Online Casino Games: How They Work and How to Play
Looking to start playing exciting casino games? Then you’re in the right place. This guide contains everything you need to know about playing at New Zealand casino sites.
Plus, we’ve created a list featuring the best NZ online casino sites to visit to find a huge range of online casino games. You can find titles from some of the best developers around in many New Zealand casinos.
So take a look at our list of recommendations, read up on the different types of games available and start playing today!
Overview of Online Casino Games
Types of Casino Games
For NZ players, there are numerous online casino games to choose from! Here are some of our top recommendations to consider if you’re interested in playing real money casino games.
Blackjack can be found in nearly almost all online casinos around the world. It’s also known as 21, and its rules are very simple (though you will benefit from learning about blackjack strategy!).
As a player, you need to reach 21 (or as close to 21) as possible to win. If you go over 21, you automatically lose. It has one of the highest RTP percentages around, so it is a great option for new players or anyone wanting to boost their chances of winning.
Roulette is all about luck! It’s played on a spinning wheel where a metal ball is dropped, and players get to bet on where they think the ball will land. You need to pick a number, colour or combination and watch the wheel spin. It’s a great game for beginners as it doesn’t involve any strategy and comes with a generous return to player (RTP) percentage.
There are a few different versions you can play. Check out our helpful guides to pick one that is right for you.
- American Roulette: A comprehensive guide to American Roulette.
- European Roulette: Discover the basics of one of the most popular types of roulette, including some advanced strategies for experienced players.
- Mini Roulette: This mini version of the game is played on a smaller wheel and features fewer betting options and numbers.
Poker is one of the most well-loved games at online casinos, and there are numerous versions you can choose to play online. The most popular version is probably Texas Hold’em. Check out our handy Texas Hold’em guide to learn how to play and some useful tips and strategies to get you started. Seven Card Stud is another great choice that you’ll find at many top NZ online casinos. As is Pai Gow Poker and Caribbean Stud Poker.
Each game has slightly different mechanics, but the overall idea is the same. You’ll either compete against other players or the ‘dealer’ to achieve the best hand. In addition to the luck of the draw, poker also requires a decent level of skill and strategy. You can control a lot of the game, including how and when to bet, when to fold or when to call.
Just like buying a real scratch card from your local newsagents, you can choose an online scratch card and become an instant winner! All you need to do is choose a design you like and consider the potential payout you’re after. Every scratch card is different, and you’ll need to see if you can match up symbols or words that offer different prizes. Scratch and reveal the symbols to see if you’re a winner.
In a baccarat game, players can either bet on themselves or the house (the banker). They can also choose to bet on a tie. You’ll receive two cards and decide which outcome you think is the most possible of winning from looking at your hand and the banker’s. The aim is to get as close to a total of 9 as possible without going over.
Like blackjack, there are some complex betting strategies to consider when you’re playing baccarat. It involves more than just having a random guess, with sophisticated gameplay that’s popular worldwide.
You’ll find online bingo rooms in many online casinos in New Zealand. During a bingo game, you need to match numbers on your card to the numbers that are called throughout the game, just like in a regular bingo game. It’s a great choice if you enjoy watching and want to play a little more ‘hands off’, as you can sit back and watch the game unfold. Depending on the online casino site you’re visiting, you may be able to access fresh bingo with bonuses or cash prizes.
The lottery works by accumulating all the money placed on the lotto into a winning pot. The longer the lotto goes without having a winner, the more money accumulates. During a live lotto draw, five white balls are selected at random and a final gold ball. You win if those six numbers are featured on your match lottery ticket!
Online Lotto falls under the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, known as Lotto NZ. While you used to have to purchase your lotto ticket from retail outlets, players can now play online Lotto, with winning numbers televised.
Sico Bo means ‘Precious Dice’ in China, where the game originates from. It’s one of the oldest casino games around that offers an exciting, fast-paced experience at many of the best NZ online casino sites. The game involves three dice, which are held in a small box. After the dealer ‘shakes’ the box, the dice are rolled. Players bet on what combination of dice they think will be displayed after the roll. When you are playing online, the betting table will show which available dice combinations players can make a wager on.
