Learn the Poker Tells to Become a Better Poker Player

In poker, players compete to form the best hand based on the card rankings to win the pot at the end of each betting round. The player to the left of the dealer starts the game by placing an initial amount of money into the pot, called the ante, blinds or bring-in. Players can choose to raise, call or fold their cards.

Once all players have their 2 hole cards, a second round of betting begins with mandatory bets placed into the pot by the two players to the left of the dealer. A player can call any bet and then decide to either fold or continue playing.

A good poker player must be able to read the other players on the table. Many of these poker tells are subtle and difficult to pick up, but observing how other players react can help you learn the game quickly and become more successful.

Some classic tells include shallow breathing, sighing, flaring nostrils, shaking hands or a glance at the chips to show nerves. A player can also reveal their strength by using their body language: a tilted head shows they have the nuts while a closed fist can be interpreted as a bluff.

To improve your poker skills, practice with friends or online. You can also buy poker books for a detailed strategy guide, but it’s important to develop your own unique approach by analyzing your results and making changes over time.