Poker is a card game played by two or more people and involves betting on the strength of your hand. It requires a mixture of skill and luck to win, but there are some basic rules you should know to play well.

Each player receives two cards, known as hole cards. These are then revealed in three stages: the flop, the turn and the river. The best five-card hand wins.

During each betting interval, or round, one player puts in a bet of one or more chips. The players to his left must either call the bet by putting in the same amount or raise it (i.e. put in more than the preceding player). If they cannot call, they must “drop” out of the hand, losing any chips they have put into the pot.

In the long run, players’ decisions are made on the basis of probability, psychology and game theory. With the exception of initial forced bets, money is only placed into the pot if a player believes it has positive expected value or wants to bluff other players for various strategic reasons.

Be aggressive when you have a strong value hand, and be careful not to overplay your opponents. It’s important to make your opponents think that you are bluffing when you have a strong hand, but be careful not to bluff too much as this can backfire and cost you your stack. A good way to improve your decision making is to find players who are winning at the same stakes you are playing, and start a weekly group chat or meeting to discuss difficult spots you’ve found yourself in.