Gastric adenocarcinoma occurs via a sequence of molecular events known as the Correas Cascade which often progresses over many years. Gastritis, typically caused by infection with the bacterium H. pylori, is the first step of the cascade that results in gastric cancer; however, not all cases of gastritis progress along this carcinogenic route. Despite recent antibiotic intervention of H. pylori infections, gastric adenocarcinoma remains the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Intestinal metaplasia is the next step along the carcinogenic sequence after gastritis and is considered to be a precursor lesion for gastric cancer; however, not all patients with intestinal metaplasia develop adenocarcinoma and little is known about the molecular and genetic events that trigger the progression of intestinal metaplasia into adenocarcinoma. This review aims to highlight the progress to date in the genetic events involved in intestinal-type gastric adenocarcinoma and its precursor lesion, intestinal metaplasia. The use of technologies such as whole genome microarray analysis, immunohistochemical analysis and DNA methylation analysis has allowed an insight into some of the events which occur in intestinal metaplasia and may be involved in carcinogenesis. There is still much that is yet to be discovered surrounding the development of this lesion and how, in many cases, it develops into a state of malignancy.