A Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Poker is a card game where players attempt to make the best hand possible using any combination of their own cards and the community cards. The highest single card or pair of cards wins the pot.

The game starts when each player is dealt two cards, which are kept secret from the other players. The dealer then deals another set of cards to the players, called the “community cards.”

Betting rounds occur in the course of each hand. At each betting interval, players may choose to call, which means putting the same number of chips in as the player who bet; raise, which means adding more money to the betting pool; or drop, which means putting no chips into the pot and discarding their hand.

Players may also use their chips to pay for new decks of cards or to buy food and drinks at the table. By unanimous or majority agreement, the players establish a special fund called the “kitty.” Any chips left in the kitty at the end of a game are shared equally among those still playing.

One of the most important things you need to learn as a beginner is how to read other players. The first step is to look at their betting and folding patterns.

Then, you can start to make a guess about what hands they are playing. For instance, if they bet a lot then it’s likely they are playing crappy cards. If they fold a lot then they are probably playing strong hands.