Writing About Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players and involves betting between rounds. In cash games players put a “pot” of chips (representing money) into the center of the table before they are dealt cards. A round of betting begins when a player, in turn, either: (1) calls a bet made by the player before him; (2) raises the amount of money that they are putting into the pot by at least as many chips as the previous player; or (3) drops out of the hand by putting no chips into the pot and discarding their cards.

A winning poker hand contains at least three of the highest ranking cards in a sequence or in rank. A straight contains five consecutive cards of the same suit. A flush consists of three cards of the same rank and two other unmatched cards. A full house consists of three matching cards and a pair. High card breaks ties.

The best way to write about poker is to focus on the people at the table and their reactions. Personal anecdotes are often the most interesting to readers, as well as details about how other players play the game. It is also important to discuss tells – unconscious habits that reveal information about a player’s hand. These can include everything from eye contact to gestures and even facial expressions. Often, when writing about poker it is useful to keep a file of hands that are relevant to the topic of your article.