There are many versions of Poker, and although Texas Hold ‘Em is the most popular, Irish poker is one variation you should take note of. If you’re familiar with Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha Poker, Irish Poker would not be too difficult to grasp, since it is a mix between both.
Indeed, each player receives four hole cards from a 52-card deck at the start, but must discard two after the flop. Read on to find out more on how to play Irish poker.
How to play Irish Poker: The Rules
Thankfully, because Irish Poker mixes two different popular poker versions, the rules are not so hard to learn.
Players post blinds before the start of the hand, with the first person to the left of the dealer posting the small blind and the second to the left posting the big blind. Every player is dealt four cards face down and from here, the pre-flop betting begins with the player positioned left on the big blind.
After the preflop betting stage, players are dealt with the standard flop of three cards, face up. This leads to the next round of betting, which starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer. At the end of this round, each player discards two out of four cards after the flop.
From this point on, the game takes on the form of the Texas Hold ’em till the turn and river, since each active member is dealt with just two cards. As a result, when the call is made to show the hands, a player in an Irish poker game is allowed to use any combination of hole cards and community cards to make the best poker hand. This means that you can use two, one or none of your hole cards.
So you see, Irish poker is not as difficult to learn as other variations once you know the rules of the other games it was derived from.
How to play Irish Poker: Strategies to use
Even though Irish poker comes from other poker games, the truth is that you’ll need unique strategies in order to excel in it.
- Go back to the basics
Ensure you know the rules in Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha poker. Even though Irish poker has its slight differences, it still incorporates some rules of these two games.
- Learn and fine-tune a discard strategy
This will help you know what cards to keep and the ones to drop once the opportunity presents itself.
- Pay attention to the board texture
Being able to guess what cards your opponents hold and what your best options are will help you make the right decisions and stay atop the leaderboard.
- Pick strong hands at the start
This strategy works for any poker variation, and here, a strong hand can be high pairs like AA, KK, and JJ. You can also double them to form combinations like KKJJ, AAKK, etc. Another strong hand are those containing straight and flush possibilities (double suited) while a third option is having a high pair with middling connectors such as KKJ9.
If you do not get any of these premium hands early on, don’t worry. The opportunity to pick a better hand will come when community cards are put forward in the next round.