How to Play Irish Poker

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The simplest description of Irish Poker is saying it essentially represents a fusion of Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em. The cited variants are the most widely played community card games. However, they each sometimes tend to be overwhelming in their own ways.

Texas Hold’em can be frustrating if the cards you are dealt pre-flop prove to be worthless. Alternately, Omaha Hold’em does not imply such an issue. However, the game may be so dynamic that you lose track of it.

The course of the game of Irish Poker greatly resembles the one of Texas Hold’em, with a significant difference in the initial phase. The dealer delivers four hole cards to everyone at the table, which is the segment taken from Omaha Hold’em.

In the following lines, we will make sure to explain the course of the game of Irish Poker and its rules. That way, you will be familiar with both of its variants — the original game and the drinking game. If that sounds appealing to you, stay tuned, and learn of the poker variant rarely mentioned and described elsewhere.

Irish Poker: Step by Step

Prior to the dealer placing the flop (the initial three community cards, which are essentially the cards that face up, as opposed to hole cards) in the center of the table, the first betting round takes place. It commences with the small blind (the person to the left of the dealer) placing their wager. The remaining players place theirs clockwise. The big blind follows the small blind, doubling their wager.

After the first phase, the initial dealing round commences. It takes place counterclockwise, starting from the player who is sitting to the left of the big blind. The button, who is essentially a player designated as the dealer for the round, delivers cards to everyone. Once that dealing round is over, every player will have received four cards. The big blind places their wager last, once the first dealing round is over. Therefore, they can check provided that none of the other players have raised.

After another dealing round, which occurs in the same order as the previous one, you are basically playing Texas Hold’em. The dealer adds the river and the turn to the flop, forming a complete board. That leaves the players with five community cards.

Valuable Card Combinations

irish poker

The key is to search for starting hands you would wish to assemble in Omaha Hold’em. Although this poker variant primarily resembles Texas Hold’em, remember that it includes segments of Omaha Hold’em. To ensure the best possible chances for yourself, set your mind to forming one of the following hands.

  • Double High Pairs (a pair of Kings and a pair of Queens, for instance)
  • Double Suited (two pairs of matching cards — both cards in a pair are of the same suit)
  • Wraps (Jack, 10, 9, 8)
  • High pairs plus high or mediocre connectors (a pair of Kings plus a Jack and a 10)

It may occur that you do not manage to form a strong hand using only your hole cards. Under such circumstances, make use of the community cards.

Turn Irish Poker Into a Drinking Game

Aside from the game we have just described, there is another version of Irish Poker. It bears the same name; however, it completely differs from the community card game this poker variant essentially is. The version we are talking about is the Irish Poker drinking game. It resembles another such game called Ride the Bus, which is a commonly played game of the kind. Nevertheless, despite the similarities, Irish Poker has its own set of rules, which we are about to get into.

The requirements you need to fulfill in to play the Irish Poker drinking game are the following: obtain a standard deck of cards, assemble a few friends (three to six people can play this game), and get an alcoholic beverage according to your preference.

The Course of the Drinking Game

The first phase suggests arranging eight cards in two rows of four cards on the table and thus forming what is commonly referred to as “the bus,” in addition to dealing four cards to every player. All the cards are distributed face-down.

From that point, players start guessing the color, suit, and ranking of the cards. The first one that gets to guess is the one to the dealer’s left. When a player guesses the characteristics of the cards correctly, they get to give two, four, six, or eight drinks to whomever they choose. However, a player who guesses wrong has to take the drinks themselves. The number of drinks taken or given to someone varies depending on the number of the round.

When the final round commences, there will be the “give” row (the top row) and the “take” row (the bottom row) on the table. The final phase constitutes of revealing the cards and giving or taking the drinks as follows: for each card from the top row that matches one of your own, you get to give two drinks. However, for each one from the bottom row that matches one of yours, you have to drink two drinks yourself.

Closing Thoughts

Given that Irish Poker is a variant that represents a combination of Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em, you can play it in any of the following ways: pot limit, fixed limit, or no limit. Once you determine the way you wish to play, you will easily grasp the concept of the game. It combines the two most popular poker variants, so your task will not be difficult. The Irish Poker version is even easier to comprehend. However, we advise you to set the limit to that one so as not to get excessively drunk and ruin the fun for you and your friends.

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