Poker is a card game in which players bet on the probability of having a certain hand. The higher the hand’s rank, the greater the bet. Players may also win by bluffing, betting that they have the highest hand when in fact they do not. The game can be played with as few as two people and as many as 14 players, but it is most often a card game between 6 and 14. Each player has a set number of chips that they can place in the pot.

A standard poker hand comprises five cards. The value of a hand is in direct proportion to its mathematical frequency; the more rare a hand is, the higher its rank. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or secondary pairs (two of a kind, three of a kind, straight, flush).

When you’re writing about poker, focus on the reactions of the players as much as on the card combinations. This helps to make the story interesting for readers.

Whenever possible, use the real names of the people involved to bring their characters alive. This is especially important in fiction. Avoid cliched terms such as “poker face” and “showdown.”