Poker is a game of skill, and while luck plays a large role, players can work to develop the skills that will outperform their opponents over time. Practice is the key to developing quick instincts, and watching experienced players can help you learn to read them and adapt their strategies. In addition, learning about different styles of play can broaden your understanding of the game and expand your repertoire of moves.

Once the cards are dealt, each player gets to bet. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. This process usually involves several reshuffles and betting rounds. If you’re holding a good hand, bet at it to make the others call. This forces weaker hands out and increases the value of your hand.

The best hands are a straight or a full house. A straight is a sequence of five consecutive cards, and a full house is two pairs of cards of the same rank (for example, four of clubs and three hearts). There are also higher combinations, like a pair of kings or a four-of-a-kind.

It’s important to study the other players at the table and watch for “tells” – nervous habits such as fiddling with chips or wearing a ring. Reading these tells can give you clues about the strength of their hands and how likely they are to bluff. A player who has been calling all night and raises dramatically in the final betting round is probably holding a strong hand, but don’t be fooled by these hints!