Poker is a card game where players compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by other players in the pot. It is played in a variety of variants, but most often involves cards dealt face up and the player who has the best hand wins the pot.


Unlike other games of chance, luck plays a large role in poker. This is why you’ll sometimes lose, or win, large amounts of money in a single session. Fortunately, it’s possible to build resilience against variance through bankroll management and working on your mental game (more on this below).

The most common mistake new and inexperienced poker players make is to play too many weak hands or starting hands. This is bad because it leads to losing sessions, which means you won’t have a big enough stack for the next few hands to give you a good chance at winning.

Learning strategy is the most important part of developing a successful poker game. It helps you figure out optimal plays versus different types of players, especially in weird spots where stacks are won and lost quickly.

It’s also important to review your results after a game, so you can find areas that you could improve on. This will help you learn from your mistakes and keep from making them in the future.

You can also learn a lot by watching other players. It’s no fun being the slow player at the table, so it’s a good idea to observe others and figure out how to take advantage of their unique styles.