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Irish Poker Rules and How to Play It – 4 Minute Crash Course

Do you happen to be a die hard fan of Poker who endures an indecisive battle while playing Texas Hold ’em and Omaha Hold ’em?

No worries!

We’ve got you a fine fusion of the most sought-after poker variants -Texas Hold ’em and Omaha Hold ’em Poker that takes out the extreme swings of the Omaha Poker.

Yes, Irish Poker!

Two poker players, some nice vodka shots, a deck of cards, some sage Irish Poker rules and a clean surface is probably all you need to get things moving.

After receiving loads of raving reviews on our guide to two-player drinking games, we’ve come up with some key takeaways on playing the Irish version of  Poker with its markedly different Irish poker rules.

This 4-minute crash course will unveil the most famous gathering norm of the Irish culture along with sage tips to help you secure victory in the game of Irish Poker.

How to Play Irish Poker – A Quick Insight Into The Early Stages Of The Game

Following the exact same pattern of Omaha Poker, Irish Poker begins with a 52 card deck; the players are passed out four pocket cards each on the pre-flop. 

The subsequent game goes like any other flop games. 

Once the flop is revealed, a pair of cards is set aside, and the rest of the game plays out along the lines of Texas Hold ’em. 

Each player is dealt four cards. From there starts a series of actions, promising all the players a highly engaging atmosphere.

Since Irish Poker happens to be a fusion of different playing formats, here are all the stages, divided into digestible chunks so that you too can play Irish Poker like a Pro.

Irish Poker Rules

Many gamers find this part of the game highly inspired by Omaha Poker. The first player at the dealer’s left has to post an SB (Small Blind), while the other player to the left posts a BB (Big Blind).

Beginning with small blinds, each player is dealt four cards. The deal starts with the small blind and then circulates around the table in a clockwise manner.

Every player is given out four cards instead of two, face down. The subsequent game mirrors the action of Omaha Poker. From here, the pre-flop betting begins with the player positioned left on the big blind.

The next round of betting starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer button.

Once the round reaches its end, each member discards two out of four cards after the flop. 

Since now each active member is dealt with two cards, from here, the game takes a turning point and plays out exactly like Texas Hold ’em till the turn and river.

Now when the betting calls for showing the hands, the player can use a sequence of the hole cards and the community cards of his choice and make the best starting hand.

If you’ve been a poker player, learning Irish Poker could be a whole lot easier for you. However, regardless of your gaming background, you can learn it in no time, but it surely calls for a lot of practice to master all the moves of the game.

The actual thrill begins from the turn round, where the player has to throw out (discard) two cards from his hand. The key tip to make the rest of the game move forward smoothly is to understand and adjust the strategy for the rule.

Now that the player has picked out the cards he wishes to keep, the turn is dealt. 

From here, the game moves forward, mimicking the actions of the classic game Texas Hold ’em. The next betting begins after the turn (the fourth community card) and the following after the river (the fifth or final community card).

Pro Tips To Secure Victory In The Game   

If you’ve been a poker player familiar with the nitty-gritty of the game, the chances are that a little guidance with this guide will help you keep your best forward. However, even if you don’t have a Poker background, our pro tips will help you outcompete your expert Poker buddies.

Know the basics

The first and foremost tip is to clear the basics. Without a clear understanding of Poker, the player will keep struggling with the basics.

Since Irish Poker is an amalgam of Omaha Poker and Texas Hold ’em, be sure you know what the basics are. The initial rounds of the game are closely knitted to the same strategy as that of the Omaha Poker, while the end rounds are a clear depiction of the Texas Hold ’em.

The key Cards to grab

The initial rounds of the game start the same as Omaha Poker.

And, here are the cards to look out for to play out the early rounds of the game accordingly.

From loads of possibilities presented on the table, here’re the types of hands that you want to look for:

  • Wraps (KQJT, QJT9, J1098, 10987, and so on)
  • High Pairs with middling connectors (KKJT, KKJ9, QQJ10, QQ109, and so on)
  • Double big pairs (QQJJ, KKQQ, AAKK, KKJJ, and so on)
  • Double Suited (As10sQh9h, Ah8hKd10d, and so on)

Understand the situation-dependent strategy 

In case you fail to get any of these above-mentioned premium cards in the early rounds, don’t panic. You can still build the best poker hand when more community cards are put forward in the next rounds. 

Aim to play the best starting hand possible. Once you know the strategy, you’ll learn what cards to keep and what cards to discard at the right time.

Moreover, the entire game is generally played depending on the circumstances and the opponent’s moves, so there are no specific rules to swear by. 

Still, the best strategy to secure a victory is to develop a strong starting hand, which needs time to be mastered.

A quick tip is to have a look at the disposed cards to predict what your opponent is up to.

Pay special attention to the Board’s texture.

Our next tip revolves around paying particular attention to the texture of the Board, as this is what helps you pick the best options, depending on your situation.

Preferably, to flop the best hand, go for like two pairs + straights +flushes. If you have an Omaha Poker background, you would be quite aware of the best moves. 

However, even if you don’t possess a true Omaha Poker background, know that hands like the top pair, even with the excellent kicker, aren’t deemed strong or best in the Irish Poker. 

Irish Poker rules go slightly off the beaten track from those of the game of Texas. 

Irish Poker and Irish Poker Drinking Game are two poles apart variants!


Note that a zillion of search results shows ‘Irish Poker Drinking Game’ when you enter the search query ‘Irish Poker,’ which could be misleading. 

Just ensure you never confuse the information of Irish Poker with the Irish Drinking Game. The latter one happens to be massively different from the former.

The Ultimate Way to Play Irish Poker Drinking Game

If you’re done with making money and yearning for some fun time, here’s a fun variation of the Irish Poker that plays out completely differently from the one you just finished reading. 

Irish Poker drinking is greatly influenced by a famous drinking game that goes by the name “Ride The Bus”, and consists of four different rounds.

This is how the game begins!

Here are a few simple rules to play ‘Irish Poker Drinking Game’ that will give you the competitive edge you require.

First Round

With a total of four rounds, round one of this game begins with the poker player on the left of the dealer button. It starts with the player having to choose between red or black, which goes somewhat like this:

If the player gets it correct, he will give out two drinks. Whereas, if the player gets it wrong, he gets to take those two drinks.

Second Round

Coming to the second round, this round calls for the player to guess the unexposed card, whether the second card should be raised higher or lower than the first card. If the player passes this round, four drinks are given, and if wrong, four drinks are taken.

Third Round

In the third round, the poker player reveals if his card would be in-between or outside of the first two cards. Then, the card is turned upside down, and if the player manages to guess the inside and outside right, he then takes out six drinks. However, if not guessed rightly, the poker player will give out six drinks.

Though Irish Poker Drinking Game appears a bit complex on paper, the game actually plays out quite smoothly once the players get  going.

The Fourth And The Final Round

When all the poker players have made their four guesses for each of their cards, then starts the fourth and final round in which a designated player guesses the fourth card suit –from the four options available:

  • Clubs
  • Hearts 
  • Spades 
  • Diamonds 

And, if the player guesses the suit correctly, eight drinks are given. While if the player gets it wrong, he’ll have to take eight freaky drinks.

Ready To Get The Ball Moving?

So there you have  it – an in-depth four-minute crash course that decodes everything, all the rules, and secrets to secure a victory in Irish Poker.

Not to mention, the initial rounds of the game appear a bit challenging. However, things start to streamline in the subsequent rounds.

Once you master the rules and the moves, you can tailor the strategy accordingly.

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