Poker is a card game played between two or more people. The aim of the game is to make a five-card poker hand and win the pot (all bets placed during a single deal). There are many different variants of the game, some of which are more popular than others. The rules of the game differ slightly from one variation to another, but most share a few fundamental principles.

Unlike most casino games, poker is usually played with chips instead of cash. This is because it’s easier to stack, count, keep track of, and make change with. In addition, each color of chip represents a different dollar amount. Depending on the rules of your game, you may also be required to place an initial amount into the pot before dealing the cards.

Players can then make bets by raising, calling, or checking their hands. As the rounds progress, more and more chips are added to the pot. If you are new to the game, ask for help if necessary. Most experienced players will be happy to show you how to manage your chips.

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is playing their hands too passively. This can be costly, especially if you have a strong draw. To improve your game, try being more aggressive when you hold draws and force opponents to fold. Watching experienced players to see how they react can also be helpful. It will help you develop your own instincts and make more educated decisions in the future.