The Best Way to Learn Poker

Poker is a card game that combines strategy, psychology and a lot of luck. The best way to learn the game is to combine theoretical understanding with practical experience, building a well-rounded approach that will improve over time. There are a wide variety of resources available that will help you understand the rules and hands, as well as provide a framework for understanding betting strategy.

A round of betting begins once all players have received their two hole cards. This is initiated by the two mandatory bets, called blinds, placed into the pot by the players to the left of the dealer. These bets create a pot immediately and encourage competition.

As the action progresses, players may check, raise or fold their hand. The player with the highest ranked hand when all players have shown their hands wins the pot. Players can also bluff during the course of a hand, although this is not a common practice in the game and should be used sparingly.

The key to becoming a better poker player is learning to read your opponents. This includes analyzing their body language, eye movements, idiosyncrasies, and betting behavior. Ideally, you want to work out the range of hands your opponent could have and then determine how likely it is that they hold that hand. This is called putting your opponent on a range, and it’s an important skill for achieving long-term success in the game. The best way to learn how to do this is by observing experienced players and imagining how you would react in their position.