Poker is a card game in which players place bets on the strength of their hand. There are many variations of the game, but they all share one thing in common: The highest-ranking hand wins. A standard poker deck contains 52 cards; the suits are spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs (Ace may be high or low). Some games use wild cards, or jokers, to add extra power to certain hands.
A good poker writer needs to know how to explain the rules of poker, how to read other players’ betting patterns, and how to use basic math to calculate odds. They also need to understand the psychology of poker players, including their body language and facial expressions and their tells — unconscious habits that reveal information about a player’s hand. These can be as simple as a change in posture or as complex as a gesture.
A tournament is a competition in which a large number of competitors participate. It is usually held in a single location over a short period of time, with the final result determined by a combination of results from individual matches. There are a variety of formats for tournaments, and a good poker writer will be familiar with them all. They should also be aware that different poker tournaments have their own strategies and that applying a strategy for the wrong format can lead to big losses in the long run. Finally, they should be able to steal blinds aggressively in late-game situations – this is one of the keys to winning a poker tournament.