Poker is a card game that has quite a bit of chance involved. However, once betting starts there is a lot more skill that goes into the game.

Players place chips (representing money) into the pot when it is their turn to act. This is called a “bet.” Players can raise the amount they are betting by saying “raise.” When this happens other players have the option to either call the new bet or fold their hand.

Once everyone has acted on their cards, the remaining players compare hands to see who has the best one. The person with the best hand wins the pot. The most common hands are pair, three of a kind, and straight. If there is a tie, the highest card breaks the tie.

The game is very fast paced, so you need to be quick to read the other players and pick up on their betting patterns. Look for conservative players, who only bet when they have a good hand, and aggressive players, who are risk-takers and can often be bluffed into folding.

Another important part of the game is deciding who will bet, how much, and when. In many cases, the player who raised first wins the pot. However, this isn’t always the case. If you aren’t sure how to play, get a book on the subject or find a group of people who know how to play. Practice and observe experienced players to build your instincts.