Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. Its history dates back centuries, and it continues to grow in popularity both online and off. Poker requires a high level of skill, and players must be able to read their opponents’ tells (nonverbal cues) in order to make good decisions.

The game begins when any player takes a pack of cards and deals them in rotation to the left, until a jack appears, making that player the first dealer. If a player wants to shuffle, he must offer the shuffled pack to his opponent on his right for a cut.

When it’s your turn, you can say “call” to match the last person’s bet or raise it further. If you call, you must place your chips or cash in the pot. If you raise, you must continue to bet until someone calls your bet or folds their hand.

Some people are intimidated by the risks involved in poker, but building your comfort with risk-taking is a necessary part of learning the game. As you gain confidence, you can start taking bigger risks, and over time your chances of winning will increase. However, it’s important to be able to recognize when your chances are low and stop betting when it’s not worth it. You can also learn to bluff, and sometimes this can be more profitable than holding a strong hand. Just be careful not to bluff too much!