How to Become a Better Poker Player


The best poker players possess several traits, including patience, reading other players and adapting to the game. These players understand ranges and pot odds, can calculate percentages quickly and quietly, and know how to play each hand. They also take the time to study their results and look for weaknesses.

The most important thing to remember is that your hand is only good or bad in relation to what the other player has. For example, if you have K-K and another player has A-A, your kings are likely to lose 82% of the time. This is because the flop will almost always improve his hand.

To minimize your risk, you should always bet at least the minimum amount. This forces weaker hands out of the game and raises the value of your hand. Also, try to avoid letting your opponent know what you have by avoiding telling him. This is easy to do by doing multiple shuffles before betting.

Another important skill to develop is to learn to read other players and watch for tells. These aren’t just the nervous habits such as fiddling with a ring or tapping your foot, but also things like how aggressively a player plays. For example, a player who calls every bet and then suddenly raises is usually holding a strong hand. Learn to spot these tells and use them to your advantage. In addition, you should try to mix up your style and be unpredictable. This will help you keep your opponents off guard and increase the chances of making a big bluff.