Poker is a card game where players place chips (representing money) into the pot to compete for a high hand. It’s a simple game, yet there’s so much room for strategy and psychology.

The first step is to learn the rules. This includes understanding hand rankings and basic rules, as well as the impact of position at the table.

Whenever you play poker, you must be able to make quick decisions. The best way to develop these skills is by practicing and watching experienced players. By observing how they react, you’ll be able to understand their decision making process and emulate it in your own games.

Another important skill is the ability to read your opponents. You must be able to identify when your opponent is bluffing and when they are trying to trap you. If you can read your opponents, you’ll be able to play a lot of bluffs and capitalize on their mistakes.

Finally, you must know when to raise and when to fold. This is especially true when you’re playing in late position. Late position gives you an informational advantage over the people acting before you. By raising, you can prevent your opponents from over-betting and forcing you into a costly mistake. However, be careful not to over-raise, as this can backfire and lead your opponents to call you when they have a strong hand. Instead, you should focus on raising when you think your hand is ahead of their calling range.