Poker is a card game in which players wager money, called chips, against each other by betting on the outcome of a hand. While it involves a certain amount of chance, the overall game is determined by strategy and psychology. The aim is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during one deal. The game can be played by 2 to 14 people, but is best with six or seven players.
Each player is dealt two cards face down. The person to the left of the big blind acts first and may fold, call or raise a bet. The dealer then deals three additional cards face up (the “flop”) to the table. After this, the remaining players can act by raising or checking.
The standard poker hands are pairs, three of a kind, straight, flush and pair of high cards. The highest hand wins. If two hands are equal, the players split any winnings. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or secondary pairs.
Writing about poker requires knowledge of the rules and strategy, as well as a good understanding of how other players play. A writer should be able to describe the way in which different players think and act during a hand, including their tells (unconscious habits that reveal information about a player’s hand). It is also useful to know how to read a player’s body language and facial expressions. These can be used to determine whether they are bluffing.