Poker is a card game played by a group of players. In the beginning, players buy in for a certain amount of chips. After that they are dealt cards and begin betting on each other. The player who puts in the most money wins the pot. A player can call, raise, or drop (fold).
When a player calls they put in chips equal to the amount that the person to their left raised. If they call and have a good hand they can win the pot. If they raise and then fold, then they will lose their entire stack.
A good player knows that it takes a lot of skill to win. They need to be able to read other players. This can be done through subtle physical poker tells such as scratching the nose or playing nervously with their chips, or by reading the patterns of their betting. For example, if a player is raising every time the flop comes you can bet that they are holding a strong hand.
It is important to start at the lowest stakes when learning poker. This way you can play versus the weakest players and improve your skills. It will also be easier for beginners to break even as they learn the game. The divide between break-even beginner players and big-time winners is not as great as many people think. This is because, mainly, beginners just need to change the way they view the game.