Poker is a card game that involves betting and a fair amount of skill. While there is certainly some degree of luck involved in any particular hand, good players will be able to control the amount of chance they face by making smart decisions at the right time, based on probability, psychology and game theory.
A great poker player will be able to read the other players at the table, learning their tells, such as body language, facial expressions and other gestures. They will be able to track the moods of other players, how they handle their chips and cards and their betting behavior.
In order to play well, a poker player needs to have good concentration and focus. They will need to be able to work on their physical fitness and stamina, so they can sustain long poker sessions without getting bored or distracted. They will need to commit to smart game selection, choosing the right limits and games for their bankroll. They will also need to study game variations and bet sizes in order to make the most profitable choices for their bankrolls.
A good poker player will know when to call and when to raise. They will also be able to control the size of the pot by playing in position. This is because they will be able to call bets for cheaper than they would in early position. In addition, if they have a marginal hand they can check, meaning they do not need to contribute any money to the pot, while still having a chance of improving their hand on later streets.