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Playing Live Poker Rooms

Top-Notch Live Poker Rooms in NZ

Playing live poker is a completely different experience than playing online. Although, we love the game here, we wouldn't say no to an action-packed, lively game down at our local casino or cardroom.

There's nothing like being in a big tournament with hundreds of runners and hearing the tournament director announce, “Shuffle up and deal!” Or, the sound of chips being riffled as players tank, trying to work out if their opponents are bluffing, or not. The banter, the noise, the general hum of a live room is something every player should experience – at least once.

So, in no particular order, here are the top 3 most popular (and we think, best) rooms in New Zealand.

SKYCITY POKER - Auckland, New Zealand

90 Federal Street

Auckland, New Zealand

Tel: +64 9 363 6000


SKYCITY CASINO has one of the best live poker rooms in New Zealand. It offers a wide range of tourneys in Sit & Go, MTT and Freeroll formats, as well as a hefty siding of cash games. Tournament buy-ins start as low as NZD $15 and go all the way up to NZD $500.

The name of the game for most tourneys and cash games is No Limit Hold'em. But don't let that put you off. With opening hours, Monday to Friday from 5pm till late and 12pm till late on the weekends, there's plenty of action to go round.

CHRISTCHURCH CASINO - Christchurch, New Zealand

30 Victoria Street

Christchurch, New Zealand

Tel: +64 3 365 9999


Christchurch Casino opened in 1994 as New Zealand's inaugural casino. Since then it has flourished, as has its game selection. As resident home to the annual Wellington Poker Championship, this casino's room has been the breeding ground for a wealth of Kiwi playing talent.

Along with the many tournaments on offer, Christchurch poker room has a wide variety of cash games. Stakes start at $1/$2 in No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha formats, and top out at $5/$5.

DUNEDIN CASINO - Dunedin, New Zealand

118 High Street

Dunedin, New Zealand

Tel: +64 800 477 4545


Dunedin might not be one of the biggest casinos in New Zealand, but its schedule packs a mighty punch. The games on offer are mainly Texas Hold'em and Omaha, but there's a little Caribbean Stud for those interested in taking a walk on the dark side.

Wednesdays and Thursdays are tournament days, with guaranteed prize pools. Wednesday night's event has a NZD$30 buy-in with a $2,000 guarantee. Thursday night has a NZD $10 buy-in with a $600 guarantee. Become a regular at this joint and you might find yourself battling for a share of an estimated NZD $5,000 in their Xmas Classic Freeroll.

New Zealand's 2021 top poker sites for you

Picking Up on Tells

Now when you're going from online to live play, if you're observant you'll be able to pick up on some player tells that you just don't see online. Take a look:

The banter, the noise, the general hum of a live room is something every player should experience – at least once.
  • Audible Tells

    Audible tells are noises that an opponent makes (or doesn't make). Clearing of the throat, nervous laughing can be a big indication of what your opponent might have.

  • Reaching for Chips

    If a player is reaching for chips while you're thinking about betting, you're more than likely getting called, or even raised

  • Shaky Hands

    A strong indication of a strong hand. Your opponent probably has a monster.

  • Seating Position

    Keep an eye on your opponents' natural seating position. If they suddenly sit forward in a hand, after being relaxed, they like what they see.

  • Reverse Tells

    If you're a newbie to the live game, you'll probably face a wily old fox at the table. The more sophisticated players will flip a known tell on its head. So, watch out!

Think you've got what it takes to play Live? Pull up a seat!

Where to Play Poker

Mobile poker is technology's newest gift to online players, enabling them to play real money games from any location under the sun.

Safe and secure sites

Playing on an iPad devices is definite enhanced experience because of their larger screens and better batteries. Since the iPad battery lasts longer, iPad poker is ideal for players who prefer longer cash games and tournaments. The above-mentioned online gaming rooms are also compatible with the iPad.