Craps is another popular dice game that you’ll find at many online casinos in New Zealand. Two dice are rolled, and players can make a wager on what they think the roll’s outcome will be. Depending on your experience level, you can either make a basic bet or learn about different craps strategies, rules and bets available.
Video poker is a simple game to play, but to be successful, you must master basic video poker strategies. When you play online, you will find many versions of this game; some offer multi-hand options. You’ll even find jackpot video poker games where you can win thousands with a single hand. When you play video poker, you’re playing against the computer instead of other players. All your poker hand rankings are the same as a standard poker game.
Progressive jackpots are a type of pokies (online slots). Pokies are some of the most commonly found games at an online casino, and jackpots are incredibly popular with NZ players. They have a jackpot, which grows each time someone makes a bet. It keeps growing until the prize pool is eventually won. Because the jackpot takes a portion of every wager that’s been taken, it can run into the millions of dollars before it is won.
Typically, progressive pokies have lower RTPs than other types of pokies, so you’ll usually have to bet more to win the main jackpot.
Live dealer games
If you want to enjoy the experience of playing a live game from the comfort of your home, then live dealer games are an excellent choice. These games stream live from a remote studio, with a real-live dealer and high-quality visuals to simulate a physical casino experience.
Unlike other casino games, you can chat with players and dealers. Some of the games available include poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Live dealer games are a great choice for a more social experience when visiting a live dealer online casino.
Popular Game Titles
Here are some of the most popular game titles available at some of the best NZ online casino sites:
- Davinci Diamonds: This online slot by IGT offers five reels and 20 paylines. It first launched back in 2007 and is still hugely popular today. You can play in free mode or for real money. With three scatter symbols, 300 maximum free spins and a 94.94% RTP, up to 5,000 jackpot coins are also available.
- 88 Fortunes: This pokies game is set in East Asia and features a lucky red background with Asian-inspired symbols. It offers four progressive jackpots, bonus rounds and a free spins round. So you’ve got plenty of options to win big. It’s also fully optimised for mobiles, so you can play on the go and still have a great gaming experience.
- Cleopatra: This video slot features five reels and 20 paylines. It’s one of the most popular slots ever made, and it is available online and in physical casinos. Featuring a single bonus round with free spins, respins and multipliers, it’s a medium-volatile title. So you’ve got a chance to win frequently. With an RTP of 95.02%, the maximum win on this game per session is 10,000x your initial stake.
- Neon Roulette: This online roulette game by FUGASO offers a fresh approach to the game. You can stake between 10 cents and $300, and it features impressive visuals that make it stand out against other roulette games. It’s European roulette and provides all the standard bets you can expect from this version of the game. There are also some additional special bets and three different jackpots on offer.
- IGT Blackjack: This blackjack game by IGT requires dealers to draw until 16 and then stand once their hand totals 17 points or over. You’ll be offered insurance when the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. Players play with a single hand, but you can divide your hand if your two starting cards are the same value. You can also double down and hit after a split.
- Jacks or Better: This game is probably one of the most well-known versions of video poker. Developed by Betsoft, it’s a traditional video poker-style game with basic graphics. As the name suggests, the minimum qualifying hand to win is a pair of jacks.
Latest Titles (December 2023)
With new games released regularly, it’s always a great opportunity to try out a new game at an online casino. Here are some of the newest game releases, where you can win real money at New Zealand online casinos.
- Mega Fire Plaze – Piggies in the Bank: This new online pokies game comes from Playtech and features a five-reel, three-row layout. It has four progressive jackpots and mystery symbols. Check out some of the excellent extras available, including free spins, respins and bonus bets.
- Precious Panda – Hold & Win: This new game also offers a five-reel, three-row layout, where you’ll find 25 paylines. The main feature is the Hold & Win respins. There are fixed jackpots, wild symbols and a Panda Feature Pick. It’s anticipated this slot will have high volatility, but it does have an RTP of 96%. The game can also pay up to 8,888x the stake, which developers say can be claimed during paid spins.
