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Irish Poker Rules and Basic Strategies

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Irish Poker Synergy

Are you a fan of both Texas Holdem and Omaha and can’t decide which one to play first? Why not play both at the same time? Irish Poker allows you to do just that. The game combines the mechanics of Holdem and Omaha but removes the former’s heavy reliance on players getting good cards pre-flop and the latter’s swingy-ness.

Pre-flop

This part of the game is pretty much identical to Omaha. The first two players to the dealer’s left post the small and big blinds respectively. Each player, starting with the small blind, then gets dealt four hole cards.

Once all the hole cards have been given out, action starts with the player to the big blind’s left and then proceeds in a clockwise direction around the table. If no one places a bet until the action reaches the big blind, the big blind is allowed to check (i.e., pass without posting a bet).

Flop

This stage, on the other hand, is the same as in both Holdem and Omaha where the first three face-up community cards are revealed in the middle of the table. A round of betting follows, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.

Once all the bets have been placed, all active players discard two of their cards and the game proceeds to the turn and river in the exact same way as in Holdem.

If you need a refresher on how the turn and the river go, click here.

Cards to look out for

Since the early stages of the game are practically the same as in Omaha, you’d want to approach them accordingly. This means you should watch out for the following starting hands:

HandExample
Double Big PairAd Ac Kh Ks
Double Suited10d 8d 5s 3s
Wrap (i.e., one card short of a straight)9d 8s 7c 6h
High Pair with a mid or high connectorQd Qh Jc 10s

Don’t worry, though, if you don’t get any of these cards. You can still work toward building a better hand later in the game as more community cards are revealed.

Cards to let go of

The decision as to which cards you should discard after the flop would ultimately depend on the community cards on the table at that point. Just like in Holdem and Omaha, the goal in Irish Poker is to also build the strongest possible hand, so you should keep the two hole cards that seem to have the best potential based on the community cards on the table.

Irish Poker Hand rankings

Irish Poker uses the exact same rankings as both Omaha and Holdem:

  1. Royal Flush – five suited cards of consecutive values with an ace as the top card, e.g., Ad Kd Qd Jd 10d
  2. Straight Flush – pretty much the same as a royal flush but with the top card being a king or lower, e.g., Kh Qh Jh 10h 9h
  3. Four of a Kind – four cards of the same value plus a single kicker card to complete the hand, e.g., 3d 3h 3s 3c 7d
  4. Full House – three cards of the same value plus two cards of another value, e.g., 4h 4s 4c 9h 9s
  5. Flush – a set of five suited cards, e.g., 10c 8c 6c 5c 2c
  6. Straight – a set of five consecutive cards of at least two suits, e.g., Ad Ks Qc Jh 10s
  7. Three of a Kind – three cards of the same value plus two random kicker cards to complete the hand, e.g., Kd Kh Ks 9c 3s
  8. Two Pair – two distinct sets of two cards the same value plus a single kicker card, e.g., Ad Ac 3s 3h 10d
  9. Pair – two cards of the same value plus three kicker cards, e.g., 10d 10c 6h 3d 2s
  10. High Card – a set of five random cards of at least two suits, e.g., Kd 9c 7c 5s 3h

And with that, we’ve covered practically everything you need to know about Irish Poker. It truly is a fairly easy poker game to learn, especially if you’re already familiar with both Omaha and Texas Holdem. Save for some minor differences in mechanics, Irish Poker is pretty much really just a combination of these two popular poker games.

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REAL CASH POKER

$30 flat membership