Poker is a card game where players wager chips (representing money) on the chances of making certain types of poker hands. The game can be played with any number of players but is most commonly played between 6 and 10 players. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the total amount of all bets made during a deal. A player may win the pot by having the highest-ranking hand or by making a bet that no one else calls.
There are a few basic concepts to understand before starting to play poker. First, players must place an initial amount of money into the pot before they see their cards — this is called the ante or blind. Once this has happened, each player has the option to check, or pass on betting, to call, or raise. If a player raises, they must match the previous raiser and if they are unwilling to do this, then they must fold.
It is also important to learn about tells, or the ways a person’s body language and facial expressions can give away their intentions at the table. A novice player should be especially observant of other players and watch for these tells, as this will help them to make better decisions at the table. For example, a player who limps into a pot when they are out of position is often signaling that they have a strong hand.