Poker is a card game that relies on skill and strategy, but also on luck. While the cards you draw will impact your hand, luck can be overcome with better decision-making. The ability to read your opponents is crucial, as is the ability to be flexible and change your strategy based on what you see.

Players place an ante wager and a pair plus wager to pit their hands against the dealer’s. They may then decide to “play” their cards (play all hands greater than Queen, Six and Four) or fold them. The player who has the highest ranked hand wins the “pot” – all bets placed during the hand.

After the ante and pair plus wagers are made, three more cards are dealt on the table as community cards called the flop. There is another round of betting, with the first player to the left placing a bet. A fourth card is then shared as the river, followed by a final betting round.

Each poker player has his or her own tells, unconscious habits that reveal information about a person’s hand. A player’s tells can include facial expressions, body language and even the way he or she sits. For example, if a poker player stares at his or her chips when the flop comes, it’s likely that they have a strong hand. Alternatively, someone who squints or blinks often reveals that they have weak cards. Other tells can include shallow breathing, sighing, nostril flaring or blushing.