The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game of chance, but there is also a lot of skill involved. It’s important to learn how to read your opponents and understand their tells. This will help you make better decisions at the table. Having friends that are good at poker is also helpful. They can help you play the game more effectively and win at a higher rate.

Poker begins with each player putting in an amount of money (called anteing) into the pot. Then players are dealt cards face down. These are their private cards that they are not able to see until the betting round is over. This phase is called pre-flop betting.

After the flop, another betting phase begins. Three cards are then revealed to the entire table. These are known as the flop. They are community cards that all players can use to create their own 5-card hand. The player to the left of the dealer starts this phase.

During this phase, it is possible for your trashy hand to become a monster. For example, if you have Ks-Kd, the flop could improve it to a pair of kings, which is much better. This is why it’s important to have a solid betting range and know when to fold.

It’s important to remember that a poker game is won by the player who has the best five-card hand at the end of the betting process. This is determined by a combination of the cards you were dealt as well as the community cards.