Poker is a card game that requires a combination of skill, luck and nerve. It is played in a number of ways, depending on the variant and table rules. One thing that is important for all players is to always be aware of their cards and their opponents’ hands. Having an idea of what cards are likely to turn up helps to plan your betting strategy and to decide whether you should call, raise or fold your hand.

In the standard poker game, each player places an initial stake into the pot (representing money) before the cards are dealt. This is known as making a “pot size” bet and is compulsory for players wishing to stay in the pot. Players who make a pot size bet must match or raise the amount raised by the player before them, otherwise they must fold their hand.

After the pot size bet, the cards are revealed and the final betting phase takes place. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. The highest hand is a royal flush which consists of an Ace, King, Queen and Jack of the same suit. Other high hands include a straight, four of a kind and two pair.

When writing about poker, try to keep the story entertaining by focusing on player reactions. This will make the poker story more interesting and will add a sense of tension and suspense to the plot. Also, don’t forget to describe tells, which are the unconscious habits a player displays during the game that reveal information about their hand. Tells can be as simple as a change in posture or a facial expression.