Poker is a game that involves betting and the use of cards. It has a number of rules that govern how the game is played, including the cards dealt, the betting process, and how winning hands are created.

Each player begins the hand with two private hole cards. Once the players have viewed these cards they must choose to fold (drop out of the hand), call (match the highest bet made so far) or raise (increase the previous high bet). After this initial round of betting, five more cards are dealt face up in the center of the table. These are called the community cards.

These cards can be used to form a number of different poker hands, the most common being the four of a kind. A pair of cards of the same rank is also a valid hand, while three of a kind and straight are more difficult to make. A royal flush is the best possible hand, consisting of a 10 of a kind, Jack, Queen and King of one suit.

Often poker is not so much about the cards but more about how a player reacts to them. A good poker writer can describe these reactions, showing who flinched or smiled and how the tension in the room built as the action went on. This makes a good poker story interesting to the reader even if they don’t know or care about poker. However, it is important to note that personal anecdotes can quickly become cliche in a poker article and should be avoided as much as possible.