Poker is a game of chance and strategy. The game has hundreds of variations, but all share some basic principles. Players each have a set of chips with assigned values that are exchanged for cash when the game starts. The game is fast-paced and bets continue until a player either has all the money or everyone folds.

When a player has a good starting hand, it is advantageous to bet aggressively to force weak hands out and raise the value of your pot. Especially when you have a premium opening hand like a pair of Aces, Kings or Queens.

During each betting interval (called a round), a player may decide to make a bet of one or more chips. This initiates the first round of betting and the player to his left must either call that bet by putting in the same amount of chips or raise it, meaning they put in more than the original bet. Players may also “drop” their cards and discard them, allowing them to draw replacement cards.

You can practice poker online to develop your skills and learn new strategies. You can also watch professional poker games on television to see how the experts play and react. Practicing and watching other players is the best way to learn how to read others at the poker table. The more you practice and observe, the quicker your instincts will become.