When you play poker, you need to be comfortable taking risks. If you take too many risks and don’t manage them well, you can lose a lot of money. If you’re a newcomer to the game, you can build your comfort level with risk-taking by starting in lower stakes games. Then, as you gain experience, you can increase the size of the stakes and the number of risks that you take.
You can improve your game by learning to read other players’ betting patterns. Look for conservative players, who tend to bet low and fold early, and aggressive players, who bet high early in the hand and can often be bluffed into folding. You should also keep track of which cards have been dealt to each player, and calculate the odds of having a winning hand. This will help you decide whether to bet or not, and when to raise your bet.
You can also learn to read other players’ body language. Look for facial expressions that indicate confidence or uncertainty, such as a clenched jaw, tightened lips, or a frown. If a player’s eyes flicker up and down, or they blink a lot, they may be nervous. They might also put their hands over their face or palms, or shake their head. You can also listen to their breathing and hear the thump of their heartbeat. These tells can reveal a player’s feelings about their hand, or how confident they are about their bluffing.