Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players. The object of the game is to win a pot (a sum of all bets) by having the highest-ranking poker hand at the end of each deal. There are many different variants of poker, but all of them have the same basic rules.

In most cases, a player’s first bet is called the ante and each subsequent player must place chips (representing money) into the pot that is at least equal to the total contribution of the player before him. The dealer is responsible for distributing the chips correctly at the end of each hand.

The first betting round in a poker hand takes place after the dealer deals three cards face up that everyone can see. These cards are known as community cards and can be used to make a poker hand by any player. After the flop, there is another betting round and then the dealer puts a fourth community card on the table that anyone can use.

The best strategy is to bet your strong value hands straight-up and avoid trying to outwit your opponents or using fancy bluffing techniques. Observe experienced players and learn how they react to different situations to develop your own instincts. Tells can be useful in big-bet poker, but are not as important in limit play where the pot odds are so high that you can afford to act on your instincts without relying on a tell.