If you want to be a good poker player, the first step is knowing the rules. You will have to invest a certain amount of money in every hand before you see your cards, which creates the pot and encourages competition. Then you have to learn how to assess your opponents, understand their tells and make them fold. You can do this by studying poker professionals, reading books and articles, watching videos and more.

The first step is to quickly study a few charts that tell you which hands beat others, like the fact that three of a kind beats a straight and two pair beats one pair. It’s important to know these things so you can make good decisions based on your opponent’s actions and the strength of your own hand.

After everyone has acted on their hand in the first betting round (step 2), three more cards are dealt face up on the table. These are called community cards and anyone can use them. Then another round of betting takes place, and if any players still have a poker hand, they can raise or call the bets made by other players.

The best way to win poker is by making your opponents fold in earlier rounds, even if you don’t have a strong hand. You can do this by making them think that you have a stronger hand than you actually have or by applying pressure with bets and raising. This is a key skill that separates beginners from pros, because you can’t control your opponents’ cards, but you can control how much pressure you put on them.