Poker is a card game where players form hands based on the rank of their cards and attempt to win a pot at the end of the betting round. To do so, they must place bets that the other players call. Players can also bluff to try and make their opponents fold their hands. It is important to be able to read your opponents and understand how they play. This can be done by observing their body language and watching how they move their chips around the table.

When playing poker, each player will have 2 hole cards and 5 community cards that they use to create their best hand. There are usually two mandatory bets called blinds made by the players to the left of the dealer and then a round of betting occurs on the flop, turn, and river. Players can then raise the bet if they have a good enough hand, and fold their cards if they don’t.

Beginner players often think about their own hands in isolation and try to put their opponent on a specific hand. However, it’s a much better idea to think about your opponents as a range. This will help you to play more accurately and avoid costly mistakes.

Before you start playing poker for real money, it’s a good idea to practice in the free-play versions of the game. Most major poker sites have excellent apps and websites where you can play for fun with other people. Also consider recording yourself while you’re playing so you can analyze your tics and play style for weaknesses.