeds 21 points, he or she loses regardless of the bank’s score. Blackjack has managed to gain a lot of popularity in NZ thanks to its straightforward rules and media attention in films like 21, Rain Man, and The Gambler.

How to play:

You always start with two cards that you place face up in front of you. The Ace is worth 11 and the other symbols are worth 10. The rest of the cards simply have the value shown on the cards. The idea is to get 21 or as close to it as possible without exceeding the number of “21” which also explains why this number is also often used to refer to the game. Whoever is closest to the score wins the game.

From Blackjack, Texas Maintain'em, Omaha, Baccarat, Texas Hold’em, which you prefer?
From Blackjack, Texas Maintain'em, Omaha, Baccarat, Texas Hold’em, which you prefer?


A lot of Texas Hold'em poker players have been switching to Ohama in recent years, because the Texas Hold'em variant (which we’ll touch upon later on) has become overwhelmingly popular in recent years, leading to full poker rooms. Although this was especially something that went on in the noughties, things have calmed down, but Omaha nevertheless gained a new generation of players that were looking for an alternative. The cool thing about Ohama is that it has almost the same rules as Texas Hold'em, making it quite easy for newbies to pick up. At a game of Ohama you play with a total of 9 cards which means that all participants have a higher chance of a good card combination than in Texas Hold'em. This is something you need to bear in mind as a beginner. Many beginners have to get used to the fact that you have to make a combination with two pocket cards.


How to play:

This is what makes the game so interesting. Because every player has at least 4 cards in his or her hand, there are many possible combinations. Each player is dealt 4 cards after which the game begins. As with Texas Hold'em, Omaha also has a pre-flop betting round. Post-flop play is basically the same as in Texas Hold'em. Other things poker players will be familiar with are the round of betting after the flop, turn, river and finally showdown. The hand rankings ​​do not differ from Texas Hold'em.


Baccaratlink outside website is yet another card game that has been around for a long time. The game is believed to have been brought to France from Italy during the reign of Charles VIII of France somewhere between 1483 and 1498. There are three widely accepted versions of the game: Baccarat Chemin de Fer, Baccarat Banque (also known as a deux tableaux), and Punto Banco. If you’re new to baccarat, the game will require some time and effort to learn it well. It does have one of the best odds in the industry which is one of the many reasons why baccarat is among the most popular casino games in New Zealand casinos.

How to play:

In some ways, baccarat resembles blackjacklink outside website. They both involve the calculation of card values and involve point total. However, the game is a lot easier than blackjack. This is because a player is given only one chance to bet before the cards are dealt. Like other table games, baccarat is provided with several variable rule formats. As one of the world’s most popular games, baccarat is widely offered by NZ casinos, both live and online.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em Poker is the most popular and well-known variant of poker. In most cases this variant is meant when people refer to poker. Texas Holdem is also the main variant played at most poker tournaments. Relatively little is known about the historylink outside website of Texas Hold'em, but according to the Texas Senate, the game originated in the early 20th century in Robstown, Texas. After gaining popularity in Texas in the US, it quickly found its way to Las Vegas, where poker had been legal since 1931. As in many European countries, a great interest in poker developed in NZ and Australia since the beginning of the 21st century when global tournaments were broadcasted live on TV and prize polls skyrocketed to millions of US dollars resulting in a strong growth in the number of organised poker tournaments and cash games.

How to play:

Texas Hold'em is a poker variant where you have to make the highest possible card combination. At a table is played with 2 to 10 people and a decklink outside website of 52 cards. Each round, players are dealt 2 cards, which are only visible to them. During the round, 5 cards are dealt face up on the table; the player with the highest hand ultimately wins the round. The player is dealt 2 hole cards and 5 community cards are placed on the table.