The game of poker involves betting between players and is typically played with a minimum of two players. Each player is dealt 5 cards and must place chips into a pot (representing money) if they want to continue playing the hand. They can also choose to discard their cards and draw a new set of 5 cards if they wish. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. This hand is usually a pair or better but can be made up of three of a kind, a flush, or a straight, among other combinations. Players can also bluff, making bets that they do not have the best hand in order to win the pot from other players.

While a good poker story requires top-notch writing skills, it is important to keep the following things in mind when writing about the game:

One of the most common mistakes poker writers make is to overemphasize the importance of tells. While they are a necessary part of big-bet poker, they are not as important in limit play, where the odds are much lower. Tells should only be used as an indicator of the strength of a player’s hand, not to determine whether or not to call a bet.