Poker is a card game with a large element of chance, but it’s also a competitive skill game. It requires a high level of raw technical skill to maximize your edge in-game, but if you have the right approach and learn to play in the optimal frequencies & hand ranges for each situation you’ll be able to win consistently.
Before each round of betting (in most games players must ante something, the amount varies by game) cards are dealt to each player. Each player then has a choice: to “call” the previous player’s bet by putting the same amount of chips into the pot, to “raise” the bet (put in more than the previous player), or to drop out of the round (“fold”).
When players have a strong enough hand they can raise their bet to discourage other players from calling their bets and bluffing with weaker hands. This is a key part of poker strategy, and a good reason to pay attention to other players at the table – learning their subtle physical tells, idiosyncrasies, betting patterns etc.
Then when the flop comes and your pocket kings or queens aren’t good you need to be wary because the board is likely to have lots of straight and flush cards that can beat them. This is where poker’s luck factor comes in.