Poker is a game of cards where players use their hole and community cards to form the highest-value hand. The game requires several skills, including patience and discipline. It also requires good decision making, because a good player must choose the right limits and game variations for their bankroll. They must also commit to playing in the most profitable games available.

In addition, the best poker players know how to read the table and their opponents. This includes knowing what hands beat what (a straight beats a flush, for example) and how to calculate their odds of winning a hand. They also have the confidence to call bets with weak hands, such as top pair, and the foresight to fold if they don’t feel like they can compete.

Another important skill in poker is adjusting to the game’s dynamics, which includes understanding how to play the other players at your table. Watch videos of Phil Ivey, for example, and you’ll see how he never gets upset after taking a bad beat.

Poker is a gambling game, and you should only gamble with money you’re willing to lose. It’s also helpful to track your wins and losses, especially as you become more serious about the game. Finally, poker is a mental game, and you should only play it when you’re in the right frame of mind. If you’re frustrated, tired or angry, take a break. Your bankroll will thank you.