In poker, the goal is to win money from your opponents. Each player puts in a bet, called chips, before seeing their cards and each subsequent bet can either increase the amount of money in the pot or call another players bet. The player with the highest ranked hand of cards wins the pot and any money that was previously put into the pot by other players.

The first step in learning the game is to quickly study a few charts that show what hands beat what (like straights beating flushes, three of a kind beating two pair and so on). This knowledge will help you decide when to fold or raise. In general, if you think your hand isn’t strong enough to raise, it probably shouldn’t be in the hand at all. On the other hand, raising is generally a good idea as it will price weaker hands out of the pot.

Another key concept in poker is understanding ranges. Many new players will try to put their opponent on a specific hand but top players work out the full selection of hands that could be held by their opponents to gain a better understanding of the odds.

Finally, it’s important to practice, play in the right games and learn the rules of the game’s other variations like Omaha, Crazy Pineapple, Cincinnati, Dr Pepper and more. Experience is a great teacher but studying up on the game through reading articles, books and insights from successful poker professionals is also a good way to improve your skills.