How to Play Poker With Patience

Poker is a game of chance and probability, but it also requires patience and an ability to read other players. Some of the most successful poker players possess several shared traits: they know how to calculate pot odds and percentages quickly and quietly, they have excellent hand reading skills and can adapt their style accordingly, and they are patient enough to wait for optimal hands and proper position.

If you have a strong, value hand, it is generally better to raise it than to limp. This way, you can inflate the pot further and price the worse hands out of the pot.

Some poker variations require players to make a blind bet before being dealt their cards. This is a separate bet from the ante and is passed clockwise around the table.

When it is your turn, say “call” to put up the same amount of money as the player before you. You can also raise a bet (and the other players will have the option of calling or raising your bet).

If you have a weak, drawing hand, it is best to fold. Trying to hold your hand against strong opponents will usually only result in disaster. The two emotions that will kill your chances of winning are defiance and hope–defiance because you are so stubborn that you won’t let go of your hand even though you know you don’t have the cards to win, and hope that you will catch a lucky card on the turn or river that will give you that straight or flush you need to win.