Writing About Poker

Poker is a card game where each player has chips (representing money) to bet with. Players are dealt two cards and then five community cards are dealt (“the flop”). The aim is to make the best 5-card hand using your own cards and the flop. You can also bet at other times during the hand, adding more chips to the betting pool (“raising”). This forces weaker hands out and raises the value of your hand.

The highest-ranking hand is a royal flush, which includes a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit in one kind. A straight flush includes 5 consecutive cards of the same suit (for example, a 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9). Three of a kind is three matching cards of one rank and a pair is two cards of the same rank plus another unmatched card.

To write about Poker, try to focus most on the characters and their reactions to the cards they are dealt and by-play between them. This will keep the scene from being boring and gimmicky. For example, try to include some detail about how each character might read the body language of other players in order to gain an advantage, a skill that is often described as “reading tells.” This refers to the unconscious habits a person has that reveal information about their hand and can be things as simple as eye contact or facial expression. Also, describe how the by-play of each game may change during the course of a hand such as how it might escalate as bets are raised or players eliminated.