Poker is a card game in which players make bets based on the relative value of their cards. The aim is to form a high-ranking hand and win the pot (the sum of all bets) at the end of each betting round.
Unlike other games where you can only use your own two cards, in poker the dealer places three community cards on the table which anyone can use. This is known as the flop. After the flop there is another betting interval and then the dealer puts one more card face up on the table which everyone can use (the turn).
Once the betting is complete you form your best 5-card poker hand from your own 2 personal cards and the 5 community cards on the table. If you have a strong hand then you bet to encourage other players to call, or raise and re-raise your bets.
Advanced players look at their opponents’ whole range of hands and try to predict which ones they have. This is called a range read and is an essential skill for winning more often.
To be a successful poker player you have to commit to many things including smart game selection and bankroll management, learning strategy, networking with other players, studying bet sizes and position and being able to play under pressure. It also takes discipline and perseverance to improve your game over time. Luck will always have some role to play, but good players believe that their skill will eventually outweigh it.