The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that can be played by 2 or more players. The aim of the game is to win a pot which is all of the bets made during a hand. The player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. Depending on the rules of the game, some players may be forced to put an amount of money into the pot before their cards are dealt. This amount is known as the ante.

Once the flop has been revealed betting starts with the player to the left of the dealer. They can choose to fold, call, or raise. If they have a strong hand they will raise to put pressure on weaker hands and potentially get them to fold.

A good poker player should know how to read their opponents. This isn’t so much about subtle physical tells (such as scratching your nose or playing nervously with chips) but more about the patterns a player is making. For example if someone is betting all the time then they are likely to be holding some pretty strong hands.

When it is your turn to bet you can say “call” if you want to match the amount that the person before you raised. You can also say “raise” if you want to increase the amount of money that is in the pot. The other players can then decide to call your new bet or fold their cards.