- The Goonies Hey You Guys Slot: This game is by provider Blueprint Gaming. Players can enjoy the adventure of this five-reel game, searching for treasure, golden pirate symbols and free spins. There are 10 paylines and a maximum win that’s 2,000x your bet. The RTP is 95%, and there is a grid hosting bonus games where you can win even more spin or cash multipliers.
- Jester’s Book of Gold: This new online slots game is from Skywind Group. It’s a classic slot featuring three reels and five pay lines. It’s known for its vibrant graphics and great features. You can win up to 10,000x per bet. The game features Joker symbols, and when playing in the free spins mode, you can expand to 5×5 reels. So, there are even more opportunities for you to win.
- Catrina’s Coins: This 3×5 reel online slots game comes with Wilds and Catrina Coins that trigger bonus games. If you manage to secure the bonus game, it features Starpots and Piñatas, allowing you to win up to 10,000x your original bet.
- Royal Potato 2: Following on from the successful online slots Royal Potato, this game is played on a five-reel, four-row reelset. It offers 30 paylines and in regular mode has an RTP of 96.26%. Winning combinations must include at least three matching symbols, paying left to right. Royal Potato 2 doesn’t drop regular wilds, but its Spud Free Spins round features an entertaining wild element.
General Information about NZ Online Casino Games
Here is some general info that we look at when we’re recommending online casino sites for New Zealand players, to make sure you’ve got access to a wide range of games:
|Number of casino games:||500-3,000|
|Number of online pokies:||500-2,000|
|Number of progressive jackpots:||20-50+|
|Number of blackjack games:||10-40|
|Number of roulette games:||10-40|
|Other popular casino games:||Book of Dead, Gonzo’s Quest, Mega Moolah|
|Number of live casino games:||50-100|
|Number of software providers:||20+|
|Best software providers in NZ:||NetEnt, Microgaming, Evolution Gaming|
Top Casino Games to Play
When visiting the best casino for New Zealand players, you’ll find an amazing selection of games. Each site will have different titles based on which software developers they partner with. Here are some of the top casino games in New Zealand:
- Pokies: Casino slot games, known as pokies, are among the most played on any online gambling site, especially in New Zealand. These games do not require special skills or knowledge; you can play them for various bet amounts. With classic slots, video slots, and progressive jackpot titles, each casino site offers hundreds of pokies that provide great chances to win payouts.
- Table games: Table games are quite popular with players from New Zealand, and there are some great free casino games that you can play. Free games are perfect if you are learning a new table game or trying to develop skills. When you gamble online, you will find sites offering various games, including blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, and more.
- Exclusive casino games: You can find exclusive casino games at specific sites. These casinos usually use special software to deliver a complete game portfolio you can’t find elsewhere. The games can include casino slots, table games, and video poker.
Real Money Casino Games Vs. Free Demos
While most players are interested in playing for real money when they hit online casinos, checking out some free demos can also be a great strategy to understand the game better.
Here are some of the pros and cons of real money casino games compared to free demos:
|Real-money casino games||Free casino games|
|✅ When you play, you’re playing for real money prizes and can take home significant money.||✅ You can try out new games without having to make a deposit.|
|✅ You’re also typically eligible for additional cash prizes when you make a deposit at an online casino.||✅ You can play for free without providing any personal or financial information to the online casino.|
|✅ You’re eligible to access live casino games, giving you an immersive and social gaming experience.||✅ You can try different betting strategies before investing any of your money.|
|❌ If you’re on a budget, it can make it difficult to maintain your spending when you’re using your real money.||❌ You may not be eligible to claim any bonuses or promotions, as most online casino sites require a deposit.|
|❌ You risk losing your money with every bet you make while playing real money casino games.||❌ You cannot win any real money when you’re playing for free.|
How do we rate the Best Casino Games?
