Poker is a card game where luck contributes to winning hands but it is also a game of skill and psychology. If you are willing to put in the work and learn the game of poker you can become a very successful player.
The object of the game is to execute profitable actions (bet, raise, or fold) based on information at hand with the goal of maximizing long term expectation. While this seems obvious, the vast majority of amateur players don’t understand what their ultimate objective should be at the table.
Before the cards are dealt players are forced to make an ante and/or blind bet. The dealer shuffles the cards and then deals each player their cards. Each player has two personal cards that they keep and five community cards on the table that everyone can use. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot.
When playing poker you must be able to read your opponents, especially before the flop. Most of these reads don’t come from subtle physical tells but rather from patterns such as whether a player is betting most of the time or folding most of the time.
In addition to being a game of chance, poker requires mental toughness. Watch videos of Phil Ivey taking bad beats and notice how he doesn’t let it affect his play. This is one of the keys to becoming a world class poker player. You must be able to take losses as well as win, but it is the quality of your wins that will determine how good of a player you are.