How to Read Tells in Poker

Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players. The object of the game is to make the best five-card hand from the cards you hold and the community cards on the table. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot. Depending on the rules of the game, one or more players are required to place an initial amount into the betting pool, called forced bets (ante or blind).

The more experience you have playing poker, the better you will become at reading the actions of your opponents. This ability to read tells, the involuntary reactions of your opponents that give away information about their hands, is a crucial part of becoming a good poker player. Tells may be as simple as a touch to the face, obsessive peeking at a good/bad card or chip stack, or even a change in timbre in the voice that telegraphs anxiety.

If you start a poker game with a premium opening hand, like a pair of Kings or Queens, bet aggressively. This will give you the best chance of winning the pot. Speculative hands, such as small pairs and suited connectors, can also be very profitable when played correctly. However, they should be avoided when playing from early positions, especially if you are against a strong opponent. Likewise, marginal hands, such as suited aces with lower kickers, are usually best folded. Resilience is another key component of being a successful poker player. A good poker player won’t chase a bad loss, but will instead learn from it and move on.