Poker is a card game played with groups of people seated around a table. It is played with seven cards, and the goal is to make the highest hand possible by continuing to bet until all players have folded or are eliminated. The player with the highest hand wins the pot, which is made up of all the money bet during the hand. If there is a tie in the hand, it is broken by another deal.

Different forms of poker have their own rules, but the basics are the same. Typically, the game involves an ante and blind bet, which are mandatory bets placed before the dealer deals the cards. In some versions, the ante and blind bets are rotated around the table. When the player makes a blind bet, they have the option of checking or calling, or they may check to see if they have a hand worth checking.

A hand may contain more than one range, and a player should learn to balance his hand range. The first step is to figure out which hands are bluffs and which are value hands. Players will often use a shorthand to refer to these strands, such as “JJ+” to refer to pocket Jacks and pocket pairs. Other ranges include “AQ+” which does not have a suit qualifier, but means any hand that is above the starting hand.

Another important part of poker etiquette is to avoid talking while playing. Even if you think you have a strong hand, it is not a good idea to do this, since it distracts other players and gives away information. In addition, it also complicates the decision making process.