Poker is a card game played by 2 or more players with a single shared pot of chips (representing money). The player with the best 5 card hand wins the pot. The game can be played in cash games or tournaments. There are a large number of variants of Poker, but in general one or more forced bets are made by players before cards are dealt (called an ante and/or blind). A dealer then shuffles the deck and cuts it, then deals each player two cards face down. If a player does not like his cards, he may discard them and draw replacements (called a “flop”). Then a second round of betting takes place. The first player to act may raise the ante, call the raised bet or check.

To make the story of a poker game seem real it is important to describe how the odds change over the course of many rounds of betting (called a “hand”) and how tension rises between the players. To do this, it is helpful to use the tools of fiction writing. The reader will want to know who bluffed and why. Observing experienced players and thinking about how you’d react in their place is an excellent way to build your instincts. It is also important to include tells – unconscious habits that reveal information about a player’s hand. These can be as simple as a shift in posture or as complex as a gesture.