Poker is a card game in which players compete for the highest-valued hand. It’s a game of chance, but skill plays a large part in it as well. It is a game that requires a lot of attention to detail, including reading tells (non-verbal body language cues). It’s also a game in which you can improve your odds by learning the different strategies.

Each player puts in two mandatory bets called blinds before cards are dealt. These are put into a pot and help to create an incentive for people to play the game. Players then receive 2 cards face up. There is then a round of betting that starts with the person to the left of the dealer.

The highest-valued hand wins the pot. The winner earns a portion of the money bet into the pot by all players who call or raise the last bet. This is known as equalization.

You deal yourself a pair of kings off the flop. You can either raise or check, which means you’ll put twenty cents into the pot. Alex checks, Charley calls and Dennis raises. This is an example of a high-low strategy, which forces weaker hands to fold and allows stronger ones to build a big pot.

The best way to become a good poker player is to watch experienced players play. Studying their behavior helps you develop instincts that make you a faster, better poker player. This can include reading their body language, which reveals information about their hands. It’s also important to observe their betting patterns and how they react to other players’ bets.