How to Become a Better Poker Player

Poker is hugely popular for many reasons: it’s social; you can play it for free or with real money; and there’s a deep element of strategy that keeps the game interesting over time. But even once you’ve mastered the basics of the game, there are always things to learn and improve on.

To make sure you’re putting your best foot forward at the poker table, here are some quick tips to help you become a better player:

Look beyond your own cards to think about what other players may have in their hand. Seeing the strength of your opponents’ hands will help you determine how much you should call a raise and whether or not it’s worth making one yourself.

Say you’re in the early position and you’ve dealt yourself a decent hand of Ks-Kd-Jd-5c-3d. You’re hoping for a big pair on the flop. But when it does come, you see that the flop is A-8-5 and you know that your opponent likely has a big pair of jacks or better.

To break the tie, you need a high card. This could be the ace, king, deuce, or any other card that’s higher than your two distinct pairs. Usually, the highest card wins. However, if both players have the same pair of highest cards, then the second highest card wins.