Poker is a game of chance, but it also involves quite a bit of skill and psychology. To become a force at your poker table you must learn to make good decisions, understand odds and betting, and hone your bluffing skills. It is also important to be able to recognize and overcome cognitive biases that can lead you astray. One of the most common biases is to play too conservatively, afraid that you will miss out on a big hand. However, playing too conservatively can actually cost you a lot of money in the long run.

When you are dealt premium opening hands like Ace-King or Queens, bet big early in the hand. This will help you establish your dominance at the table right away.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer deals three cards face up on the board which are community cards that anyone can use (called the flop). At this point you should know how strong your hand is and if it isn’t very strong you can start to think about bluffing.

Position is a huge advantage in poker. Acting in late position gives you more information about your opponents’ actions than acting in the early positions. This knowledge will let you make more accurate value bets and identify bluffs that are likely to fail. It’s also important to learn to read the tells of other players, such as their eye movements, idiosyncratic behavior, betting patterns and hand gestures.