Poker is a card game that involves betting money. Players are dealt two cards, and the aim is to make the best five card hand from those cards and the 5 community cards that are placed in the middle of the table (“the pot”). Bets are made by each player in turn, and they can raise a bet by saying “raise,” or fold. The highest hand wins the pot.

In most games, each player must ‘ante’ a certain amount to get their cards dealt (this is usually a small amount, like a nickel). Once everyone has their 2 cards, the betting starts. The player to the left of the dealer puts in a bet called the “blinds” (mandatory bets that help create an incentive for people to play). When it is your turn to bet, you can say “call” or “raise.”

If you call, you must match the last raise to stay in the pot. If you raise, you must also remain in the pot if any other players call your bet.

You can also try to read your opponents’ body language for clues about what they are holding and whether they are bluffing. Some tells include shallow breathing, sighing, eyes watering, nostrils flaring, blinking excessively, eyebrows arching, and palms shaking. You can also use hand gestures to convey your confidence or nervousness. Learn how to spot tells and practice observing experienced players to develop your own instincts. The more you practice, the faster and better you will become.