The game of poker involves a certain amount of chance when money is not at risk but once betting is introduced the game becomes quite a bit more skill based. Despite this there are still plenty of blunders that will make even the most seasoned players look silly and this is especially true when you’re just starting out.
To get a feel for the game you should start by playing in a home game where there is no money at stake. This will help you to learn the basic rules and understand the betting process without worrying about making any real decisions with your hard earned money. This is also a great way to get a feel for the game before you move onto playing in a real money game with a group of friends.
During the betting process in poker each player will either call the bet by putting chips into the pot (saying “call”) or raise it. In a raise the player will put more than the previous person’s bet into the pot or they can fold their hand and leave the betting.
As you play more hands you’ll learn to read your opponents better and understand the odds of winning different types of hands. This is not easy and takes a lot of practice but there are some simple things that can help you narrow down your opponent’s possible hands. For example if an opponent is checking after the flop and then makes a raise this may indicate that they have a strong pocket pair.