The goal of poker is to win a pot (money or chips) by taking part in rounds of betting. It’s important to learn the rules and understand how different hands rank, but beyond that, you’ll need a lot of practice and a good grasp of basic strategy to be a winning player.

A hand is made up of 5 cards – two from your personal hand, plus three community cards on the table. The highest hand is a Royal Flush (a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit) followed by Four of a Kind (3 cards of the same rank) and then Two Pair (2 cards of the same rank and one card of another rank).

You’ll also need to learn how to read other players’ tells, unconscious physical signs that reveal the value of their cards. These can be as subtle as a nervous tic, or as obvious as staring down at a card too long. Expert players know how to spot these tells and are able to use them to their advantage.

Start by practicing to develop quick instincts. Shuffle and deal four hands of hole cards face down and decide which is best without hesitating for more than several seconds. Repeat this for the flop, turn and river, assessing how the advantage changes each time. Over time you’ll develop a natural intuition for things like frequencies and EV estimation. It’s also important to keep a healthy bankroll and to not play with more than you can afford to lose.