Poker is a card game where players place chips (representing money) into the pot. Each player must make a bet of at least the amount placed in the pot by the player before him. If you want to win at poker, you need to keep your opponents guessing about what you have. If they always know what you have, they’ll never pay off on your big hands and your bluffs will fall flat.

There are several ways to build a poker hand. You can have two matching cards of the same rank, three of a kind, four of a kind, straight, or a flush. The highest ranking hand wins the pot. If there is a tie, the high card breaks it.

If you have a strong hand, bet it to force out weaker hands and raise the value of the pot. You can also say “call” to place a bet equal to the last player’s bet.

A good poker strategy includes a mix of bluffing and calling bets. It’s important to understand the betting rules of your specific poker variant before you play. You should be able to read the table and understand how much the other players are betting and the odds of getting a particular type of hand. It’s also a good idea to understand the concept of ranges. While newer players often try to put their opponent on a hand, more experienced players will work out the entire range of hands that their opponent could have.