Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Poker is a game of cards that can involve betting, and in which players try to build the highest ranked hand of cards. Each player starts with two cards that are hidden from the other players. The game is played in rounds and the player with the best poker hand wins the pot – all bets placed during that hand.

When a player’s turn comes they can put chips into the pot equal to or higher than the amount raised by the person before them (call), raise the bet by at least double the previous amount (raise), or push their cards face down without putting any chips in the pot (fold). Players must also pay small and big blinds – forced bets that give players something to chase.

After the first round of betting is over the dealer puts three cards on the table that everyone can use (the flop). Players then get another chance to bet.

Beginners should stick to starting hands that have a good chance of winning, like pocket pairs and high-card combinations. They should avoid more risky hands, such as suited connectors, which are easier to bluff against and can be easily made by opponents with better luck.

It is important to observe experienced players and how they play their cards to learn good instincts. If possible, try to play with the same group of people for a while so that you can watch how they react to different situations and emulate their moves.