Poker is a card game in which players place bets against each other for the right to show their cards and win the pot. There are many variations of poker, but they all share the same basic principles. The best way to learn poker is by playing it with experienced friends and observing how they play to develop quick instincts.

To start a hand, each player puts in a small amount of money (the exact amount varies by game). This is called “buying in.” Once all players have bought in, the deal begins. The first player to act places a bet into the pot, and then all players can either call that bet or raise it. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot.

The standard pack has 53 cards, including the joker. The joker can be used as a wild card in some games. A wild card is a card that can substitute for any other card in a hand. Four of a kind is a hand consisting of four cards with the same rank. If two hands have the same four of a kind, the higher-ranking card outside the four of a kind breaks the tie.

Tells are unconscious habits a player displays that reveal information about his or her hand. Common tells include eye contact, a smile or frown, body language, or gestures. For example, if a player stares down at their chips while betting, they are likely bluffing.