Poker is a card game with many variants, played by two or more people. It is a game of skill and chance where players bet based on their perceived odds of winning a hand, or by bluffing.

A good poker player has a strong understanding of probability, and can calculate pot odds and percentages quickly and quietly. They play tight and have excellent self-control, not chasing hands that don’t have enough value to justify risking their money on them. They are able to read other players’ behavior and know when to call a bet, and when to fold. They also have the ability to adapt to changing situations and circumstances at the table.

Another essential aspect of a good poker player is patience. Having this characteristic allows them to bid their time and make a good return on their investment at the right time. It will help them avoid silly calls that would lead to losses. Lack of patience can be a deadly mistake in poker, as it makes players eager to win, which results in poor playing technique and weakens their overall strategy.

A good poker player is comfortable with the fact that they will have losing days, and even losing entire sessions at times. This is known as variance, and it’s unavoidable in poker, but you can prepare for it by properly managing your bankroll. This way, you will always be able to play poker with the amount of money that you’re comfortable losing.