How to Maximize Your Poker Hands


Poker is a card game of chance and skill. While luck will always play a role in any hand, good players can learn how to maximize the amount of skill that outweighs luck, making them better long term. This is achieved by improving their physical game, learning how to manage their bankroll, networking with other players and studying bet sizes and position.

Observe other players at the table and learn their tells (eye movements, idiosyncrasies in betting behavior, hand gestures etc). Reading these cues allows you to know what other players are holding and how strong their hands are. This knowledge gives you the power to bluff and play for a bigger pot or fold.

After the flop, look at the cards that have been played and consider how you could create a strong five-card poker hand. This is usually the best time to decide whether to call or raise.

If you do not have a strong hand, you should fold before the nut. Doing so will prevent you from throwing away a large percentage of your winnings on a hand that is unlikely to win. It also helps to limit the number of times you get involved in pots where you don’t have a strong hand.

Developing a comfort level with risk-taking can take time, but is an important skill to have for success in poker and other endeavors. The key is to take more risks and to understand that some of those risks will fail.