Poker is a card game that requires a lot of raw technical skill. To do well you need to know your odds of winning, understand basic game theory and be able to read your opponents. It’s also important to have good emotional control. If you don’t, it can be very easy to get angry at other players and dealers.

In a poker game, each player has a supply of chips. Typically, a white chip is worth whatever the minimum ante or bet is; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue or other dark-colored chip is worth 10, 20 or 25 whites. At the beginning of the game, each player buys in for the amount of chips they want to play with.

After the flop is dealt, you must decide how to play your hand. If it’s a strong hand, such as a pair of aces or kings, you might be able to go all-in and win the pot. If you have a weaker hand, you might choose to fold.

It’s important to be able to read other players, especially when they are in position. Watch for “tells” like fiddling with chips or a ring, and pay attention to how they play their cards. Knowing what kind of hands their opponents have can help you categorize them (high, low, or middle). You should also learn how to read the betting patterns of your opponent. For example, a player who raises often is likely holding a good hand and should be avoided if you have a weak one.