How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game where players make their best hand with the cards they are dealt, in order to win the pot at the end of each betting round. The pot is the sum of all bets placed by players, and you can win it by either making a strong hand or by bluffing. A successful poker player must have several skills, including discipline and perseverance. They must also be able to learn from their mistakes and be able to make adjustments to their play style. Many players read books on poker strategy, but it is important to develop your own style through detailed self-examination and discussion with other players.

When playing poker, it is important to be aggressive when it makes sense. However, being overly aggressive can be costly. For example, if you have a weak hand and your opponent raises, it is often best to call and let them get their money into the pot before raising again with a stronger hand.

Saying “call” means you want to bet the same amount as the player to your left. This allows you to continue in the hand and control how large the pot becomes. If you think your opponents are holding strong hands, you can bet bigger than them and take control of the pot.

In poker, the player to your left acts first, and then everyone else goes in turn. This is called being in position. If you have a marginal made hand, you can check to allow the other players to call and then play for cheaper in later streets.