Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is a game of chance, but also requires skill and strategy. The game can be played in a variety of ways, with different rules for each variation. The goal is to have the best five-card hand at the end of the round.

Before the cards are dealt, each player puts in a forced bet called the ante. This is then added to the “pot,” which is the sum of all the bets made by the players in the round. The player who contributes the most to the pot is known as the raiser. Players who don’t raise the pot are called callers.

After the antes are placed, the dealer deals the cards to each player. There is then a round of betting, starting with the player on the left of the dealer.

It’s important to learn to read other players and watch for tells. These can include anything from fiddling with chips to a nervous expression. It’s also important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of other players. For example, a weak player might fold a lot of hands or be slow to call big raises. It’s important to identify these little chinks in the armor and exploit them.

A good poker player will lose some of the time, but should not let these losses affect their confidence or drive. One of the reasons Phil Ivey is such a great poker player is that he doesn’t get upset about bad beats. Learn to embrace the wins and losses of poker, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a pro.