Poker is a card game in which players place bets to win a pot. The game is based on probability, psychology, and game theory, but it requires a certain mental toughness. The best players, like Phil Ivey, are able to stay calm and collected after bad beats. This is a key factor in their success. If you want to become a great player, you must learn to be mentally tough as well.
Whenever you start a hand, the dealer deals every player one card. Then players can raise or fold and the betting begins. Once all players have raised once or more, the top cards of the deck are revealed (this is called the flop). The highest hand wins the pot. Depending on the rules of your game, you may be allowed to exchange your cards at this point for different ones, but it isn’t always done.
New players often don’t consider their position when playing a hand. Generally speaking, the earlier you are to act in a hand, the worse your position is. This means that if you make a bet early on, you might be calling an opponent with a better hand than yours. This can cost you a lot of money, especially in home games where people are likely to be less selective about their preflop action. This is why it’s important to practice and watch experienced players to develop quick instincts about how to play your own hands.