Poker is a card game that involves a great deal of strategy and psychology. When betting comes into play, poker becomes a game of chance (though luck still plays a significant role). Players put money into the pot voluntarily, for reasons that may include bluffing other players for strategic purposes. These decisions are usually made on the basis of probability, psychology and game theory.
The rules of poker are simple enough: Each player is dealt 2 cards face down and then the dealer deals 3 community cards face up on the table. These are called the flop. After this there is another round of betting. If a player has a strong hand they can raise the bet or fold.
A good rule to remember is never to play more than you are willing to lose. This will help prevent you from making bad bets that will devastate your bankroll. You should also always track your wins and losses if you start to get serious about the game.
Many beginner poker players take the stance that since they have already put their money into the pot, they might as well play it out. However, folding is often the best move, as it will allow you to stay in the game longer and potentially save your chips.
Observing other players is also important when playing poker. You can learn a lot about your opponents by watching how they bet. Generally speaking, players who bet a lot will be holding weak hands. Likewise, players who rarely bet will probably be holding stronger hands.