Poker is a game of cards and betting over a series of rounds. A player with a winning hand wins the pot. Poker has several different variants that vary in the way that betting rounds play out and how hands are made. However, the basics of poker are the same across all games.

Each player is dealt two cards and then the betting begins. Players can call the minimum bet, raise the current bet, or ask for a check (passing without raising). Each player can also fold if they don’t want to stay in the hand.

If a player has a good hand, they can bet aggressively and take advantage of their opponent’s misplays. A common mistake beginners make is to call their opponents’ bets when they have a strong draw, but better players are much more active with these types of hands. They often get their opponents to misplay their draws by making bluffs and by raising when they have the chance to win with a strong hand.

A good poker player understands math and can use basic calculations to estimate their opponent’s EV in various situations. They can also recognize if an opponent is likely to fold under pressure and will be able to make moves that take this into consideration. Over time, this will become a natural part of their poker strategy. They will even be able to keep track of these numbers in their head while they are playing.