Poker is a game of chance, but it also has a lot to do with skill and psychology. It’s important to learn the rules of the game, but even more importantly you need to adjust your mindset to become a winning player. This means becoming less emotionally attached to wins and losses and viewing the game in a more cold, detached, mathematical way. Watch videos on YouTube of Phil Ivey getting bad beats, and see how he doesn’t get upset. That’s the mental toughness that separates the break-even beginner players from the big winners.
At the beginning of each hand, players must put in a small amount of money called the ante. This gets them dealt cards and then they can raise or call. The highest raised hand at the end of the hand wins the pot. A straight is 5 consecutive cards of the same rank. A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another. A pair is two cards of the same rank. The high card breaks ties.
Beginners should try to play a wide range of hands, especially from late positions. It’s also important to understand how to read other players’ tells. These are not just the obvious nervous habits, like fiddling with chips or a ring, but the ways that they play the hand. For example, a player that has been checking most of the night and then suddenly makes a big raise is probably holding an unbeatable hand.