A card game of chance and risk, poker has many variations but the basic mechanics are the same. Players place chips into a pot before being dealt cards that they keep hidden from the rest of the table. There are a few key rules that players must follow when playing poker.

When it’s your turn to bet, you can say “call” or “I call” to indicate that you will match the last player’s bet. You can also raise a bet by saying “raise” or “I raise.” When you raise a bet, you must place your raised chips or cash into the pot.

It’s important to learn how to read your opponents and look for tells. This includes noticing nervous habits, like fiddling with their chips or wearing a ring. It’s also helpful to pay attention to the way your opponent plays and what kind of hands they play.

There is an old saying in poker that you should play the player, not the cards. This means that your hand is only good or bad in relation to what the other players are holding. For example, if you hold K-K and the other player has A-A, your kings will lose 82% of the time. So you should try to find tables where the odds are in your favor. This will help you win more money in the long run.