Poker is a card game in which players place bets on their own or other players’ hands. It’s a social game where you can make friends and share laughs while having fun. All you need is a table (preferably a round one) and cards. Some people play poker as a hobby while others take it seriously as a career.

Before the game begins, the players purchase a certain number of chips, which are used to indicate bet amounts. Usually, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth 20 or 25 whites.

Each player places their chips into a “pot.” When someone else raises, you can either call their bet or fold your hand. If you fold, you’ll forfeit that round and your opponents will move on to the next person in turn.

If you don’t want to risk your entire bankroll, start off with a low-stakes game and gradually increase your stakes as you gain experience. This allows you to play against weaker opponents and learn the rules of the game. Plus, it makes sense to do this because your skill level will increase every time you move up the stakes.

Learn the rules of poker and spend time studying hand rankings, basic rules, and positions. This will help you make more informed decisions, as well as understand what the other players are doing. Also, try to observe experienced players and imagine how you’d react in their situation. This will help you develop quick instincts.