Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is a game of chance, but also involves strategy. The game has a number of different variants, but all involve betting and showing cards. It is important to know the rules of each variant before playing.
The game begins when the player to the left of the button puts in a small amount of money called the blind. Then each player receives two cards that can only be seen by themselves. The person with the highest pair wins the pot. The other players can call (match) the bet or fold. If nobody calls the bet, the players can discard their cards and take new ones from the top of the deck.
When you have a strong hand, it is usually worth raising the amount of money in the pot. This is called a raise and is indicated by saying “raise” or “I raise.” If you are bluffing, you can say “call” if the player to your right has raised and want to match their bet.
One of the most important things to remember when playing poker is that your hand is only good or bad in relation to what other players are holding. For example, a player holding pocket kings on the flop is going to lose 82% of the time to an ace. Therefore, you should try to play a range of hands that are more likely to win.