Poker is a game of chance and skill, where players place chips (representing money) into the “pot” at the center of the table. Players can then compete to have the highest hand by betting on their cards in each deal. The highest hand wins the pot. Players can also choose to pass on their turn, called checking, if they don’t want to bet.
The first step in learning to play poker is observing experienced players and understanding their strategies. Observing the body language of players can help you develop quick instincts when playing. Watch how players handle their chips, especially when they’re making decisions, as this can tell you a lot about their feelings about their current hand. Some physical tells are subtle and easy to miss, while others are more obvious and can give you a good indication of a player’s strength.
The second part of learning to play poker is knowing the rules of betting. Most games require players to ante (the amount of money that is placed into the pot) before being dealt cards. Then, in each betting round, players can either raise or call. A player who raises must continue to do so until everyone else calls or passes. Players can also bet their entire stack of chips at any time by saying “all in” to indicate that they’re ready to win the pot.