The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game where players put their chips into the pot to compete for a winning hand. Each player must place the same amount of chips into the pot as the person before them, unless they choose to raise the bet by placing in more than that. This process is known as calling.

Each player is dealt 2 cards and then makes a decision to hit, stay, double up or fold. During this phase it is important to remember that other people may have good hands as well, so be wary of a flop full of suited cards or high cards, no matter how good your pocket pair might be.

Once the first betting round is complete the dealer puts three cards on the table that everyone can use, these are called community cards. Another round of betting will then take place.

A poker game is usually played with a fixed number of decks of cards, this is known as the deck size. Some games also use a special fund that is known as the kitty. This is used to pay for additional decks of cards, food and drinks. Any chips left in the kitty when the game ends are returned to each player equally.

Learning about the tells of your opponents can be very useful. Whether they are trying to conceal a smile or their nerves, certain body language signals can give away clues. For example, if someone is breathing heavily and their eyes are watery it is a good sign that they have a strong hand.