If you are serious about poker you need to learn the game’s rules and strategies. You also need to understand the odds of winning and losing in each situation. It is important to be able to read the table and spot the players who are good at manipulating the game.
New players often look for cookie-cutter advice such as “always 3bet X hands.” This kind of advice is not useful because it does not take into account the specifics of each spot. However, reading strategy books is a great way to learn the basic principles of poker. You can also learn a lot from talking with winning players at the same stakes you play. Find a group of players who like to talk poker and meet weekly to discuss difficult spots. This will help you learn about different strategies and develop an intuition for things such as frequencies and EV estimation.
One of the first lessons you should learn about poker is the game’s hand rankings. The highest ranked hand is the Royal Flush, which is made up of five consecutive cards of the same suit (aces through ten). Three of a kind is two matching cards of the same rank and one unmatched card. A straight is five cards of consecutive rank but from different suits. The high card breaks ties.
Position is very important in poker, as you can control the size of the pot. You can raise your bets more easily when you are in position because you have more information than your opponents. This will force weaker hands to fold and make it more expensive for your opponent to call your bets.