Poker is a card game in which players wager money before seeing their cards. This creates a pot right away and encourages competition. There are many different poker games, but the one most people think of when they hear the word is Texas Hold’em. This is the type of poker you see on television and at WSOP events.

It’s important to learn the rules of poker before playing it, especially if you’re not familiar with it. This is because poker can become very complicated and confusing if you don’t know the basics. Some important rules include knowing what beats what, how many players are in the game, and deciding whether to bluff.

If you have a strong hand, don’t be afraid to bet aggressively! This will not only build the pot but also help chase off other players who might be waiting for a draw that could beat your hand. Top players also fast-play their strong hands, which is another way to maximize the amount of money you win.

You should also pay attention to your opponents’ tells, which are unconscious physical signs that indicate the strength of a player’s hand. This can be anything from a nervous habit like biting nails to eye movements or facial expressions. Eventually, you will be able to pick up on these tells and make better decisions about whether or not to call a bet. When playing online, you can also use a tool like Poker Tracker to analyze your opponent’s betting behavior.