Poker is a card game where the goal is to form a high-ranking hand based on card ranks in order to win the pot at the end of each betting round. It takes a lot of discipline and perseverance to stick with a plan and not get discouraged when bad luck strikes. It also requires a strong sense of self-control and confidence.

One of the most important skills a player can have is to be able to read other players and their tells. This is an area of the game that has a lot of written material, with everything from psychologists to law enforcement officials talking about facial expressions and body language. A good poker player should know the basics of reading other players and pay close attention to their actions during a hand, focusing on things like how they move their hands, how quickly they make decisions, and their mood shifts.

A player must be able to know when they should call, raise, or fold, and then do it! They must be able to play their cards in a way that maximizes the strength of their hand and avoids giving other players information. They must also be able to choose the best game for their bankroll, and commit to playing in that game. This will involve sacrificing some fun games in order to build their skill and make more money. It will also require the patience to stick with a strategy even when it’s boring or frustrating.