Poker is a card game where you compete against the other players at the table to win a pot of money by making a winning hand. It has a reputation of being a game of chance, but the reality is that there’s quite a bit of skill and psychology involved.

The first thing you need to know is that most of the hands you play in poker are losers. That’s OK, because the law of averages dictates that you have to lose a few hands before you get a winner. Just don’t be afraid to fold, especially early in a hand. This will prevent you from getting involved in a losing deal and it’s also a great way to study the gameplay of other players.

Each player at a poker table buys in for a certain number of chips. Then the dealer shuffles the cards, the player on their right cuts and then the cards are dealt one at a time beginning with the player on the left. After a betting interval, the player with the highest hand wins the pot.

When it’s your turn to act, you can say “call” to bet the same amount as the player to your right. You can also say “raise” to add more money to the betting pool. If another player calls your raise, you must match it or fold. During the third round, called the flop, an additional community card is revealed. If no player has a high enough hand on the flop, the fourth and final round, called the river, begins.