Poker is a card game played between a number of players. Each player pays a small amount of money, known as the ante, to be dealt cards. After the ante is placed each player can then bet into a pot in the center of the table. When betting is complete the highest ranked hand wins the pot.
Each time a betting interval ends, the players must make up their hands and show them to the other players. The player who made the first bet must either call (match) that amount by putting in chips equal to the total contribution of the players before him, or raise. A player who raises must continue raising until he is no longer the biggest contributor to the pot. A player who doesn’t want to call or raise may “drop” (“fold”) and discard his cards. If he drops, he loses any chips that have been put into the pot and must leave the hand until the next deal.
In most games a special fund, called the kitty, is established for the purpose of buying new decks of cards and food and drinks for players who remain in the game. Generally, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet and a red chip is worth five whites.
One way to improve your Poker skills is to read about the theory of the game and then practice. You should also learn to read other players’ tells, such as their body language, idiosyncrasies, and betting habits.