How to play Irish Poker – Rules and Strategy


Hold’em and Omaha may be the most popular modern variations with widely known poker rules, but they certainly aren’t the only ones.

Retired players often get bored of playing the same games and so someone invents a new version. One such game is Irish Poker.

Irish Poker clearly draws inspiration from Omaha and Hold’em, but it offers a unique twist that requires some strategic adjustments.

It has been very popular in recent years so many online rooms now offer it. You’ll also find live Irish Poker tournaments as well as cash games.

This particular version is better suited for home play, regardless of whether you are looking to take it seriously or have fun playing Irish Poker drinking games.

This doesn’t require poker strategy knowledge but you should be able to hold your liquor well. You won’t be able to outwit your opponents. Instead, you will need to outdrink them. This requires a different set of skills.


When the game is played in its more traditional variation, Irish Poker rules are quite similar to that of Texas Hold’em. The deal will start with the small blind player, and will continue clockwise.

Instead of receiving two cards, each player will be given four hole cards, facing down.

Once everyone has received their four hole cards, preflop betting begins. It starts with the UTG player. If you choose to play in a pot limit format, all rules will be the same as those of Hold’em and PLO.

The dealer will then deal the standard flop, which consists of three cards face-up, after the preflop betting round has been completed. The second round of betting begins with the player left of the button.

After the flop, all active players must discard two of their four cards.

Because you only have two hole cards, the turn and river will be played as Hold’em.

When it’s the time to show the hands, you’re allowed to use any combination of hole cards and community cards to make the best poker hands, i.e., you can use two, one, or none of your hole cards, just like in Hold’em.

Irish Poker Rules are not difficult, so you shouldn’t have any problems understanding them.

There is one twist to the rule: you must give up two cards to your hand on the turn. However, this means you will need to adapt your strategy to accommodate this rule.


If you are familiar with poker, it is not necessary to struggle with this variant. However, it will take some practice to learn how to play Irish Poker.

While Omaha and Hold’em are easy to learn, there are some tips you can use if you’re playing Irish Poker.

Choose Strong Starting Hands

This tip works for all poker variations, so it shouldn’t surprise. What is a good starting hand for Irish Poker?

You want your hand to be able to use all four cards together. This is similar to PLO.

Solid double-suited hands with high cards such as Aces and Kings, or rundowns (hands that contain four cards in a sequence i.e. 8 9 10 J) will perform well.

Hands that contain both straight and flush options like Ah JhQs 10s are powerful.

The hands that contain high pairs, such as AA JJ and KK QQ, are another category of strong hands. These hands are more likely to flop a top hand than Omaha, as your opponents will need to discard two cards before the turn. This will give them less options to catch up.

There are many hands that you can play with, even if premiums are not coming your way. A strong starter is a big pair that has some straight or flush options.

What is your Discard Strategy Irish Poker

You will need to be able to feel and understand how to play Irish Poker.

This is a very situation-dependent issue, so there are no charts that you can use.

Pay attention to the board texture to see what your options are and what your opponent’s most likely holdings may be.

You want to flop strong hands, such as two pair+, straights and flushes or draws to either the nuts or second nuts. You should avoid weak hands, particularly low-end straight draw, which can give your opponent an advantage when they come in.

Omaha players will likely have a better grasp of these ideas than those who are purely Hold’em-based, but this should not be a problem.

Remember that even top pairs with the best kicker are not strong in Irish Poker, particularly in multi-way pots.

If you don’t know how to get to the turn with a top pair hand, it is best to quit unless you are getting a great price to see it.


You don’t always want to win big at poker. Just like Strip Poker, this game can add a lot of fun and thrill to your evening.

The Irish Poker Drinking Game is a great way to have a fun and lighthearted atmosphere with poker friends and non-poker players. It involves cards, but does not require any knowledge about ranges, starting hands, or tells.

You might be able prevent some unfortunate events by telling someone who is drinking excessively.

What are the rules for the Irish Poker Drinking Game?

First, you will need a deck (naturally) of cards and a lot of alcohol. You can either have beers or shots depending on your group, or let everyone pick their poison.

My experience with drinking games has shown that the second option is the best, as people know which drink they like best.

Keep in mind that the goal is to have fun. Don’t try to ruin it by making too many rules.

Once all the logistics have been sorted, you are ready to start playing. Each player is dealt four cards face-down. The action begins with the dealer’s left.

As long as there are enough cards in your deck, you can have as many players as you like. The maximum number would be 13. If you are throwing a big party, it is okay to have two decks.

Irish Poker Round One

Each player will attempt to guess which color their first down card is (red or black). They will be able to choose two players to share one drink if they are successful.

They must take two drinks if they are wrong. The game continues until everyone has finished with their first card.

Round 2 of Irish Poker

It is up to you to determine if the second face-down card you turn over is higher or lower. You are allowed to choose four people to drink.

You’ll need four drinks if you make a mistake. Aces are generally high, but you can have them as low as you’d like or both.

Irish Poker Round Three

The third round of Irish Poker betting requires you to determine if the third card face-down is within or outside the values of the first two.

If you have a 5 or 8 guess and you are unable to answer, you will win if the other player has a 4 or 9. Pick the right number and pick six people to drink. You already know what will happen if you make a mistake.

Four-In-A-Round In Irish Poker

You must choose from one of the four suits to be your final card in the last round. If you guess correctly, you will be able to choose eight players to share one drink.

You can’t be wrong if you don’t drink eight.

Although I admit I have never played the game, the rules make me nervous.

I don’t have anything against poker or drinking, but the Irish Poker drinking game seems too intense.

You can set it up according to “official” rules, and plan for the game to last more than one round. To keep up, you’ll need to have some serious players.

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