How to Become a Great Poker Player


Whether you’re a casual player or want to make poker your full-time career, it takes commitment and discipline to master the game. It’s also important to be smart about game selection, choosing the proper limits and game variations for your bankroll and skill level.

Before a hand can begin, the players must place their chips into a pot, called a “pot size” (determined by the number of people playing). They can either call that amount (“call”), raise it (“raise”), or fold (“drop”). The raise and call options encourage competition and allow each player to see how their hand ranks against other hands in the pot.

The first step to becoming a great poker player is understanding the basic rules of the game. This includes the basics of how the cards are dealt, and the different types of hands that can be formed. You’ll also need to learn the terminology of poker, such as:

Reading your opponents is a key skill in any game of poker. This isn’t just about reading facial expressions or body language – it involves learning to read their betting habits as well. This is accomplished by studying the way they handle their chips, making notes on their mood changes and watching their behavior around other players at the table. Over time, these tells become ingrained in your poker brain. You can then apply them to your own game.