Poker is a card game played by two or more players and involves betting. Each player starts the hand with five cards and places an ante, which is the first amount of money put into the pot. When the betting round begins, each player may place additional chips into the pot up to the total contribution of the player before him.
A player may call a raise or fold his hand. He can also re-raise his bet or raise himself, which is called a check. The players that have the best poker hand win the pot, and the remaining cards are thrown into the muck.
When you have a strong hand, it is important to play it aggressively. This will help you build the pot and chase off players waiting for draws that can beat your hand. Top players often fast-play their strong hands, which can be a great way to increase your winnings.
If you are a beginner, start out with low stakes. This will allow you to learn poker strategy without spending a lot of money. It’s also a good idea to play versus weak players rather than the 10th best players in the world. If you keep fighting them you will always lose money.