Poker is a card game in which players make bets with chips (representing money) and place them into a central pot. A player may call the bet, raise it, or fold. The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot. Poker is widely considered to be one of the most popular casino games and has become a part of American culture.

Developing a solid range of starting hands is a key aspect of successful poker strategy. Pocket pairs, suited aces and broadway hands are all great choices to start with. Then, as you learn more about the game, you can add in more hands to your range. However, it is important to remember that luck can turn on a dime and you must always be prepared to fold if your hand doesn’t play.

A key component of good poker strategy is reading your opponents. This involves paying attention to subtle physical tells and analyzing their behavior. For example, if a player is scratching their nose or playing nervously with their chips it is likely that they are holding a weak hand.

A good poker player will be tight with their betting. This means they will not bluff often or call with weak hands. However, it is also important to be aggressive when the opportunity arises. For instance, if you hold a premium opening hand like a pair of Kings or Queens you should bet heavily to take control of the table and force weaker hands out of the pot.