Poker is a card game that involves betting. Players each have two cards and can make a hand using these and the five community cards on the table. Each player must put a minimum amount of money into the pot, called the ante, before they can play each round. This is determined at the start of a game and may vary.

The first round of betting begins when the player to the dealer’s left places chips into the pot. If you don’t want to raise the ante, you must “call” the bet by placing your own chips into the pot. You can also raise the bet if you are comfortable doing so. If you raise, you must call any further bets by the players to your left. If you have a strong hand, you can raise further still.

After the flop, another round of betting takes place. The lowest possible hand is a pair of 7-5-4-3-2 in two suits. You can discard your two cards and draw replacements if you want to improve your chances of making a good hand.

Practice watching other players to develop quick instincts and build a solid strategy. You can learn a lot from studying how other players act, including their tells (eye movements, idiosyncrasies, hand gestures and betting behavior). For example, if an opponent usually calls bets but suddenly makes a large raise, it’s probably because they have a great hand.