Poker is a card game of chance and skill where the aim is to form the strongest value hand from the cards you have. There are many different types of poker including stud, draw, and lowball, but all share the same basic rules.

Each player is dealt 2 cards which are kept face down until betting starts. When betting begins you can choose to fold (to throw your cards away) or stay in if you think your hand is good enough. You can also raise the amount that others are betting by saying “raise” and putting more money in the pot. The other players can call your raise or raise again known as a check-raise.

Once everyone has decided whether to fold or stay in the dealer will put down a fifth community card known as the river. This is another chance for everyone to bet and the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot.

Bluffing is an important part of poker but if you are a beginner it’s probably best to concentrate on other strategies first such as relative hand strength and betting patterns. This will help you to read your opponents more effectively and identify bluffs more easily.

If you do decide to bluff it’s usually best to use only a small percentage of your bankroll and be sure to play only with money that you are happy to lose. This way if you lose a big hand you won’t be too disappointed.