A game of poker involves betting among a group of players, each with their own set of chips (representing money). One player is designated by the rules of the variant being played to make the first bet. He may choose to raise or fold his hand. The remaining players must then either call or raise the bet.

A standard 52-card pack is used, with the addition of one or two jokers. The cards are usually dealt face-down. In order to speed the deal, a separate deck is often shuffled while the pack is being dealt.

Each player’s hands are developed during the course of several betting rounds. Usually each player must place chips (representing money) into the pot at least as many times as the amount placed in by the player before him.

The game is fast-paced and the players are encouraged to be aggressive in making bets. In fact, the word ‘poker’ comes from a Dutch word meaning “cards.”

When it is your turn to bet, you can say ‘raise’ to add more chips to the betting pool. You can also ‘call’ to match the last bet or ‘fold’ when you don’t have a strong enough hand to play.

A key skill in poker is reading the tells of the other players. A tell is the unconscious habits of a player that reveal information about their hand. These can be as simple as eye contact or as complex as gestures.