Poker is a popular card game in which players attempt to improve their hands by betting and revealing cards. The winning hand is determined by the best combination of a player’s cards and the other cards in the pot.

There are many variations of poker, but the basic rules apply in most of them. Before the cards are dealt, each player makes an initial bet, called an ante.

The first betting interval ends when the last player raises, or all players check. The next betting interval begins when a new bet is made by a different player.

In some variants, a player may check, which means they do not make a bet at all and leave the pot without betting. In other variants, a player can choose to call or raise, which means they make a bet and pay the same amount as the previous bettor.

It is a good idea to develop a solid base range of hands that you play, and stick to it. Pocket pairs, suited aces, broadway hands and best-suited connectors account for around 25% of all starting hands, so they’re an easy place to start building your strategy.

Another important skill is to be able to read your opponents. This includes their body language, mood swings and how they handle their chips and cards.