Poker is a card game of chance that involves betting and strategy. It originated in the American frontier, where it was popular among riverboat crews and later became a staple in Wild West saloons. Its popularity grew, thanks to its spread up the Mississippi River and throughout the country. Its reputation as a game of chance and luck has earned it the label of a game of pure luck, but there is also a lot of skill involved.

During each betting interval (determined by the rules of the poker variant being played) players must place chips in the pot, representing their contributions to the overall sum of all bets made. Each player must have a total contribution to the pot equal to or greater than that of the player before him in turn, or face having to fold his hand.

When playing poker, it is essential to be able to read the other players’ tells. This includes noticing their eye movements, body language, idiosyncrasies and betting behavior. Those who can read the tells of their opponents will be able to make better decisions about when to call, raise or fold.

If you know your opponent has a pair of weak cards, bet aggressively. There is nothing worse than losing a big hand to an opponent who just called a bet with a weak pair of unconnected cards.