At CasinoCrawlers, our experts check each online casino, and we recommend sites after assessing each using strict criteria. Here are some of the top things we look for when reviewing an online casino.
Quality and number of Casino Games
Every online casino offers something different for players. Having a large number of casino games provides lots of flexibility for players, particularly if plenty of popular games are on offer. We also want to ensure that you’re getting access to quality games. Sometimes, an online casino offering smaller game portfolios can be just as impressive if they’ve got high-quality games.
Typically, we’ll look at an online casino offering 500 to 3,000 games. The most dominant games are usually online pokies, so we make sure there’s a good amount available with lots of variety for players to choose from. In addition, we also check what live dealer games are available, which offer an excellent gambling experience for many players looking for more social interaction.
To ensure all our readers can access the most popular casino games, we look for sites that partner with many different software companies and offer a wide selection. Many casino game developers are available, including small independent providers and major studios. Some of the names we look out for include Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Playtech, Play’n GO, and Big Time Gaming. The best online casinos usually have between 10 and 50 different software providers, allowing plenty of choice for NZ players.
When recommending sites, we look at the various bonuses on offer from each online casino. Many bonuses and promotions come with strict terms and conditions, so sometimes, it’s not worth activating. We look for trusted and reputable sites with a good reputation for offering fair playing conditions for all players. Some of the different bonuses we look for include welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, free spins and more. If you’re considering activating a bonus, make sure to read the terms and conditions of the offer. We suggest looking for the following information to help decide if the bonus is worthwhile:
Wagering requirement: Playthrough requirements refer to how much an online casino requires you to wager before you can access your winnings made with the bonus. Most online casinos have wagering requirements in the range of 35x to 45x. Some of the best casinos will feature wagering requirements of 15x or lower, though they can be more challenging to find.
Payment restrictions: Sometimes, online casinos can limit the types of payment methods you can use to activate your bonus. For example, in New Zealand, e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller are often excluded from the bonus or promo. You can make deposits with these payment options, but you’re not eligible for the bonus if you do so.
We’ll always check payout details for any site on our recommended list. In particular, we check the RTP, which highlights how much a casino, or an individual game, pays back to players on average. For example, many pokies have an average RTP of 96%. So, for every $1 you spend, the game will pay back $0.96.
We look for sites that offer a generous overall RTP so you have more chance of recouping some of your money. But lower RTP games can also offer more generous prizes, so it’s important to consider your appetite for risk versus reward when choosing games.
We want to make sure all readers have a great online gaming experience. We check how well the website works on a range of devices. Especially since we know that so many NZ players use mobiles and tablet devices to play online, we want to ensure their experience is as good as if they were playing on a computer.
A good online casino should also be easy to navigate so you can easily find what you’re looking for with sections clearly marked and access to filters. For example, you can choose by a provider or search for the newest games available.
Licensing & Safety
At CasinoCrawlers, we only recommend online casinos with a license from a regulated authority, such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. Because the sites are licensed and regulated, they undergo frequent checks and must adhere to strict conditions to ensure fair play for all players. We also check which independent testing labs casinos use to ensure safe and fair games. For example, eCOGRA, Gaming Labs International or iTech Labs. Finally, we check the security measures and encryption that each online casino offers to ensure your personal information is kept safe and secure.
Casino Games Selection & Variety
When choosing casino games online, it comes down to personal preference. Some players prefer playing pokies where no strategy is usually required, while others want to showcase their skills by playing blackjack or poker. Game choice also depends on whether you like to play a game alone or prefer competing against other players. The best way to see what games suit your needs is to play free versions of them. This provides a risk-free way to preview titles and learn game rules before you wager any real money.
If you are ready to get in on the action of the best casino games, check out the most popular options that you can find at leading New Zealand online casinos. Browse our list of casinos above and explore the sites to see what games they offer.
Best Pokie Games to Play in 2023
With online pokies being some of the most played games online, leading software providers are constantly releasing new and exciting slot games. Here is a list of popular titles with some of the best payouts.
