Poker is a game where each player places a bet into the pot before being dealt 2 cards. These bets are called antes or blinds, and they help create an incentive for players to play the hand. If a player wants to stay in the pot and see if they can win it, they must raise their bet at least equal to the amount raised by the last person to do so. This is known as equalizing the pot.

When playing poker, it is very important to be aware of the strength of your own hand and also the range of hands that your opponent can have. Advanced players use a variety of techniques to figure out the range that their opponent is holding. This helps them avoid making mistakes by acting out their gut feelings too early or calling re-raises with mediocre hands.

If you have premium opening hands like pocket kings or queens, it is often good to bet big on the flop to get some value from your strong start. However, if the flop is full of flush cards or straight cards you should be cautious no matter how strong your pocket pair is.

The first thing that beginners need to know when learning poker is how to read other players’ tells. This includes their body language, eye movements, idiosyncrasies and betting behavior. Once you have a grasp of these fundamentals, you can move on to more complicated concepts such as frequencies and EV estimation.