A game of poker involves betting, with players placing chips into a central pot to represent money. A player is required to put in a small amount of forced chips (the ante and blind bets) before they are dealt cards, but the rest of the bets in each hand are made on a voluntary basis by those who think that the bet has positive expected value.
Players have several options when betting: they can choose to call, raise, or drop out of the pot. When a player calls, they put into the pot the same number of chips as the player before them. If they raise, they put in more than the previous player and must continue raising until everyone calls or they fold their cards. If they drop, they put no more chips into the pot and discard their cards.
One of the most common mistakes that new players make is playing weak hands. Many people think that their pocket kings or queens are strong and they should always bet but this is not always a good strategy. The flop could improve your opponent’s hand and their aggressive betting can easily make you fold.
Another mistake that many new players make is checking when they have a marginal made hand. When you check as the first player to act, many players will bet on later streets because they think that you have a weak hand and they can take advantage of this by raising. This can be costly for your bankroll. It is better to play your marginal hands strongly and to bet on later streets when you are in position.