Poker is played by two or more players around a table with cards and chips. Typically each player “buys in” for a certain number of chips. A white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth ten whites. Each player has one turn to act each round. The first round of betting begins once each player receives their 2 hole cards. There is usually a round of mandatory bets called blinds put into the pot by the players to their left.
After the flop, an additional community card is revealed and the second round of betting begins. A player with the best poker hand wins the pot (which can be shared by multiple players).
High cards break ties. Two distinct pairs of cards, three of a kind, four of a kind, straight, flush, full house, and Royal Flush are the most common poker hands.
It is important for players to pay attention to their opponents and the tells they give off. These cues can reveal that a player is holding a strong or weak poker hand. Examples of tells include shallow breathing, sighing, blinking rapidly, nose flaring, swallowing excessively, dilated pupils and other facial expressions, and hand gestures such as crossing the arms or placing the hand over the face. Some of these cues are more obvious than others. It is helpful to read poker strategy books and watch experienced poker players play to develop your own poker instincts.