Writing About Poker



Poker is a card game in which players place chips (representing money) into a pot before each round of betting. In most games, each player must place the same number of chips into the pot as the player before them. These bets are known as forced bets. They are mandatory, and they create an incentive for players to play their cards.

After each player receives their two hole cards, a round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player can say “call” or “raise” to add more money to the pot. Calling means matching the previous bet, and raising is increasing the amount you want to bet.

A winning poker hand consists of a pair or higher. A pair consists of 2 matching cards of one rank and another unmatched card. A flush is any 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A full house consists of 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another. A straight is 5 consecutive cards of different suits.

To write an interesting poker scene, focus on the player’s reactions and the by-play between them. Avoid describing a series of bets, checks and reveals as they will likely feel lame or gimmicky. Instead, use the poker scene as a vehicle for the character/plot development you are trying to achieve. Also, remember that risk-taking is a skill that must be practiced. Some risks will fail, but you need to learn from these experiences and be willing to change course.