How to Write a Poker Story


Poker is a card game where players place chips or cash into a central pot before betting on the strength of their hands. Each player is required to make at least one forced bet, usually an ante or blind bet. The dealer shuffles the cards, the player on the chair to their right cuts, and then the first of what may be several betting rounds begin. During each round, the players’ hands develop in some way; new cards are dealt and previous bets increased or dropped. The players who remain in the hand at the end of each round reveal their cards and collect the pot.

A player can choose to keep their hand in the pot by saying “call,” meaning they wish to match the last player’s bet or raise it. A player can also say “fold,” indicating they wish to drop their cards and end the hand.

Often the most interesting aspect of a poker story is not the cards that are dealt but the players’ reactions to them. If a player flinches, smiles, or reveals they have an amazing hand it is a great addition to the story. For this reason a storyteller should focus on the human elements of the scene, rather than writing about every bet, check and reveal. This will help the scene to feel less like a dull lecture and more like an engaging experience. This is an important principle that should be applied to all scenes in a poker story.