- Mega Joker: This is a pokie game from NetEnt and is a three-reel pokie with five pay lines. The game has a verified RTP of 99% and offers a huge progressive jackpot.
- Monopoly Big Event: Offering an RTP that ranges from 96-99%, this pokie from Barcrest has become a top choice. It offers 20 pay lines and multiple bonus rounds.
- 1429 Uncharted Seas: An exciting pokie from Thunderkick, this game offers an RTP of 98%, features 25 pay lines, and a great free spin round providing 10-50 free spins.
- Blood Suckers: This vampire-themed game is from NetEnt and offers a verified RTP of 98%. You’ll enjoy frequent payouts with free spins and a second screen bonus.
How to Find the Right Casino Game
Best Game Providers in New Zealand
When looking for amazing gambling games online, you need to use casino sites with trusted software providers. There are some great choices for players in New Zealand, and these developers have been creating the best games for many years. Check out what these providers offer, and then preview some free gambling games to see if they meet your needs.
- NetEnt: NetEnt is perhaps one of the most popular providers for players who enjoy video pokies. This Swedish company is always offering new releases, and its games have some of the best payouts in the industry, with some titles offering an RTP as high as 99%.
- Evolution Gaming: If you are a live dealer casino games fan, be sure to check out Evolution Gaming. This company has been creating games since 2006, and more than 35 live games are offered in the portfolio.
- Playtech: As one of the most popular providers of casino games online, Playtech is a top choice for Kiwi gamblers. The company offers a fantastic array of branded pokies, super table and card games, live dealer options, and much more.
- Microgaming: This was one of the first companies to offer real money games online. Microgaming is known to have the most extensive game portfolios online, and you will find sites that have hundreds of pokies and a massive collection of table and card games. They are also home to the highest paying progressive jackpot games, including Mega Moolah and Major Millions.
Casino Game Category list
Each online casino will offer different casino games and bonuses. With many sites now using multiple software providers, you can enjoy hundreds of titles at a single site. The game categories will stay the same in most cases, and you’ll be able to access the same types of games at each site. Find out what you can play and which games are the most popular right here.
Table games can produce fantastic payouts as long as players have the skills and strategies to succeed. Some top-paying games on offer include European Roulette, Baccarat, and Craps. These games will require skill to win, and they can offer some excellent returns, even on small wagers.
Card games are a top choice for Kiwi players, and they can offer some excellent payouts. Many players prefer the action of games like baccarat and poker. At top sites, you will find many variations of these games, and some Texas Hold’Em poker games offer impressive returns. Three Card Poker is also a great choice, and this game offers an RTP of 96% to 98%.
Dice games appeal to some players since these games rely on luck instead of skill. Craps and Sic Bo are the most popular dice games played online, and both of these games can offer great payouts. The Craps game provided by Playtech and Betsoft offers an RTP of 9968%.
Probability games offer chances to win based on the probability of a result. These are often dice games like Craps. Roulette is also a probability game, and when you can bet on a single number and win, you will enjoy the highest possible payout on this classic casino game.
Mobile casino games
Mobile casinos come in all forms, and playing on a mobile device will give you access to all the available games at the online casino. The games are all played similarly and support the same betting options. The most popular mobile games that New Zealanders play today include pokies, blackjack, poker, and roulette.
Android casino games
Android casino games are designed for use on an Android phone or tablet. Some casinos have an app you can download, while others provide a web-based mobile platform. You can find all of the popular games from the casino on offer, so you can spin the reels on pokies, bet at tables, and even enjoy live dealer games when using your mobile device.
No deposit casino games
Want to play without any financial risk? Then no deposit casino games are for you. With these, you can play games after registering for an account but don’t have to wager any real money. If you are using a no deposit bonus, most games available for play with bonus funds will be pokies, but there are some no deposit deals that you can use on video poker or table games.
Can You Beat the Casino?
