Poker is a card game where players form a hand based on the ranking of their cards and then try to beat the other players by winning the pot (the total of all bets placed during a betting round). There are many different types of poker, but they all have the same core principles.

When it is your turn to act, you can either “call” or raise. If you call, you put the same amount of money into the pot as the player before you did; if you raise, you put more into the pot than the previous player and will force other players to fold unless they have a strong holding themselves.

The first step to becoming a better poker player is to learn the basic rules of the game. Once you have a grasp of the basics, you can start to refine your strategy and build good instincts. The best way to do this is to observe experienced players and think about how you would react in their position – this will help you develop your own poker style.

When you have a strong starting hand, it is important to bet aggressively. It is also important to use your position to advantage. If you are in late position, you have more information than your opponents and can make simple, cheap bluffs that will make them think twice about calling. This is especially true if you have a premium holding, like a pair of Kings or Queens.