The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game played between two or more players and involves betting. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during a single deal. The amount of money placed into the pot is determined by the players’ decisions, which are based on probability theory, psychology and game theory. The players may also bluff, in which case they bet that they have a better hand than they actually do. This forces the other players to call the bet or concede.

There are many different ways to play poker, but all of them involve betting. The game can be played with any number of players, but the best way to learn is by playing at one table and observing all the actions around you. This allows you to pick up on the mistakes of your opponents and punish them effectively.

The game is generally played with chips, each of which represents a certain denomination of money. Typically, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or blind bet and a red chip is worth five whites. Each player buys in for the same amount of chips at the start of the game.

When deciding which hands to play, it is important to remember that high cards beat low cards. This means that you should always fold suited, unsuited, and face-up low cards, as these have the lowest chance of winning a hand. It is also a good idea to avoid calling re-raises with weak hands from early positions.