Written by

Matthew GoverMatthew Gover
Published on 21.07.2022
Reading time 2 min

A Guide to Playing the Irish Lottery: How to Increase Your Chances of Winning

First broadcast in 1987 for Ireland-based viewers, millions of bettors play the Irish lotto from across the British Isles, courtesy of online betting. The Irish Lottery has seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years, with UK-based bookmakers offering fixed odds to customers.


If you have never participated in the Irish Lottery before, this article serves as a quick guide to how it works and how you can win at it.

Online Casinos With Lottery Betting

How to Play the Irish Lotto?

When playing the Irish lotto online, speculators place bets on the fixed odds of certain numbered balls popping up. To play, you pick 1 to 5 balls out of a possible 47 and hope for the best results. You only win the entire prize if the draw includes all your picked numbers. The more balls you pick and guess, the bigger your reward will be. 

Irish lottery draws generally include 6 regular balls plus 1 bonus ball, which can help increase the probability of winning at lower odds. You can go with any stake size in Irish lotteries, unlike the fixed £2 for the national lottery.

For example, considering your winning chances are greater with one or two numbers, place a large bet to boost the payoff amount in such cases. 

One of the main reasons why the Irish lotto is so popular is that its odds are better than other lottery games. Based on this 6/47 matrix, the odds of winning are 1 in 64, which is impressive considering the usual lottery odds.

irish lotto guide

6 and 7 Number Draws

During the draw for the Irish Lotto, 7 numbers, or 6 numbers and a bonus ball, to be more specific, are drawn. This is crucial because you can determine whether your chosen numbers will count for the first six drawn, or the six numbers plus the bonus ball. 

If you choose the 6-number draw, the odds are greater than the 7-number draw, since there are fewer chances for the numbers to appear.

If you choose the 7-number draw, you have a bonus chance for one of your chosen numbers to be drawn. However, the price is a decrease in your odds.

The Odds

The table below draws a comparison of the fixed odds for 1-5 numbers for both 6 and 7-number draws.

Remember that you can select how many numbers you want to bet on being drawn. However, to win, they all need to be drawn if you are placing a straight-single bet (similar to an accumulator bet in football betting).

Number of Balls6-Number Draw Odds7-Number Draw Odds

1

6 to 1

5 to 1

2

60 to 1

40 to 1

3

700 to 1

375 to 1

4

8500 to 1

4500 to 1

5

150,000 to 1

45000 to 1

After the draw takes place (with 6 numbers being revealed), 41 numbers remain in the pot. The draw then pulls out one more number that is announced as the bonus ball.

irish lottery guide

Aside from a straight bet (as shown above), some bookmakers provide a range of extra options when betting on the Irish lottery is concerned.

  • irish lottery

    These let you select up to nine numbers and bet on various multiples within those selections, e.g., doubles, trebles, up to five-folds.

  • irish lottery

    This is where you can bet on the first number to be drawn, odd/even numbers, over/under per ball, etc.

  • irish lottery

    Will the total sum of the numbers drawn be 100 (or any other number)? Will the total fall into defined groups, e.g., 21-49?

How to Place an Irish Lottery Bet

Whether you want to bet on 1 or 2 numbers or even go straight for the 5-ball jackpot, the betting process is similar among all online bookmakers:


  1. Select an online sportsbook and head to the lottery section.
  2. Select your numbers, the type of draw (6 or 7-ball), and the bet type (single, multiple, total value, etc).
  3. If you cannot decide on any numbers, the system generates a lucky dip (randomised number) for you.
  4. Choose the draws you want to bet on. Most bookies let you play the Irish lottery in all three draws of a day, for six draws a week for the following four weeks.
  5. Set your bet based on the displayed odds and your gut feeling.

After completing these steps, wait for the draw to determine if you have made a bit of spending money or loads of it.

irish lottery guide

When do the Draws Take Place?

The draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday at around 8 pm. Three draws take place on both days:

  1. The main draw
  2. Second draw
  3. Third draw

The main draw takes place first, followed by the second and third draws. For extra wins, you can play the second and third draws alongside the main draw. To take part in the additional draws, you have to purchase more tickets with the same numbers as the main draw. You also have to specify which draws you want to be qualified for.

Last Thoughts

Keep in mind that your Irish lottery ticket depends on the balls drawn in the Irish National Lottery. While seven balls are drawn, you can mention the numbers you want on your ticket.

Irish Lottery FAQs

The Irish lottery is a game of chance, so no one can say for sure as different factors can influence these odds. The number of sold tickets, the amount of people playing, and the number of winning tickets. However, in this guide, you can find a breakdown of general odds.

The Irish Lottery draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday at 7.55 pm.

The founder of the Irish Lottery is Irish native Dermot Griffin, who has been in the industry for many years. He is also the current CEO of the National Lottery in Ireland. He has been involved in 

Any winnings from the Irish Lottery are completely tax-free, and prize funds are paid in chunks.

Irish Lottery players can be in the chance to win a wide range of prizes. Smaller prizes of €5, €10, and €20 when matching 3 numbers, the jackpot, starting at €2 million which can also roll over to €10 million.

Matthew GoverMatthew Gover

Featured Content and Sports Writing Specialist

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