How to Write a Poker Story


Poker is a card game in which players place an ante wager and then compete with the dealer for the highest five-card hand. There are many variations on the game, but most use a standard deck of 52 cards, including four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs) and an Ace that can be high or low. A few games also add jokers as wild cards.

The game is filled with catchy expressions, but none is more important than “Play the player, not your cards.” This means that your hand is only as good as it compares to the hands of your opponents. For example, a pair of Kings will lose 82% of the time against the guy holding American Airlines pocket rockets. So, a key to success is studying your opponent’s hands and making quick decisions on whether to play or fold. Practice and watch experienced players to develop your instincts.

The most interesting part of any poker story is the people involved. You can tell a great tale about the bluffs and reversals that occur in a poker table, but the story will feel lame or gimmicky without a strong cast of characters. Focus most of your description on the way the other players react to the cards they receive, such as who flinched, who smiled and who didn’t even blink. In addition, pay attention to the by-play between players, such as what each said when they folded or raised their bets.