Poker is a card game played by two or more players and involves betting in order to win the pot (the sum of all bets placed during one deal). The game can be played with any number of people, though it’s usually best when there are 6-8 players.

During the first few rounds of play, you should observe what your opponents do before you start throwing money in. It’s possible to make a good living from poker, but only if you have the right mental approach to the game. Emotional and superstitious players lose at a much higher rate than those who are able to keep their emotions in check.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the basics, you should start by playing at a low limit table. This will give you the chance to learn the game and improve your skills without donating too much of your hard-earned cash to players who are already well ahead of you in the stakes.

Each player starts by putting in an ante, or a small amount of chips. From there, each player must call that bet in turn if they want to continue with the hand. If they don’t have enough chips to call, they can fold. In some cases, players may raise the bet if they think they have an excellent hand. Otherwise, they can just call the bet and hope to improve their chances of winning the pot. This process is repeated until everyone shows their cards and the person with the best 5 card poker hand wins.