Poker is a card game in which players place bets on the strength of their cards. It is generally played with a standard deck of 52 cards, though some games add jokers or other special cards. The highest hand wins the pot. There are many different ways to play poker and it is a popular game worldwide.

There are several rules that are universal to most forms of the game. For example, always bet your strong hands and avoid bluffing too often. If you have a good pocket pair, for instance, it doesn’t matter what the flop is; however, you should be cautious when a straight or flush is dealt, because this could spell trouble for your pockets.

When you are in EP, for example, you should only open your hand with strong pre-flop hands; otherwise, you will be giving your opponents a free pass to raise and win the pot with weak hands. As you move up the positions, you can open your range slightly, but still only with strong hands.

Once everyone has their cards, betting begins. Say “call” if you want to match the last person’s bet (or raise). For example, if the player in front of you just raised $10, you would call it.

Watch your opponents to identify their betting patterns. This will help you spot conservative players who tend to fold early and aggressive players that may be prone to risk-taking. In addition, paying attention to subtle physical poker tells can help you read your opponents.