Poker is a card game where the players place bets on the strength of their hands. A good poker hand usually includes a pair of cards and an ace. The goal of the game is to win a pot consisting of all the bets placed during a particular deal. A player can make a bet by saying “call,” or simply placing chips in the pot equal to the last bet made. A player can also say “raise” if they wish to increase the size of their bet.

There are hundreds of different variations of the game, and each casino or card room has its own rules. However, most of the rules are similar. In most games, one or more forced bets must be made (called an ante or blind bet) before the dealer shuffles and deals cards to the players. The players then form their poker hands. The highest hand wins the pot.

A good poker player needs to be able to read the other players at the table, including their tells. This means knowing what their eyes look like, idiosyncrasies, and betting behavior. It also means being able to spot when an opponent is holding something special.

A common catchphrase in poker is “Play the Player, Not Your Cards.” This means that you should always consider what your opponents are holding before betting. For instance, a pair of Kings might seem great, but if the person to your right is holding American Airlines, they may beat you 82% of the time.