Poker is a game of strategy and tactics, but it can also be a great social activity. In fact, many retirement homes encourage their residents to play poker because it improves their social skills and can help to keep the brain active.
A good poker player needs to be able to read and interpret other players’ actions and emotions, which is why it is so important to observe other players and try to pick up on small tells. This can be a great way to learn how to make your own tells, and it will help you to develop the quick instincts that are so vital to a good poker game.
Whenever you’re playing poker, it is important to understand the odds and pot potential of your hand. For example, if you deal yourself a pair of kings, this isn’t a bad hand off the flop. However, if you have a high card that breaks ties, this is an even better hand. Ultimately, you need to weigh up the odds and pot potential of your hand against the other players’ hands in order to decide whether or not to call a bet.
In addition to this, it is always good practice to study the betting pattern of your opponent. This means studying things like: the size of the raise (the larger the bet sizing, the tighter you should play and vice versa), the stack sizes (if someone is short stacked, you should play fewer speculative hands) and how often they continuation bet post-flop.