What is Poker?
A card game based on probability, psychology and game theory, Poker is a form of gambling in which players place bets against one another in a central pot. During each round of betting, each player has the option to check (pass on betting), call, or raise. Raising involves betting more chips on top of the previous bet, and allows players to bluff their opponents. A player with the best hand wins the pot. In most games, a pair of aces is the highest hand; however, some variations use different hand rankings, such as 6-4-3-2 in two suits, or exclude the ace altogether, making it the lowest hand.
After the cards are shuffled and dealt, the player to the dealer’s right makes an ante bet. Once this is done, the players each place their bets into the central pot, and if their hands are good enough, they will show them.
A lot of the game is reading tells – unconscious habits that reveal information about a player’s hand, such as eye movements, idiosyncrasies, and hand gestures. It is these things that make the game so interesting to millions of readers. Trying to describe too much of the game without focusing on these reactions is likely to make it feel lame or gimmicky. It is better to focus on the players’ reactions to their cards and the tension that builds over dozens of rounds (hands). This is how real high stakes poker games really play out, and it will make your story seem believable and exciting.