The Rules of Irish Poker

What is Irish Poker?

Irish Poker is inspired by Hold'em and Omaha. Omaha is a very dynamic variant that is appreciated by players, but can have a very high variance. Irish Poker on the other hand is reputed to be as fun to play as Omaha, but with a lower variance

The Rules of Irish Poker

A game of Irish Poker is played like a game of Hold'em or Omaha. There is a dealer, 2 blinds, small and big, the cards are dealt one by one clockwise starting with the small blind, there is a flop, a turn, a river, the slaughter, etc.

Where the action differs from the two previous variants is at the flop. Each player will receive 4 preflop cards and will see a flop. After the flop, each player must discard 2 of their private cards. From that moment on, the rest of the hand will be played as a Hold'em hand. So, if we summarize, the pre-flop action is like in Omaha, the action after the flop is like in Hold'em, only the action at the flop will differ from the other two variants

The Irish Poker Drinking Game

Irish Poker also has its variations. One of them is the Irish Poker Drinking Game. As the name suggests, it is a variant that encourages us to drink alcohol. This variant is only played in private poker games. (Alcohol abuse is dangerous to health)

The Irish Poker Strategy (Classic Version)

When it comes to your preflop hand selection, you should have the same mentality as when you play Omaha, i.e. you want cards that work well together. A hand like J-Q-K-A is a good example. Of course, the big pairs will also be an excellent starting hand. A hand like J-J-Q-Q will be excellent. It will be even stronger if it is double-matched. Hands to avoid, besides obvious hands such as 4-4-4 or Q-2-2 for example, are hands that have only two interesting cards to play. A hand like Q-Q-2-4 in the early position is to be thrown away most of the time

If you're new to Irish Poker, the best advice you can get is to be conservative in your beginnings, so you can avoid making huge blunders. Go for strong hands that play well (not hands that will often give you headaches at the flop). For your selection of preflop hands, select your starting hands from the following categories

Large pairs: (AAKK, QQKK, QQJJ, AAJJ, ...)

Double assorted: (AhThKsJs, Ah9sKsTh, ...)

Wraps (assorted or not): (9TJQ, 89TJ, TJQK, ...)

Note that double matching hands gain a lot of strength. A hand can be discarded if it is mismatched, but can be played if it is double-matched

At the flop, most of the time, the strategy will impose itself. In rare situations, you'll have heartbreaking choices to make, but most of the time, to determine which cards to discard, you'll just have to rely on poker math (considering the fairness of the hands). The combo to be retained will be the one which, in the long term, will have the best equity

This poker variant involves less variance than a game of Omaha in which players hold their 4 cards until the kill

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