Poker is a game of cards in which players bet into a central pot. Each player must ante something (amount varies by game, typically a small amount, such as a nickel) and the dealer then shuffles the cards. After shuffling, the player to the right of the dealer cuts and the dealer deals each player a number of cards. Betting then starts with the player to his or her left and proceeds clockwise around the table.
It’s important to be able to read your opponents, especially their betting patterns. A lot of poker reads come from subtle physical poker tells like eye movements, idiosyncrasies and hand gestures but some come from patterns of behavior. For example if a player is calling all the time then he or she is probably holding a strong hand but if that player suddenly makes an outrageous bet it could mean they have an ace or other very good cards.
Always bet with your best hands. There is nothing worse than seeing a player beat you with a pair of unpaired, low cards that never made a showdown. Don’t let this happen to you! By betting aggressively you will make your opponent think twice about calling your bets and you can even get paid on later streets if you are lucky. This is one of the easiest ways to improve your winning percentage at the tables.