Top 10 Irish Poker Sites 2020 : For Irish Players
Gambling, in general, has been a rollercoaster ride in Ireland. Several forms of gambling in the country has only been legal for the last 70 or 80 years.
Poker is one of the most popular forms of gambling in Ireland, surpassed only by sports betting. Even as online poker rooms have taken over a large segment of the local poker market, there still remain several options for live poker in land-based casinos and poker rooms. As expected, most of the live poker action is found in Dublin, although there is a fine poker club in Dundalk as well.
Irish players also have the option to play poker online, which is totally legal. Online poker currently isn’t subject to regulation, although the government is undertaking efforts to regulate the industry in the future.
Recommended Irish Online Poker Rooms
My list of the best poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2020:
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- Recommended Irish Online Poker Rooms
- Is poker legal in Ireland?
- Laws And Regulations In Ireland
- What Should You Look for in an Online Irish Poker Site?
- Popular Poker Tournaments Hosted In Ireland
- Irish Poker Players To Watch Out For
- Banking Options for Irish Poker Players
- FAQs when playing poker in Ireland
- How popular is online poker in Ireland?
- Are there any laws in Ireland that poker players should be aware of?
- Are Irish poker sites regulated?
- Is offshore online poker allowed for players in Ireland?
- Are there any tax concerns when playing poker in Ireland?
- What poker games and tournaments are available for Irish players?
- Why am I asked for personal information such as my address and D.O.B when registering with a poker room online?
- Am I able to review past game history for cash games and tournaments?
- I noticed some poker sites have more traffic than others – is this relevant?
- What is a rebuy tournament?
- Will it help me to read books about playing poker online?
Poker has extensive roots in Irish tradition, with many accounts tracing the development of the game to an ancient game known as poca. Even closely associated games such as the French poque and the German pochen share similar characteristics and etymologies.
What is now commonly known as “Irish poker” is actually a variation of Texas Hold ’em. The main difference is that in Irish poker, players are dealt four cards before the flop. After all the players bet on the flop, two cards are discarded by each player. The game is played exactly like Texas Hold ’em from this point onward.
Irish poker is played in some of the biggest casinos in the world, and was in fact featured in Full Tilt Poker, which was one of biggest online poker rooms in the world from 2013 until it closed down in 2016.
One of the most revered figures in the Irish poker scene is Terry Rogers. The founder of the celebrated Irish Open poker tournament, Rogers was largely responsible for bringing Texas Hold ’em to the country.
Is poker legal in Ireland?
Poker in Ireland isn’t subject to any specific legislature, but instead is governed by the Gaming and Lotteries Acts 1956 to 2013, which is more commonly referred to as the 1956 Act. The act addresses games that include components of skill as well as chance.
Unlike other countries around the world, Irish law makes no distinction between games of skill and games of chance. Subsequently, poker is treated like any other type of gaming activity.
That being said, poker may fall under the definition of “lawful gaming” as mandated under the 1956 Act. This is the case when the game is structured in compliance with the act’s provisions, as in the case of promotional tournaments wherein the main objective is not the profit generation for the organizer of the event.
Laws And Regulations In Ireland
The Betting Act of 1931 was the first law to pass in Ireland. Thereafter, the Gaming and Lotteries Act followed in 1956. Both these laws managed to regulate all legal forms of gambling in Ireland. At the time, lottery and sports betting were the only forms of legal gambling and casinos were still considered illegal.
However, due to several loopholes in the law, numerous private clubs started offering casino games as they were apparently not breaking any of the laws and they are still around to this very day.
In 2015, the government decided to amend the 1931 bill with a new Betting (Amendment) Act of 2015. The new Betting Act of 2015 focuses on taxation and licensing when it comes to online operators. The new amendment allowed online operators to offer their betting services and online gaming as long as they have a reputable license and renew the license every two years.
In addition, online operators are required to pay a license fee of €10,000. The cost for a renewed license greatly depends on the annual turnover from each operator. However, the limits for the fee can range from €10,000 up to €500,000. Furthermore, remote bookmakers are required to pay a little less with a maximum amount of €200,000. The amendment also prohibits online operators from getting these costs from their players.
Ireland’s Governing Body For Poker
There are a number of regulatory bodies that govern gambling in Ireland, although most of them regulate gambling as a whole rather than address the poker industry directly.
Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery (ORNL) – The primary role of the ORNL is the regulation and monitoring of the National Lottery. It was established with the passing of the National Lottery Act in 2013.
Department of Justice and Equality – This department is responsible for the issuance of certificates of personal fitness, which is a requirement for license application for betting, remote betting, and remote betting intermediaries.
Revenue Commissioners – This is the sole Irish tax authority, responsible for granting licenses for betting and remote betting. The commissioners also monitor remote betting operators in order to ensure compliance with licensing and duty requirements.
Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland – The main role of this agency is monitoring of compliance with advertising standards as well as the publication of the said standards.
Irish police force/District Courts – These agencies are tasked with the granting of licenses for small lotteries and those hosted for charitable purposes.
Legal Age To Gamble In Ireland
The Gambling and Lotteries Act of 1956 allowed players as young as 16 to gamble in land-based casinos or gambling halls.
However, news gambling laws were implemented, and those residing in Ireland must be at least 18 years of age to play, and in some private clubs, 21.
What Should You Look for in an Online Irish Poker Site?
The number of online poker rooms available in Ireland means that there’s no need to sacrifice or skimp on things like features or gaming options when selecting where you want to play. You shouldn’t have any hassles in locating a reputable online poker room that offers everything you need and want.
You can obviously locate the ideal online poker room by yourself, but this will take several hours as there are numerous due diligence you’ll be required to check beforehand. For instance, you’ll need to ensure the online poker site you choose is reputable, licensed, offers a wide selection of games, offers a decent flow of player traffic, provides an assortment of daily tournaments and freerolls, and more.
A much easier and faster alternative is to simply utilise our site as we already completed the due diligence for you. This essentially means that you can select the perfect online poker room from the list we compiled and be completely confident that you are going to have an unforgettable poker experience while playing online.
The online poker sites we recommend on our site are ranked according to fair gaming, licensing, and reputation.
However, we also believe that the sites we recommend are worth your time and money due to several additional reasons, such as:
- They provide a diverse selection of poker variants for real money
- They offer a wide selection of promotions and bonuses
- They support a broad range of payment methods
- They support several languages to accommodate players from around the world
- They offer daily, weekly, and monthly poker tournaments
It’s for this reason that you’ll have a difficult time finding an online poker room more superior than the list of recommendations we provide on our site.
Popular Poker Tournaments Hosted In Ireland
The biggest and most prestigious poker tournament associated with Ireland by far is the Irish Open. The brainchild of revered poker icon Terry Rogers, the tournament is the second oldest competition of its kind in the world, surpassed only by the World Series of Poker. It is also Europe’s longest-running No Limit Texas Hold’em poker tournament. The event takes place over the Easter weekend every year.
Ireland is associated with a number of other smaller poker tournaments. Most of these are of the No-Limit Texas Hold ’em variety, and buy-ins are usually pretty inexpensive. Among these are:
Amateur Championship of Poker (ACOP) – This has a modest buy-in of €200. The tournament takes place in the last weekend of January and is a great opportunity for amateur players to compete in a bigger arena.
International Poker Open (IPO) – With a buy-in of €230, this is a large and well-regarded tournament attracts players from all over the world. In 2014, the event attracted as many as 1,650 players.
BoyleSports Poker Winter Series – The buy-in for this event is even lower, at only €150. Nevertheless, it is a well-regarded event that affirms the Boyles Company’s capability and commitment to hosting quality poker tournaments.
Irish Poker Players To Watch Out For
Perhaps the single most important figure in the history of Irish poker is Terry Rogers. The founder of the Irish Open (which is itself the biggest and most prestigious poker tournament in Ireland) Rogers was a colourful and memorable personality who was fully cognizant of his contribution to the Irish poker scene. As he said of himself: “I have been the greatest single factor in the worldwide spread of competitive poker”.
There are many other prominent and well-respected Irish poker players as well, some of whom are still making waves in the current global poker arena. Among these are:
Andrew “Andy” Black
Known as the all-time tournament money king, Andrew Black started his career with a 14th place win in the Main Event of the 1997 World Series of Poker. After leaving the poker world for many years and taking up residence at a Buddhist retreat, he came close to becoming the world champion in a spectacular return at the main event of the same series in 2005.
Although he didn’t prevail against crowd favourite Steve Dannenmann, he did achieve a 5th place finish and brought home a cool $1.75 million. Throughout his professional career, Black has won nearly $4.7 million in cash.
