How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game played between a number of players. The aim of the game is to win by having the highest ranked hand of cards when the hands are revealed. The player who wins the hand is awarded the “pot” – all of the money that has been bet during the hand.

In a hand, you must decide whether to bet on your own hand or try to make another player fold by applying pressure. To place your bet, say “call” if you want to bet the same as the person before you or raise them by saying “raise”. If you call or raise you must place the same amount of chips or cash in the pot.

Experienced poker players think about the cards that other players have and how they will react to various bets. They can then work out how likely it is that the other player has a better hand than theirs and use this knowledge to make good decisions about how much to bet.

During a hand the dealer deals three cards face-up to the table that anyone can use, this is called the flop. Then there is a second betting round. If you have a strong hand in this situation it is usually worth raising to push out weaker hands.

To be a successful poker player you must learn how to read the game and develop quick instincts. This is easier if you play regularly and watch experienced players to build your skills. However, it is important to only gamble with money you are willing to lose and to track your wins and losses.