Poker is a card game in which players place wagers into a central pot. The game has many variants, but all involve betting rounds and a showdown in which the best hand wins. During the betting round each player places chips into the pot in turn. Players can choose to call (match) a previous raise, raise higher, or drop (“fold”). The game is based on probability and psychology. A good player can accurately predict the strength of their opponent’s hands, and thus make profitable long-term decisions.

The game’s initial forced bets (usually the ante or blind) are placed into the pot by the two players to the dealer’s left. The dealer then shuffles, cuts, and deals each player two cards face down. A round of betting then begins, and after each bet the dealer reveals one more card.

After each bet, a player must put into the pot at least as much money as the player to his or her left. A player may also “raise,” meaning to put in more than the player to his or her left; or they may “fold,” meaning that they discard their cards and withdraw from the betting.

Poker writing is more interesting when it includes details about the players’ actions, and their responses to those actions. This type of writing is often referred to as “poker storytelling.” Providing specific details about other players’ reactions, such as their body language and tells, can help to make poker stories more interesting.