Poker is a card game that involves betting. It is a game of chance, but over the long run the best players win. In addition to luck, the game requires strategy.

The first step is to learn the rules. Then, you should study the charts of what hands beat what. For example, you should know that a straight beats a flush, three of a kind beats two pair, and so on. This will help you to be more successful in the long run.

After learning the rules, it is important to practice the game. This can be done by playing with friends, or through online poker sites. There are also many books on poker, videos and tutorials that can be useful to beginners.

Lastly, it is important to spend as much time studying away from the table as you do at the table. This should include reading poker blogs, books by professional players and learning about the different strategies of the game.

One of the most important things to remember is that a hand’s strength or weakness depends on what the other players are holding. For example, if you hold pocket kings and the flop comes A-8-5 then your kings are probably going to lose 82% of the time. This is because the board shows that your opponents are likely to be holding strong hands. This is the basis behind poker reads and is a key part of good poker play.