Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The object of the game is to win pots (bets) by getting a high hand. Players can also lose pots by having low hands or making bad calls.

There are many possible variations to this basic game, but they all play from a standard pack of 52 cards. Some games add a few special cards called jokers. The cards are ranked (high to low) from Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2; and there are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs).

If a player wants to increase the amount of money in the pot, they must say “raise” before anyone else can call their bet. The other players can then choose to raise their own or fold their cards.

Another important aspect of the game is reading the other players’ tells. These are unconscious habits that reveal information about the player’s hand. They can include anything from eye contact to body language. Every player has a tell and every good player knows how to read them.

Before the cards are dealt, the player to the left of the button posts a small blind and the person to their right posts a big blind. This money is forced bets that help keep the pot size high. A good strategy is to watch experienced players and think about how they’d react in certain situations, building your instincts for the game.