Poker is a game that requires a lot of skill. There is a little bit of chance involved when you don’t have money at risk, but when the chips are on the line it becomes much more of a game of strategy and psychology than luck.
A few key things to remember before you sit down to play:
First, never fold! This is the biggest mistake made by new players. If you have a good hand, don’t be afraid to call a reasonable amount of money. This will encourage other players to get into the pot and make the game more exciting.
Secondly, always think about what other players might have. This is a difficult skill to master, but you can start by studying the charts. Knowing what hands beat which other hands is important, but you can also narrow down what someone might have by looking at how they bet and the sizing of their bets. Finally, learn to read position. This is a very advanced topic, but by understanding your opponent’s position you can make better decisions and increase your bluffing opportunities.
One of the best books on poker for new players is The One Percent, by Matt Janda. It is a deep-dive into math and poker and will help you develop an intuition for things like balance, frequencies, and EV estimation. But, be sure to take this book AFTER you’ve taken The One Percent course and before you try to implement any of the information from it in the poker table.