Irish Poker – The Basics

Irish Poker

Irish Poker

Poker comes in many forms and one that is growing in popularity is Irish Poker. It’s unique mix of Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha that entices players from both variants to give it a try. It affords the complex strategy of Texas Hold’em with the ability to play more hands like in Pot Limit Omaha. In this article, I’m going to explain the rules and offer a few tips on how to play Irish Poker.

How to Play Irish Poker

Irish Poker begins the same way as Pot Limit Omaha. Every player at the table is dealt four holecards, face down that you not be revealed to anyone else. There are the same small and big blinds posted and action proceeds left of the big blind i.e. under the gun.

Here’s where it gets interesting… After the dealer has dealt the flop,  betting continues, except, after the betting is complete on the flop players are required to discard two of their holecards. Action proceeds the rest of the hand exactly like Texas Hold’em. So at the river, you can use two, one or none of your holecards to make the best possible five card hand.

Irish Poker Strategy

Like any form of poker, one of the most important pieces of strategy involves in hand selection. Irish poker is no different. You can get wrapped up playing every hand and blinding down. Instead, try to stick with playing the more premium hands. After all, you’ll be playing most of the rounds with two hole cards, just like Texas Hold’em so you can’t go crazy pre-flop. You may be asking “what does a strong hand look like in Irish Poker?”.  The groups below are a good starting point.

Double Big Pairs

These are great for obvious reasons; you can make top set if you connect and you’re likely to have overpair to the board.

Double Suited

It’s much better to have two shots at potential flushes than one isn’t it? Double suited holdings are great as you’re not eating into your outs. These hands are even better if you can have the ace of the suit so you can make the nut flush.


These are four cards in sequential order and make for amazing playability. These hand types give so many options are increase your chances of connecting on the flop.

Big Pair & Connectors

These hands give you two shots at the flop, you’re either hoping to hit the top set or a made hand like a straight.

irish poker

Hands to Avoid in Irish Poker

The obvious hands to avoid are 3 of a kind in your hand, 3 or more of one suit and small pairs. These are trouble hands as they are harming your odds or likely to make a hand that is second best to someone else. 

What Cards do I Discard?

There is no hard and fast rule to deciding what cards to discard in Irish Poker. It is completely dependent on the flop texture, your opponents actions and your cards.

You need to be wary of what is going on. If there is lots of betting and you’re only holding a one pair hand, you are very likely beat or against someone holding a powerful draw.

If you’ve missed any draws on the flop and there is little action, it’s best to hold on with your stronger, made hand. This will be top pair and your best possible kicker. There’s no use holding on to two cards that have missed, hoping to make some backdoor straight or flush.

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Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: