Poker is a game of cards where players make bets into the pot based on the strength of their hands. The highest hand wins the pot. Most poker games require players to contribute a small amount of money into the pot called a blind or ante before each hand begins. Once the bets are made, the dealer deals each player 2 cards that they keep hidden from their opponents, these are known as the hole cards. Each player then has the option to call a bet or raise it.

There are a lot of small adjustments that you can learn over time to start winning at poker at a much faster pace than you currently do. Often the divide between break-even beginner players and big-time winners has more to do with changing their mental approach to the game than any other single factor.

The key is to always think about the potential strength of your opponent’s hand rather than just your own. This way you can bet with strong hands to force weaker ones out and also bluff with your trashy hands knowing that the flop could turn it into a monster. Then if the flop doesn’t come your way, you can fold. It’s very important to watch your opponent for tells such as shallow breathing, sighing, nose flaring, eyes watering, a hand over the mouth or temple, and an increasing pulse in the neck or temple. These are all signs that your opponent has a good or strong hand.