Poker is a card game where players compete to make the best 5 card hand by betting with their cards. It requires a great deal of knowledge, skill and luck. In order to become a good player you must play the game with your whole mind and body. The first step is to learn the rules of the game. Once you understand the different types, variants and limits of poker you can start to build your strategy.
A good starting point is to play low limit games. This will allow you to play against weaker players and learn the basic strategy of the game. It will also give you a feel for the game and help you to decide which level of competition you want to play in. It takes thousands of hands to master a game, so it is important to start out small and move up gradually.
It is also important to learn the language of the game. Some terms may be new to you, such as “ante”, ”call” and “raise”. Basically, the ante is the amount of money that all players must put up before they can see their cards. Then they must either call the bet, raise it or fold.
When you have a strong pre-flop hand, like AK, it is usually worth staying in to see the flop. This is because there are only a few players still in the hand, so it is unlikely that they have better cards than you. However, you must know when to fold as well.