Poker is a card game where players compete to win a pot by having the highest-ranked hand of cards. Each player has 2 personal cards (called hole cards) and 5 community cards that the dealer places on the table. Depending on the rules of the game, each player can also draw replacement cards to add to their current hand.
Players place an amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. This is called a forced bet and can vary from game to game. The highest ranked hand wins the pot and all bets made during that hand. If no one else has a high enough hand, the pot is shared equally among players.
During this phase of the hand, it is best to “read” your opponent and understand his tendencies. If he’s tight, meaning careful with his bets, you can play weaker starting hands such as K-J unsuited or even “bad aces” like A-3. If he’s loose, on the other hand, you can make your bets bigger and try to induce him into raising his own bets.
Learning how to take risks is a skill that will help you improve your poker game. Just remember that some of those risks will fail, and that’s okay! The key is to build your comfort with risk-taking over time. If you decide that your odds of winning a hand are diminishing, it’s usually better to fold than to continue to bet and risk more of your own money.