Games created for online casinos are just like those at land casinos and are designed to have a house edge. While players can master some skills and increase their chances of winning, the house will always win in the long run. It is possible to hit a winning streak where you will beat the house for a short time, but there is no way to guarantee this.
The best way to win and reduce the house edge is to learn essential strategies when playing certain games, such as blackjack or video poker. Both games provide the lowest house edge and will offer you the best chances of collecting payouts. Card and table games tend to have a better RTP for players than slots, so when looking to beat the house, try to find games with the highest possible RTP.
Only Play at Licensed Casinos!
When choosing to gamble for real money, it is essential to choose a fully licensed and regulated casino. These sites adhere to local gambling laws and meet industry standards. Licensed casinos also provide a safe and secure environment, offering outstanding levels of protection. These casino sites always place player security and satisfaction first.
When a casino is licensed, it also ensures all games are fair. Most casinos will undergo audits by independent companies to assess game fairness and ensure that all payout percentages are verified. Since New Zealand does not operate any casinos within the country, players who want to play at the most secure sites should look for casinos with licenses from the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gambling Authority, or the Alderney Gaming Control Commission.
Want to Play Free Casino Games and Pokies?
You are in luck if you want to gamble online but don’t want to risk money. The best sites that accept New Zealand players will also offer a great assortment of free games. These games don’t require deposits and will provide the same features as a real money game. The only difference is that you will not be able to collect any payouts.
Free play is a great way to preview titles before wagering when a software provider releases new casino games. Even experienced players rely on free gambling games when practising skills and strategies. Free casino games offer hours of excitement and provide players with the same excellent gambling experience without the chance of losing any money.
These types of games are also beneficial for players who are comparing different sites. By taking some time to play games for free, you can choose which casino has the game portfolio with the best titles and make an educated decision before making any financial commitment.
New Casino Games Launching in 2023
If you are a pokie fan, look for great new releases in 2023. Your favourite developers are always working to create and release innovative games, such as the ones below:
- Animals of Africa
- Cosmic Voyager
- Reel Desire
- House of Doom 2
- Dragon’s Luck Deluxe
Use CasinoCrawlers to Find the Best Casino Game!
At CasinoCrawlers, we want to ensure you access great casino games online. We aim to let players know about the best options available for playing real money online casino games. Our team of experts takes time to review new titles and keep players informed, so you continually have updated information on the latest and greatest casino games! Check out our list of popular games and start playing for your chance to win today.
Online Casino Games FAQ
What is the best real money game to play at the casino to win money?
Players should play video poker to have the best chance to win payouts. The next best game to play for top chances of winning is blackjack.
What are the most common casino games?
For players in New Zealand, the most common casino games available are pokies. These games offer some great action, and you'll find appealing themes, super animations, great betting options, and some excellent chances to win base game payouts and progressive jackpots.
Can casino games be rigged?
A random number generator controls online casino games, so there is no way for these games to be rigged. There is nothing a casino or a player can do to alter the outcome of any game that is played at an online casino.
What technology powers casino games?
Today’s casinos rely on mobile technology to deliver games to players on any device. You will also find that live dealer games have become quite popular, using HD streaming technology to provide live and realistic games.
Which game has the worst chances of winning?
If you want to win big while playing gambling games online, staying away from the Wheel of Fortune Game and Keno is best. These have a high house edge. Some pokies also don't have good chances of winning, yet they remain the most popular online games.
How can I improve my chances of winning?
If you are playing card and table games, you can improve your chances of winning by playing free games and working on your skills and strategy. As for other casino games that rely on luck, there is no way to improve the chances of winning.
Is it legal to play casino games in New Zealand?
Players from New Zealand can legally engage in real money casino gambling online, and no laws prevent players from gambling online. The only laws in place are those that restrict operators from running an online casino within the borders of New Zealand.
Noah is the senior content editor at CasinoCrawlers and a writer with many iGaming articles under his portfolio. Therefore, he is skilled at writing bonus guidelines, gambling strategies, and casino reviews. During his spare time, he enjoys playing Call of Duty and is a huge rugby fan.Read more about the author