Writing a Book About Poker

It’s easy to get cynical about poker, to treat it with contempt, to see it as a meaningless money-making machine. But if you’re careful, it can also be a rite of passage, a vehicle for personal growth and self-mastery. It can challenge you, lift you up and make you a better human being than you were when you came to it. It can teach patience, fortitude, thoughtfulness, strength. If you’re lucky, it can even teach you to win.

Poker is a card game where players compete to make the best five-card hand by using their own two cards and the community cards revealed on the table. The highest hand wins the pot. Depending on the rules, some games also use wild cards (e.g., dueces or one-eyed jacks).

Before you start writing a book on Poker, decide what the focus of your book will be and keep a file of poker hands that are relevant to it. This will help you determine betting patterns and read players more easily. Conservative players often fold early in a hand, while aggressive players can be bluffed into raising their stake.

When describing a hand, focus less on the individual cards and more on the players’ reactions. For example, who flinched or smiled? These details add tension to a story. They can also help readers imagine the scene and connect with the characters. In addition, a good writer should always keep in mind that a good story is based on conflict—which is often created through the five elements of plot conflict: exposition, rising action, confrontation, resolution and denouement.