Poker is a game where players place bets in rounds based on their card strength. The player with the best poker hand wins the pot, which is the total of all bets made during a betting round. Players can also win the pot by bluffing, which is done by raising bets that other players are unlikely to call. This is not a strategy for beginners as it can quickly deplete your bankroll. Instead, play with a small amount that you’re willing to lose and track your losses and wins carefully.
In the first betting round, called the pre-flop, each player puts in one or more chips into the pot. When it’s your turn to bet you can either say “call” (match the number of chips put in by the person to your left) or raise the bet. If you raise the bet then the other players must decide whether to call or fold their hand.
Once the pre-flop is over the dealer deals three community cards face up on the table, known as the flop. These are cards that everyone can use to create their best poker hand of five. For example, if you have pocket kings and the flop comes A-8-5 then these are very weak cards and you should consider folding. This is why it’s important to understand relative hand strength – your hand is only good or bad in relation to what other players are holding.