How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game that involves a combination of skill, strategy, and luck. You can play it at home with friends, in a casino, or even on the Internet. To begin playing, you need to understand the different hand rankings and betting strategies. You should also know the rules of poker math and how to calculate your odds.

To start the game, each player must “buy in” with a set amount of chips. Usually, the minimum number of chips is 200, and each chip has a different color and value. A white chip is worth a single ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth ten whites.

After the initial bet, the dealer deals three cards face-up on the table. These are community cards that everyone can use to make a hand. Then the dealer puts one more card on the table, which can be used by anyone with a good poker hand. This is called the flop.

Once the flop is dealt, the players have a chance to raise or fold their hands. To raise, you put chips into the pot equal to the player to your left’s bet or more than the previous raiser’s chip total. To fold, you give up your hand and return the rest of your chips to the dealer. A good poker player will be aggressive when they have strong draws, trying to get their opponents to call their bets.