Poker is a card game in which players place bets on the outcome of a hand, and are competing for the pot (the total amount of all the bets placed). The goal is to form the best possible poker hand based on the rank of the cards, and win the pot at the end of each betting round.
A poker hand is made up of two or more cards of the same rank, and three or more unmatched cards of different ranks. A pair is made up of two matching cards, a full house is three matching cards, and a straight is five consecutive cards of the same suit.
The most basic poker strategy is to play your strongest hands, but also to be selective about which ones you play and when. One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced players make is playing too many weak and starting hands, which leads to them folding over and over. This is understandable, because folding a lot of hands isn’t very fun, especially when you see million-dollar winners like Tom Dwan on TV playing seemingly every hand.
Another key strategy is to learn to be patient and to avoid bluffing too often, or at least only when you think you have a good chance of winning the hand. It’s important to be able to read other players and pick up on their tells, which are small things like fiddling with their chips or a ring that can give away whether they have a strong hand or not.