Poker is a card game where players form a hand using the cards in order to win the pot, which is the total of all bets during a particular round. While there are many different variations of the game, some of the basic principles are the same in all variants. Ultimately, poker is about learning to read the odds of your own hand and making intelligent decisions based on those odds.

To begin, each player puts in an amount of money (representing chips) to participate in the game. This is known as the ante. In addition to the ante, some games require that each player put up a mandatory bet called blinds before being dealt their 2 hole cards. This is done to incentivize the players to play.

Once the antes and blinds have been placed the dealer deals 3 more cards face up to the table. These are community cards that everyone can use. A round of betting begins with the first player to the left of the dealer.

There is no one-size-fits-all way to learn poker, but the best strategy is to start with a small bankroll and make smart decisions about how to allocate your funds. It is also important to stay mentally tough and avoid chasing losses with reckless gameplay. To help you with this, it is helpful to watch videos of world-class players like Phil Ivey taking bad beats. This will help you develop the mentality necessary to become a winning poker player.