Poker is a card game of chance, but it also involves a great deal of skill and psychology. If you want to learn how to play poker, the best way is to practice with a group of friends or find an experienced player and watch them. Observing how players react to the game will help you develop quick instincts.

Depending on the game you choose to play, there are many different rules for how the cards are dealt and bets made. In general, though, you’ll start by taking a pack of cards and dealing them out in rotation to the players left to right until you reach a jack. This person is known as the dealer, and they will do all of the shuffling and betting for the first round.

Once the cards are dealt, players place their bets into a pot in the center of the table. Generally speaking, the highest hand wins the pot. If no one has a high enough hand after all of the betting rounds, a showdown will take place in which the players reveal their hands and the winner takes the pot.

The game is almost always played with poker chips, which are colored and have assigned values prior to the start of the game. Typically, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth two or five reds.