Poker is one of the most popular card games worldwide. It is a game of chance, but there are many strategies and skills that can be learned. Players must be able to minimize losses with poor hands and maximize winnings with good ones. This skill is called “reading” the other players’ actions.

To begin a hand, each player must put a mandatory bet into the pot. This is called the “ante.” Depending on the rules of the game, this may be worth one or more chips. Each player can then call the bet, raise it, or fold. If a player folds, they lose any chips that they put into the pot and are no longer eligible to compete for the winnings of the pot.

A player must have a pair of distinct cards to win. If two or more players have a pair, the higher card wins. If there is no pair, the highest card breaks ties.

In addition to learning the rules of Poker, it is also important to develop quick instincts when deciding whether to play or fold. To do this, it is best to practice and watch experienced players. This will allow you to see how they react in certain situations, and then try to mimic their reactions.

Poker is almost always played with poker chips. The most common chip is the white chip, which is worth one or more of the minimum ante or bet. There are also red, blue, and black chips, which are all worth different amounts.