Poker is a game of cards that is both a test of, and a window into, human nature. While the element of luck is always present in a hand of poker, understanding how to control your own emotions and make smart calls can put you ahead of most players at your table.
The first step to becoming a good poker player is learning the basics of the game. This includes the rules of the game, how to play each betting interval, and how to read your opponents. The best poker reads are not from subtle physical tells (like scratching your nose or playing nervously with your chips) but rather from patterns in how players play the game. For example if one player never bets then you can assume they are playing pretty crappy hands and may be trying to bluff.
After the flop is dealt each player still in the hand gets another chance to check, raise or fold. If a player has a strong hand such as pocket kings or queens they should usually stay in to see the flop. If the flop is a weak card like an ace then it may be time to fold.
It is important to know when to fold in poker. If you have terrible cards it is almost always better to fold than to call and hope that the turn or river will give you that straight or flush you wanted. This strategy will cost you money in the long run, so don’t keep throwing good money after bad.