Poker is a card game that requires bluffing and analyzing other players’ reactions. You can play poker at a casino, with friends at home or on a free poker app. Regardless of the type of poker you choose, there are some basic rules that every player must know.

To start the game, each player must place an initial amount of money into the pot. This is known as the ante. Players may also be forced to put more chips into the pot than their opponents, which is known as raising. If a player raises, the rest of the table must either call or fold.

Once everyone has their antes in the pot, the dealer deals 2 cards to each player. If these are of the same value, like two 3s, you can say “stay” to stay in your hand. Otherwise, you can “hit” to get another card.

After the first betting round is over the dealer will deal three more cards face-up on the table. These are community cards that anyone can use to make a poker hand. This is called the flop.

Keep in mind that your hands are only good or bad in relation to what other players hold. For example, you might have a pair of kings, but if the other player holds A-A your kings will lose 82% of the time. This is why it’s so important to study your opponent, understand the odds of poker hands and learn how to bluff.