Poker is a card game in which players bet based on the value of their hand. The aim is to form a hand ranked high enough to beat all the other hands at the table and win the pot, which is the sum total of all the forced bets made during that hand. Players may also bluff during a hand by betting that their hand is higher than it really is, hoping to induce the other players to call their bet.

A good poker scene is fast paced with a lot of action. It should also be character driven. It’s the characters’ reactions to the cards that make it interesting (who flinched? who smiled?) rather than a series of card draws, bets and reveals.

In most games, the dealer shuffles the cards, and then the player to his right cuts them. Each player then receives 2 hole cards which they must use to create a hand of 5. The dealer then deals the first of what will be several rounds of betting, beginning with the player to his left.

The players’ aim is to have the highest ranking hand of 5 cards at the end of the hand. This is done either by forming the highest possible hand or by continuing to bet that yours is the best and forcing all other players to drop out of the hand. Some variants of poker involve more than 5 cards and include Omaha, Lowball, Crazy Pineapple and Cincinnati Poker.