How to Write a Poker Story

Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The object is to win the pot, or all the bets made during one deal by having the highest ranked hand when the cards are shown at the end of the round. The player who wins the pot must have a better hand than all of the other players or else continue to bet that his or her hand is the best until all other players drop out.

Before each deal, the players may be required to make a contribution to the pot, called an ante. Then each player makes a bet in turn. A player who calls the previous bet is said to call; a player who bets more than the previous bettor is said to raise. Some variants allow a player to check, meaning that they will not bet at all, but this is rare in practice.

The thing that really makes a poker story interesting is the interaction between the players and their reactions to the cards that are played. For this reason, describing a series of draws, bets, checks and reveals will quickly become dull if the reader is not able to imagine the players themselves – their body language, facial expressions and gestures. A good writer will be able to create an entire scene in the reader’s mind just by using words. These are known as “tells.” They are unconscious habits that reveal information about a player’s hand, such as whether he or she is bluffing.