Poker is a card game played with chips. Players make bets on their hands and the pot grows until someone has a winning hand. Each player buys in for a set amount of chips before play begins. There are different versions of the game, but most use a standard deck of 52 cards. Some games may add a wild card or joker.

After each player has two hole cards, there is a round of betting, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. These mandatory bets are called blinds and are designed to create a pot for people to compete for.

When betting comes around to you, say “call” if you want to match the previous bet or raise it by a specified number. If you raise the bet, the other players must either call it or fold.

Winning hands in Poker include a Royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, three of a kind, and pair. A royal flush is made of an Ace, King, Queen, and Jack of the same suit. A straight flush is five cards in a row that skip around the rank but are all of the same suit (like 5-4-3-2-1, for example).

Every poker player has tells—unconscious body language signals that reveal information about their hand. Watching experienced players and practicing to develop quick instincts is a great way to improve your game. Look for signs of nervousness, such as blinking, watering eyes, a quivering voice, nose flaring, and shaking hands.