Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It’s a game of deception and being able to read your opponents is key. A player’s tells can be anything from fiddling with their chips to a clenched jaw to a smooth smile. Being able to pick up on these subtle clues can make you a better player.
A player’s position at the table also impacts how aggressive they should be with their hands. EP (early position) players should play very tight and only call or raise with strong hands. MP (middle position) players can be slightly more aggressive, but should still only open with strong hands. LP (late position) players can be more aggressive because they have a better chance of seeing a flop. However, being too aggressive can hurt your chances of winning if you don’t have a good hand.
Another important part of strategy is understanding how to play draws. A strong player will balance the odds of hitting a draw against how much it costs to try to hit it. This is called weighing your expected value.
It’s also essential to study away from the table. Investing in a few books that offer serious, logical advice about strategy is a must. Avoid books that offer you “tells” or specific examples of hands, as the game changes fast and these pieces of advice won’t work long-term. Also, be sure to look up game theory and try to understand the theoretically optimal strategy for a particular poker variant.