Poker is a card game for two or more players with a common objective of winning the pot, which is the sum total of all bets made in any given deal. There are many variants of poker, but in general the player who has the highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot. The cards are dealt to the players one at a time, usually in rounds with multiple betting intervals. Each player contributes to the pot according to the rules of the specific poker variant being played.
A player in the first-to-act position has a forced bet to make (the amount of which is determined by the rules of the particular poker variant). The dealer shuffles the cards, then deals each player a number of cards face up, starting with the player to his or her immediate left. Each player may then decide to raise or call the previous bets and then act on their own cards.
Some poker players rely too much on unconscious tells and over-estimate their importance. However, the smallest and most consistent tells can be a great aid in reading your opponents. Try to categorize your opponents and put them into broad groups, such as tight-aggressive or loose-passive, before you try to analyze their individual tells. Observe experienced players and try to figure out how they react to certain situations in order to develop your quick instincts. Also practice a lot to improve your timing and build your confidence.