Poker is a card game in which each player places a bet before the cards are dealt. The player who has the highest ranked hand when all bets have been placed wins the pot, or all money bet during that particular hand. The game can be played with as few as two players, or with more than 10.

There are several different types of poker games, each with its own rules and strategies. Some are bluffing-oriented, while others focus on building strong hands. Some are fast-paced, while others are more slow-paced. Regardless of the type of poker, the most important thing is to play smart.

A key factor in winning at poker is knowing when to bet and how much to bet. In most cases, it is best to bet aggressively, especially when you have a premium opening hand like a pair of Kings or Queens. This will force weaker hands to fold and will increase the value of your pot.

Another important skill is reading other players’ tells, or unconscious habits that reveal information about their hand. These can be as simple as a change in posture or as complex as a gesture. It is also important to learn how to read other players’ betting behavior.

A common mistake of novice poker players is to call when they should be raising. This can be a costly error, as it allows your opponents to overthink and arrive at wrong conclusions. You should instead play your strong value hands as aggressively as possible, even when you are out of position.