How to play Irish Poker

How To Play Irish Poker

Irish Poker combines elements of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Pineapple, creating a fun and different poker game for any occasion.

A game of Irish Poker deals four cards to each player, similar to Omaha. After the flop betting round, however, each player in the hand discards two cards, and the action proceeds from there.

Here’s a look at how to play Irish Poker:

How To Play Irish Poker

A hand of Irish poker starts in an identical fashion to an Omaha poker game. The game uses a system of a button and blinds, which rotate clockwise around the table after each hand.

Starting with the player in the small blind, the dealer distributes four cards to every player at the table, one at a time. When all players have four cards, the preflop betting round begins.

The preflop betting round begins with the player on the immediate left of the big blind. This player has the option to call (match the big blind amount), raise (increase the amount of the active bet), or fold (surrender their cards and sit out the rest of the hand).

After this player makes his decision, the betting action moves clockwise around the table, giving each player the chance to call, raise, or fold. Once the preflop betting round is closed, the dealer puts the first three of five community cards on the board, known as the flop.

Paired Flop Strategy

The flop may look something like this.

Irish Poker: Postflop

All remaining players in the hand advance to the flop betting round. The player in the small blind must act first, or the first player to the immediate left if the small blind player is out of the hand.

The flop betting round proceeds just as it would in a game of Omaha. All players still hold four cards, but when the flop betting round ends the game takes a unique twist.

All live players must discard two cards before the turn is dealt. After each player has selected the two cards they want to keep, the turn is dealt.

Another betting round takes place after the turn (the fourth community card, aka fourth street), and another after the river (the fifth and final community card, aka fifth street).

The final two betting rounds proceed just as they would in a game of Texas Hold’em. The winner at the end of the hand is the player with the best five-card hand, according to standard poker hand rankings.

Note that the rules of Irish Poker mimic Texas Hold’em at showdown, and you can use any combination of hole cards and community cards to make the best hand.

Irish Poker Tips

  • Irish Poker truly starts as a game of Omaha and ends as a game of Texas Hold’em. Be sure you’re not betting the potential of your four hole cards on the flop. Choose your best two-card hand and play it like you would in Texas Hold’em.
  • Don’t stay in the preflop round unless you have somewhat of a decent two-card hand. Again, certain four-card drawing hands that might play well in Omaha won’t look so good after you discard two after the flop.
  • Don’t get “Irish Poker” confused with “Irish Poker Drinking Game”. A Google search for “Irish Poker” turns up plenty of results for both, but you don’t want to be engaging in a drinking party game while at the same time playing for money.

Irish Poker puts a fun spin on both Omaha and Texas Hold’em, with a discard round usually seen in Pineapple variants. It’s good to know how to play Irish Poker, especially when it comes your turn to call the variant in a mixed-game home session.

Note: Want to upgrade your poker skills? Get our free preflop charts and start playing like a pro before the flop. Download now!

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About the Author

Geoffrey Fisk

Freelance writer and poker player based in San Diego, California.

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