How to Win at Poker

Poker is a game that involves both skill and luck. Whether you are playing against the dealer or other players, winning at poker requires you to understand probability and psychology. This is why so many players struggle to win or break even, while others play at a profitable level. The divide between these types of players is much smaller than most people think. It all comes down to making some simple adjustments in how you view the game.

A hand of poker starts with one or more forced bets, usually an ante and blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the cards, and deals them to the players, one at a time, starting with the player on their left. Players then place bets into the pot based on their own assessment of expected value, and for strategic reasons.

Throughout the hand, you should try to reduce the number of opponents you are facing by limiting your opponent’s options. If you have a strong pre-flop holding, like AK, try to get a few of your opponents to fold before the flop. This will give you a higher chance of winning the pot and force weaker hands to call you.

If you are facing LAGs, you should aim to get position on them as often as possible. This will allow you to maximise your EV and take down large pots. You should also consider bluffing when you have a strong pre-flop hand, as this will confuse your opponent and can make them fold if they have a good hand.