Poker is a card game of incomplete information, in which players bet in turns. Each player has two cards, and the aim is to make a five-card “hand” by combining them with the community cards. Each bet increases the pot, and a player wins by either having the highest hand or making a bet that no other players call.

A strong hand can consist of three matching cards of the same rank, two pairs, or a flush. A pair is made of two cards of the same rank, and a flush is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. The best hand is a full house, which is three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank (for example, AA).

Top players fast-play their strong hands, because this builds the pot and may chase off other players who are waiting for a better draw. A strong poker player also watches the other players at the table, and tries to pick up on their tells. It is easier to do this when they are not involved in a hand.

A good poker writer needs to have a good understanding of the game, including its rules and strategy. They must also be able to describe the action of a hand in a way that is compelling and interesting to read. They should also be able to capture the mood of the game, and explain the psychological factors that influence it.