How to Become a Good Poker Player

Poker is a card game in which players make a hand by combining cards in a particular order, with the highest-ranking hand taking the pot at the end of each betting round. The game is played with a small number of chips, and there are a variety of betting structures.

The first step to becoming a good poker player is learning the rules. There are many online resources to help with this, as well as books that can explain the game in detail. It’s also important to practice regularly, so you can refine your strategy and improve your skills.

There are several key elements to the game of poker, including patience and reading other players’ tells. It’s also important to understand how pot odds and percentages work. The best players are able to remain calm under pressure and can think clearly when the stakes are high.

Beginners should start out playing very tight hands, only playing the top 20% to 15% of hands in a six- or ten-player game. In addition, they should always play aggressively and raise the pot often. If they don’t, their opponents might call their bets with weak hands, leading to costly losses.

It’s also important to watch videos of professional players, such as Phil Ivey, when they are taken down by bad beats. Seeing how they deal with these losses can teach you to remain mentally tough and not let them crush your confidence.