Poker is a card game where the twin elements of luck and skill are required to win. Skill will outweigh luck over time, but there is a certain amount of risk that cannot be eliminated. The most successful players have a number of skills that include patience, reading other players, adaptability and developing strategies. The best players also have a strong mental game, avoiding becoming overly excited about winning or upset after losing a hand. Watch Phil Ivey in action to see how he does it – he never shows any emotion, even after a bad beat!

When the player’s cards are revealed at the end of the betting round, the highest ranked poker hand wins the pot and all bets. A player may also win the pot without revealing his or her hole cards, for example by bluffing in a situation where everyone else has folded.

Before each round of betting starts, 2 mandatory bets called blind bets are placed into the pot by the players to the left of the dealer. These bets help to ensure that there is always a large enough pot to attract people to play.

Saying “call” means that you want to make a bet equal to the last person’s bet. This is usually done when you have a premium starting hand like a pair of Kings or Queens, or an Ace-King or ACE-Queen combination. When you raise, it means that you are adding more money to the pot than the player before you and that you want other players to call your bet or raise.