Of all the varieties of Hold'em Poker, Irish is the least known, but by no means the least interesting.
Irish poker can be considered a descendant of several varieties of poker. It is similar to Aviation Hold'em in that players must discard two of their cards before the flop, but it could also be considered to be a cross between Omaha (Hold'em) and Seven Card Stud.
Overall, this form of poker creates a lot of action around the table as it combines a game of luck with a game of strategy, as strategy is the essence of Seven Card Stud. Up to 11 players can play at any one time but 6 to 8 players seems to be the optimal number.
Principles of Irish Poker
Although a blend of several variants of poker, Irish has the same purpose as traditional poker: to make the best combination of five cards, which is to say, make the best (winning) hand using both private cards and the common cards on the board.
The rules of Irish poker
This Hold'em variant offers some specifics in terms of rules.
Each player is dealt four private (hole) cards. This element of the starting hand is not, however, its main feature. In Irish poker, each player must discard two of his hole cards, just after the flop. In addition, to make a hand in Irish, you must use both of your two hole cards and three of the community cards on the table.
Apart from these three constraints, the rest of the game proceeds as is customary in Texas Hold'em.
The possible winning hands in Irish Poker, are the same as in traditional poker. The blinds are also posted in the same way as other Hold'em variants: that is to say, with a small blind and a big blind.
Play of an Irish poker hand
The player who has the dealer "button" deals the cards. They start with the player to their immediate left, giving four cards to each player, one at a time in four rounds dealt clockwise round the table. To player on the dealer's immediate left must post the small blind, while the player to their left must post the big blind.
Once the hole cards are dealt, the first round of betting takes place: this is known as preflop betting. It starts to the left of the big blind and moves clockwise.
When it is his turn to speak, everyone decides between calling the big blind, raising or folding.
The dealer "burns" the top card of the pack, in other words he puts away a card, and reveals the three cards on the flop, which can be used to make your 5-card hand using your two hole cards.
There follows a second round of betting. Each player must then discard two of his hole cards. Their hand is now their two remaining hole cards and the three cards from the common flop.
The dealer burns a card and turns over a new card from the deck, this is called the turn.
A third round of betting takes place.
The dealer burns one more card from the deck before revealing the last card of the common board: called the river. There is then one last round of betting where players can still call, raise or fold.
Each of the remaining player must show the five-card hand he has made, in accordance with the rules of Irish poker, i.e. it must be composed of two hole cards and three cards from the board.
The player with the best hand wins the pot.