Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) by placing them into a pot. This betting is a combination of skill, psychology and chance. Unlike other card games, in poker a player only puts money into the pot when they believe it has positive expected value for them. Players make bets for various reasons, such as improving their chances of winning a hand, bluffing to deceive other players or for strategic purposes.
After everyone has received 2 cards there is a round of betting which starts with the player to the left of the dealer. After this a 3rd card is put on the table which everyone can use, this is called the flop. Then there is another betting round and you have a chance to check, stay or raise your bet.
If you are holding a good hand on the flop, it is best to bet and force weaker hands out of the pot. This can help you get paid on later streets, especially if your opponent is a conservative player who is often folding before they have a strong poker hand. Conversely, if you are holding a good poker hand on the turn and river, it is often better to raise your bet and let them call you. This will make them think twice about calling your bets in the future and you will win more poker hands. Ultimately it’s all about the law of averages and having quick instincts.