Poker is a card game that can be played by 2 to 14 players. Each player puts in a bet, called a blind or an ante, before being dealt cards. The object of the game is to win the pot, which contains all bets made during a deal. The winner may have the highest hand or make a bet that no other player calls.

Reading your opponents is a key part of playing well. You need to learn to read their tells, including idiosyncrasies in eye movement and hand gestures, mood shifts, betting behavior and more. It’s also helpful to know what type of hands other players typically hold so you can adjust your play accordingly.

Practice and watch experienced players to develop quick instincts. This will help you become a better poker player.

A good poker player is willing to bet aggressively when the odds are in their favor. There’s nothing worse than losing a pair of Kings to a player who has two unmatched, low-ranking cards. If you bet aggressively, other players will think twice about betting against you, or they’ll assume that you’re bluffing and cough up to stay in the contest.

Almost all forms of poker involve a minimum of two cards per player plus the five community cards on the table (the “flop,” the “turn” and the “river”). A high card is worth the highest single card in the player’s hand. A pair is formed by two matching cards, such as two sixes or two eights. A straight is five consecutive cards in rank or in sequence, while a flush is any 5 cards of the same suit.