Whether you’re looking to play poker as a hobby or to make a living, becoming a good player takes hard work. It’s also important to find a community that will help you improve your game. Finding a mentor or joining an online forum can be a big help. There are thousands of people out there who are trying to learn poker just like you. They can offer feedback and help you move up to a higher level of play much faster.
Depending on the rules of the game, one or more players are required to place an initial bet before the cards are dealt. These are called forced bets and can come in the form of antes, blinds, or bring-ins. After the forced bets are placed, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals them out to the players, starting with the person to their left. The players can check, call, or raise. When they raise, they put more chips into the pot than the amount of the previous bet.
When you have a premium opening hand, such as a pair of Kings or Queens, you should bet aggressively. This helps disguise the strength of your hand, allowing you to draw out others that are holding weaker hands.