The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game where players place chips (representing money) into a pot to make a bet. Then they show their cards and the player with the highest poker hand wins the pot.

The rules of poker vary depending on the type of game and the limits, but there are some basic principles you should always keep in mind. To start with, each player must put in the amount of chips (representing money) equal to or more than the total stake of the person before him. This is called the ante.

Whenever you want to increase your bet, you must say “raise.” This means that you want to add more money into the pot than the previous player did. If you raise, the other players will either call your new bet or fold.

You are dealt a pair of kings off the deal. This isn’t a great poker hand but it’s not too bad either. You check (which is when you don’t have to put any of your own chips into the pot) and Charley calls and Dennis raises.

When you learn how to read other players, you can see how much they are betting and bet accordingly. This way you can make a good decision about whether to call or raise their bets. You should also try to study their tells. These are the little things that can give away the strength of your hand, like their eye movements, idiosyncrasies and betting behavior.