Poker is a card game that requires strategic thinking and strong decision-making. It can also teach you how to control your emotions in stressful situations, which is a useful skill for life. In addition, poker is a great way to meet new people and socialise.

The game involves placing bets at the table and then receiving a set of cards, which are dealt face up or down, depending on the variant of poker being played. Each player then forms a hand based on the cards they have and place these bets into the pot. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot at the end of each betting round.

Some players say “call” when they wish to match the last person’s bet, and this means that they will place chips or cash in the pot equal to the amount of the previous raise. In some poker games, it is possible to fold if you do not have a good hand, but this is uncommon and usually considered bad form.

A high-quality poker strategy is based around playing your strongest value hands with confidence, forcing opponents to overthink and arrive at wrong conclusions, and counting your money. This can be achieved by being unafraid to place big bets and raising often, even when you only have a pair of sixes. In addition, it is important to always be aware of the position of your opponent and try to get the seat selection advantage by getting to their left as much as possible (easier in a live setting). This will give you full freedom for ways to maximise EV and take down pots.