Poker is a game of chance and luck, but it also involves a lot of skill. If you use good strategy, you will win money in the long run.

The goal of the game is to form a hand that has the highest ranking according to card rankings and win the pot, which is all the money in the betting round. The pot is the sum of all players’ bets, including forced bets. A player can win the pot by forming a high-ranking poker hand or by bluffing, leading other players to fold.

Poker has a standard 52-card deck plus jokers, and there are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs). Cards rank from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2; the higher the card, the more valuable the hand.

In the first betting round, called the preflop, you should open with strong hands like A, K, Q, J and 10 and call weaker hands. You should raise more often in later positions, especially when playing from EP and MP.

Learn how to read other players and watch for their tells. Tells are the little things that signal to other players that a player has a strong hand. These can include fiddling with chips, ringing your fingers and even how they play their cards. It takes time to learn all the tells, but it’s important to watch for them when you play.