Poker is a card game where players have “chips” (money) to bet with. You are dealt 2 cards and there are five community cards – your goal is to make the best 5 card “hand” using your own two cards and the 5 community cards. You bet with your chips if you think there is a chance of winning the hand, and opponents can fold if they don’t want to risk losing their entire stack. The winner gets all the chips that have been bet so far in the pot (“the chip total”).

To make better decisions under uncertainty, whether in poker or in life, you must first understand how probabilities work. This means learning the game’s rules and estimating how many hands your opponent is likely to have in a given situation. It also requires learning the “tells” that other players give off by their body language and how they play the game. A good poker player is able to read these tells and predict their opponent’s range of hands.

Beginners should stick to starting hands that have a higher probability of success, such as pocket pairs or high-card combinations. These starting hands are easier to play and will set the stage for decision-making throughout the game. As you gain experience, you can start exploring more advanced concepts and poker lingo and adapting your starting hand range to specific situations. This will increase your overall success rate and improve your odds of winning the game.