Poker is a card game where players place bets on the best possible hand. The game originated in the 19th century, and it quickly became a popular pastime. It is believed to be an ancestor of other games such as blackjack and rummy.

In order to become a good poker player, you must first have a firm grasp of the rules and strategies. You must also be able to read your opponents and pick up on their tells. This will allow you to know whether they are holding an unbeatable hand or just bluffing.

The game is played with a standard 52-card deck. The cards are dealt in rotation to each player, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Once all players have a set of cards, they may begin betting on the pot.

When it’s your turn to act, you say “call” if you want to match the previous player’s bet. Then you place your chips or cash into the pot. You can also pass on your turn to act if you don’t want to bet.

Some players attempt to play a Game Theory Optimal (GTO) style, which is an approach/strategy based on balanced ranges and mathematical models. However, this strategy is often not effective in heads-up situations because your opponents will make mistakes.