How to Play Poker Like a Pro


Poker is a card game that requires patience, knowledge of your opponents, and strategic thinking. It’s also a mentally intensive game, and top players have several skills in common: they can calculate pot odds and percentages quickly and quietly; they read other players well; they are able to lay down good hands when necessary; and they know when to quit a bad session.

Each player begins the game with a number of chips, called “buy-ins.” A white chip is worth one bet, a red is worth five, and a blue is worth 10. Players put money into the pot whenever they believe that a bet has positive expected value. The goal is to form a poker hand based on the cards you have and bet the most chips to win the pot at the end of each betting round.

When it’s your turn to act, you should always check first if you are not sure what type of poker hand you have. It’s important to check because your position and the other players’ positions will let you determine if you can fold or make a strong bluff.

Whether you’re playing EP or MP, you should play tight and only open your hand with strong ones. Stack sizes also play a huge role, because short-stacked players should only call raises with the best hands, and they should prioritize high cards when betting post-flop. In addition, you should use your knowledge of your opponent’s habits to make bluffs with the best probability.