Learn the Basics of Poker

If you want to become a serious poker player, learning the basic rules of the game is an essential step. You can read books written by poker professionals and find free online resources to help you get started. In addition, watching some of the top players play live on streaming sites like Twitch can give you a sense of how easy they make the game look and help you develop your own style.

The game of poker is a card game that is played by two or more people in a betting round. Depending on the game rules, one or more players are required to place an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. These forced bets are usually called antes, blinds or bring-ins.

When players receive their cards, the first of several betting rounds begins. After the flop, each player must decide whether to continue betting or fold.

If you are holding a weak hand, it is often correct to fold on the flop. This will save you chips and prevent you from betting into a hand that has little chance of winning. Likewise, if you hold a strong hand and the flop comes out as expected, it is often correct to raise. This will force weaker hands to call and can raise the value of your hand. This is known as a “pot-odds” calculation, and it is an important part of any poker strategy.