Poker is a card game where players make bets on the outcome of a hand. It can be played with 2 to 14 people, although there are some variants that are more suited to smaller numbers of players. The object of the game is to win the pot, the total amount of all bets made in one deal. This can be done by having the best poker hand, or by making a bet that no other player calls.

Each player has a set number of chips, usually 100 or 500, that they can place in the pot during each betting interval. This is called their “action”. A player can also choose to pass on their turn, or to check, which means they stay in the action without placing any chips into the pot. The first player to act places a bet, and then each player in turn must either match or raise the previous bettor’s bet or fold.

A player can have a tell, which is an unconscious habit that reveals information about their hand. These can be as simple as a change in eye contact, or as complex as a gesture. Every player has their own tell, and understanding these can help a player improve their game.

Using poker as the backdrop for a story provides several opportunities for conflict, drama and character development. The main thing to remember is that it’s the characters, their reactions and the by-play that makes a story interesting, not describing a series of cards, bets and checks.