Poker is a card game played by two or more players and involves betting over a series of rounds until one player has a winning hand. There are many variants of the game, but most share some basic elements.
Each player puts up a forced bet, called an ante or blinds, before cards are dealt. In most forms of poker, the player who puts up the highest amount wins the pot. The antes and blinds may be raised or folded by other players during the course of a hand. In some games, a special fund called the kitty is established, and players contribute low-denomination chips into it to pay for new decks of cards or food. Any chips left in the kitty when the game ends are shared equally among players who remain in the game.
To play poker, you need to understand how to read the table. The most important part of this is looking beyond your own cards and predicting what other people might have in their hands. This is a big advantage and something that takes time to develop.
To practice, shuffle and deal four hands of cards face down to yourself. Then, assess the strength of each hand. Practice until you can determine the best hand without hesitating for more than a few seconds. Also, observe experienced players to learn how they react and apply these lessons to your own style.