Poker is a card game played by two or more players against one another and the dealer. It is a game of chance, but skill can play an important part in the outcome of a hand. The best poker players have several traits in common: they are able to calculate pot odds and percentages quickly, they are able to read other players’ tells, and they can adapt their strategy accordingly.

The game begins with the players betting according to the rules of their chosen variant of poker. The player to the left of the button has the privilege (or obligation, depending on the game) to make the first bet. Then each player must place in the pot the number of chips (representing money) that is at least equal to the contribution made by the player who played before him.

When the flop comes, it is time to decide whether or not you want to continue the action by raising your bet. A premium opening hand, such as a pair of Kings or Queens, is a great reason to raise your bet. Alternatively, you can fold your cards and allow the other players to call your bet.

Practice and watch experienced players to develop quick instincts. Observe how they react to certain situations and imagine how you would have reacted in the same situation. This will help you to develop your own poker style.