The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during one deal. The pot is won by having the highest-ranking poker hand or by making a bet that no other player calls. There are many different poker games, but most of them have the same basic rules.

When playing poker, it is important to balance bluffing with betting for value. It is also important to pay attention to the tells of your opponents. These are the tics and other body language signals that reveal whether a player is holding an unbeatable hand or bluffing.

If you are new to the game, it is best to play tight in the beginning. This means only calling bets for strong hands and avoiding weak ones. It is also helpful to learn the frequencies of each poker hand. This can be a bit difficult for beginners but is a key aspect of poker strategy.

The only time that limping into a pot is correct is when the game is very passive and you have a flop-specific hand like a suited connector. Otherwise, you should either fold or raise. Regularly limping into pots can hurt your overall win rate and will often result in a poor finish on the river when you have a weak kicker against a better one. It is best to avoid this mistake as much as possible.