Irish Poker Rules & Game Play

All the thrills of Omaha but with fewer swings.

Texas Hold'em is a great game but can be frustrating when you don't get decent cards to play pre-flop.

Omaha Poker is a great action game, but it's very swingy.

What if we told you there's a game that has all the options and action of Omaha but with fewer swings?

Welcome to Irish Poker.

Irish poker is truly a mix of Texas Hold'em and Omaha Poker. Players start with four hole cards, as if playing Omaha, but must discard two cards after the flop.

The remainder of the hand plays like a standard Texas Hold'em hand.


All action pre-flop is the same as in a standard hand of Omaha Poker.

The first player to the left of the dealer button posts the small blind and the second player to the left posts the big blind.

Starting with the small blind four cards are dealt to each player. Action begins to the left of the big blind and continues around the table.

Stuart Fox Folds
After the flop bets are in, throw away two cards.

If action has not been raised by the time the big blind is reached, he has the option to check.

Discard Two After Flop Bets

The flop is dealt the same as in Omaha or Hold'em with three community cards face up. Another round of betting ensues starting with the active player closest to the left of the button.

Once betting action is concluded the remaining players must then discard two cards.

From this point the game is played exactly like Texas Hold'em through the turn and river.

Pre-Flop Tips

In Irish Poker you want to enter the game with an Omaha mindset pre-flop. This means you're looking for starting hands with numerous possibilities.

These are the types of hands you're looking for:

• Double big pairs (AAKK, KKQQ, KKJJ, QQJJ, etc)

• Double Suited (Ah8hKd10d, As10sQh9h, etc)

• Wraps (KQJT, QJT9, J1098, 10987, etc)

• High Pairs with high or middling connectors (KKJT, QQJ10, KKJ9, QQ109, etc)

If all four cards do not work well together in your hand pre-flop, look for a better hand.

What Should I Discard After the Flop?

Board texture and flop action will go a long way in determining what moves you should make when discarding.

Christopher Jones
Note: Top pair tends to be a weaker hand in Irish Poker.

If you flop top pair and face significant resistance on the flop, odds are you're facing an opponent with a flopped set or a nut draw.

Is there a draw on the flop? If so, are you drawing to the nuts or are you the one with top pair?

Top pair tends to be a weaker hand in Irish, Poker so shy away from the hand with draws on board.

When a draw fails to produce on the flop, work with your pairs and hold your best kicker.

If a draw hits the board, stay away from low draws or sucker straight draws unless you're in there for free or cheap. Odds are that someone started with a better pre-flop drawing hand.

Fun Variant to Stir Up Action

Irish Poker is a great way to stir up some action in your poker game without the extreme swings of Omaha Poker.

Your swings will be larger than with straight Texas Hold'em but not enough to where it will regularly bust your bankroll.

Full Tilt Poker is the best place to learn Irish Poker at present. It spreads cash games and tournaments in both Pot-Limit and No-Limit formats.

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