Writing About Poker


A game of cards, bluffing and a pot to win.

Writing about poker can be fun and rewarding, but it requires a high level of skill. You need to understand the game and its nuances, including the tells that reveal how players are thinking during the game. You should also be able to take a step back from the action and describe it in a way that will engage your audience. For example, you might focus less on the specific card draws, bets and reveals and more on the people’s reactions to them: who flinched, who smiled, who bluffed, etc.

In a game of poker, each player begins with 2 hole cards and 5 community cards on the table. Players may then choose to discard their cards and draw 1 to 3 replacements, or they can ‘hold pat’ on the cards they already have. There is then a round of betting, initiated by 2 mandatory bets called blinds placed into the pot by the players to the left of the dealer.

When it is your turn to act, you can say “call” to bet the same amount as the last person. You can also raise your bet. When you raise your bet, it is called raising. If you are unable to match or raise the last person’s bet, you must fold your hand. If you call or raise, you continue to act until everyone else has folded or it is your turn again.

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