Poker is a card game of chance that involves betting between two or more players. There are many different forms of poker, but in most games the object is to win the pot, which consists of all the bets made during a single hand. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards (for a straight or flush) or secondary pairs (in a full house). The game can be played with 2 to 14 players, but in most cases the ideal number is 6, 7, or 8.
An ante is a small forced bet that all players must contribute before the first betting round begins. Antes increase the winning potential of every hand, as well as add excitement to the game.
If you are in position and hold a strong starting hand, such as a pair of Kings or Aces, bet aggressively right off the bat. This will make other players think twice about calling your bets if they happen to have a weaker hand.
Pay attention to the other players and learn their tells. This includes their eye movements, idiosyncrasies, and betting behavior. For example, if a player who typically calls frequently raises suddenly makes a huge bet, it may indicate that they are holding an incredible hand. This information can help you win a lot of hands by making the best possible decisions.