What Card Games Are Played in Ireland?

Photo of author

By Eric Wilson

Ireland has a rich cultural heritage when it comes to card games. From the classic game of poker to the traditional Irish game of forty-fives, there are plenty of options for those looking to try their hand at a new card game. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular card games played in Ireland.


Poker is arguably one of the most well-known card games in the world, and Ireland is no exception. Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular variation of poker played in Ireland. Players are dealt two cards face down and then use five community cards to make the best possible five-card hand.

One thing that sets Irish poker apart from other variations is that players often play for small stakes, making it more about friendly competition than serious gambling.


Bridge is a trick-taking game that can be played with two or four players. The objective is to win “tricks” by playing higher cards than your opponents. Bridge requires skill and strategy, making it a favorite among those who enjoy mentally stimulating games.

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy is a two-player game where players aim to create sets or runs of cards in their hand. The game ends when one player has created enough sets or runs to knock, signaling that they have won the round.

Gin Rummy requires a combination of strategy and luck, making it an enjoyable game for players of all skill levels.


Forty-Fives is a traditional Irish card game that uses a standard deck of 52 cards. It can be played with two to four players and involves bidding on how many tricks each player thinks they can win.

The player who wins the bid leads the first trick and must follow suit if possible. The objective is to win as many tricks as possible, with the winner being the first player to reach 45 points.


Hearts is a trick-taking game that can be played with three to six players. The objective is to avoid taking certain cards, such as the Queen of Spades and any heart card, which carry penalty points.

The player with the fewest penalty points at the end of the game is declared the winner. Hearts requires strategy and careful planning, making it a challenging but enjoyable game.


Whether you’re a seasoned card player or just looking for a new hobby, Ireland has plenty of options when it comes to card games. From classic games like poker to traditional Irish games like forty-fives, there’s something for everyone. So gather your friends and family and get ready to deal out some fun!