Poker is a gambling game in which players wager chips (representing money) on the outcome of a hand. The highest hand wins the pot. A player must ante (amount varies by game, in our games it’s typically a nickel) before being dealt cards. Once the cards are dealt, each player can either call a bet made by the player to their left, raise the amount of money they put into the pot, or fold.

Generally speaking, it is better to play aggressively in poker. It is a lot easier to win large pots when you bet big with strong hands. In the long run, this will help you build your bankroll.

There is a popular poker saying that says, “Play the Player, Not the Cards.” This means that it doesn’t matter how great your hand is, what matters is how it stacks up against the other players at the table. If your pair of Kings is beat by a guy who holds American Airlines, you will end up losing a lot of money.

To avoid this, you must learn to read the other players at your table. Observe how they react to the bets of other players, and imagine how you would react in their shoes. This will help you develop quick instincts. The more you practice this, the more skilled you will become. However, it is also important to find a balance between your playing style and having fun.