How to Play Better Poker

The game of poker is a game of chance, but when you begin to add betting into the mix it becomes a more skill based game. The divide between break even beginner players and those that win at a high rate is not as great as many people think, and it often comes down to a few little adjustments in how the game is played.

A key aspect of this is playing in position versus your opponents, since you will be able to see their action before making a decision. This gives you much more information and control, so that you can play a wider range of hands.

Another is focusing on reading your opponent, particularly looking for tells. These don’t have to be the obvious tells that you might imagine – they can also be subtle and more complicated, such as a player who calls every hand in a table and then raises with a good one.

Another aspect is avoiding getting attached to good hands, as they can quickly turn into losers if the board doesn’t go your way. For example, pocket kings on the flop may seem like a decent hand, but if the other player has an ace on it that’s a big turnoff and you should be very cautious about continuing. Finally, it’s important to remember that you will lose sometimes – even the best players in the world suffer bad beats. Watch videos of Phil Ivey, however, and you’ll notice that he never gets upset about a loss (unless it’s a huge one). This mental toughness is an essential part of poker success.