Dermot Blain” Black
Ranked number four in the all-time live tournament money list of Ireland, Dermot Blain is slated to be the top player in the Irish poker scene as Andrew Black’s luster fades.
With a total of over $2.3 million earned throughout his career, Blain counts the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau of 2009 as his biggest victory.
It was then that he $541,000. He also came in fifth in the WSOP Europe Main Event of 2011, making an impressive $367,362.
With Blain sliding down into fifth position overall, Marc MacDonnell has pulled ahead in a big way.
Having constantly made a strong showing over the past few years, he highlighted his winning streak with a fourth place victory in 2016.
MacDonnell’s entry into the limelight was via a decisive second place finish at the 2015 WSOP, where he racked up $155,876 in the Hyper Turbo round. He has registered similarly impressive performances online, with a total of more than $1.2 million in winnings.
Banking Options for Irish Poker Players
Irish players that wish to play poker online have a number of options for making deposits into casino accounts, making wagers, and withdrawing winnings.
In Ireland, you will find an assortment of popular payment methods when playing online. This includes credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfer options. The same applies for making a withdrawal. All payment methods are safe and secure and time to receive payments will depend on your preferred payment method.
Most established allow major credit cards, bank wire transfer, and e-wallet transactions.
Currencies Used In Irish Poker Rooms
Among the currencies supported by poker rooms are British pounds and Euros. More and more online establishments have also begun to accept Bitcoin in addition to those currencies.
The Irish affinity for poker is well apparent, whether online or in the land-based gambling establishments. If you have the opportunity to visit the country and wish to indulge in your favorite game, you can do so in full confidence knowing that you won’t be violating any laws.
FAQs when playing poker in Ireland
How popular is online poker in Ireland?
The Irish are generally open to most forms of gambling and have been for centuries. This extends to online poker as well, which is quite popular in the country. In fact, the popularity of online poker is such that it may eventually eclipse that of land-based opportunities for the game.
Are there any laws in Ireland that poker players should be aware of?
There are several laws that pertain to gambling and poker in Ireland, but most of them are focused on current and prospective casino operators rather than the public. In general, you shouldn’t have to worry about being in violation of any laws as long as you play in a legitimately-licensed establishment.
Are Irish poker sites regulated?
There tends to be a strict adherence to gambling laws and regulations in Ireland, which means that most poker sites are regulated. You can tell whether or not a site is regulated by the Irish government by the associated badge.
Is offshore online poker allowed for players in Ireland?
Of course. However, the online poker room is required to follow certain rules if they are based offshore. For instance, they will need to be licensed and renew their gambling license every two years. In addition, they will also need to pay certain taxes.
Are there any tax concerns when playing poker in Ireland?
When it comes to poker players in Ireland, the gambling laws in Ireland specify that all winnings made from online gambling are not subject to taxation. This means that whatever you win while playing online poker is yours to keep.
What poker games and tournaments are available for Irish players?
Most sites on our list are internationally recognized, and therefore Irish poker players can enjoy Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud, Omaha, Razz, and more. You will also find an extensive range of monthly poker tournaments when playing at any of our recommended online poker sites.
Why am I asked for personal information such as my address and D.O.B when registering with a poker room online?
Poker rooms are required under their licensing agreements to maintain accurate information on those that open player accounts including name, address, date of birth etc. This is to protect against underage gambling, money laundering and in some countries, for taxation purposes.
Am I able to review past game history for cash games and tournaments?
Where you can check your game history will depend on the individual poker room. This can be found via a link directly on the table you are sitting at, or in the “my account” section of the poker room in question. This will include cash game and tournament history.
I noticed some poker sites have more traffic than others – is this relevant?
The number of players active at a poker room is relevant to the number of tables and limits available. It will also have an impact on the quality of players you will face and the number and value of the tournaments a poker room will be able to offer.
What is a rebuy tournament?
A rebuy tournament will allow you to rebuy into the tournament should your chip stack be lost. This will cost an equal amount to the original buy-in, be limited to the first 30 -60 minutes of the tournament and may also be limited to a maximum number of rebuys.
Will it help me to read books about playing poker online?
If you are new to poker in general, the answer is yes. Poker is a game of skill that requires knowledge on how to play, the value of cards and betting strategy. By reading poker books, you will gain a better perspective on the game and develop better playing skills.