Poker is a card game that involves betting, raising, and folding. The player with the highest ranked hand of cards at the end of the game wins the pot – all of the money that has been bet during that hand.

A good poker player must understand the basics of math and percentages. They also need to be comfortable taking risks. While Just says many of her risks fail, they serve as learning experiences and build her comfort level with risk-taking.

One important skill to master is the ability to read your opponents. This includes observing their body language and how they respond to your betting patterns. This can help you avoid making mistakes that could be costly to your poker bankroll. Deception is another important aspect of playing poker. This involves having a balanced style of play to trick your opponent into thinking you have a strong hand when you actually don’t.

It is also crucial to know when to fold a bad hand. While it may be disappointing to miss out on a showdown, you don’t want to waste your time and money playing hands that won’t win. This is especially true when your opponent is betting a lot during later streets and you can see that their range is heavily weighted toward hands with no showdown value. It is also a good idea to play in fewer games to limit the number of players you’re up against.