Poker is a card game played with a group of players. Each player starts with two cards face down and the dealer then deals three more cards out to the table (the ‘flop’). Then there are a round of betting and then each player shows their cards and the person with the best hand wins.

Each player must place an ante into the pot before the betting begins (representing their money). This amount is a minimum and can be increased at any time by a player who believes the bet has positive expected value. A player may also fold his or her hand at any point during a round, forfeiting the amount he or she has already contributed to the pot.

The first player to the left of the button starts by placing a bet. Each player then has the option to call, raise or fold his or her hand. Saying ‘call’ means that you want to make a bet of the same amount as the last player and is an expression of your confidence in your hand strength.

Beginners often think about their poker hands in isolation and try to put their opponents on specific hands. But this is a mistake; you should think about your opponent’s range and play accordingly.

It is important to only gamble with an amount of money that you are willing to lose and track your wins and losses so that you can understand your long-term expectations. Having good position in the betting sequence gives you more information about your opponents and lets you make better value bets.