Learn the Basics of Poker Strategy

Poker is a card game played with chips that represent money. It involves chance, but skill also plays a large role in the game’s outcome. Players make decisions under uncertainty based on probability, psychology and game theory.

The dealer deals a number of cards to each player. Then, depending on the poker variant being played, one or more betting intervals occur. During the betting, each player must place chips into the pot equal to or greater than the amount placed in by the player before him. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot.

To understand poker strategy, you must know how to read other players’ actions and reactions. This is a key part of the game and will help you decide which hands to play with and which to fold.

In addition, you should familiarize yourself with the game’s rules and basic hand rankings. It’s also important to study the impact of different positions on your hands, such as being in the cut-off position versus being under the gun.

It’s also important to mix up your playing style so opponents can’t pick up on your tells. If they always know what you have, you won’t get paid off on your strong value hands or be able to bluff your way into winning the pot. Also, if you’re too predictable, your opponent will have an easier time counting your chips. That’s why it’s crucial to kill all losing hands before pushing the pot.