Poker is a card game of chance with a small element of skill. Players bet on the strength of their cards and must use strategies to minimize their losses with poor hands and maximize their winnings with good ones. There are several variations of the game, but all involve chips and a dealer.
There are four basic poker hands: pairs, three of a kind, straights, and flushes. Pairs consist of two matching cards, three of a kind are three cards of the same rank (but different suits), and straights are five consecutive cards in one suit. A flush is a five-card poker hand that includes the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and ten of the same suit. The joker, or bug, is a wild card that can be used to complete certain poker hands.
Before the cards are dealt, each player must make an initial contribution to the pot, called an ante. Then the cards are gathered into a central pot. Each round may contain multiple betting intervals in which each active player has the opportunity to bet on his or her hand.
The best way to make your poker scenes compelling is to focus on the people playing them. Showing how someone flinches or smiles can be much more effective than just describing the cards they draw, bet on, reveal, and so on. Also, avoid the cliché of having someone pull out a pair of aces or another famous poker hand. That type of action is so overused it loses its dramatic impact.