How to Improve Your Poker Hands

Poker is a card game in which players compete to form the best possible hand based on the cards they have. The goal is to win the pot, which is the sum total of all bets placed during a betting round. In order to improve your poker skills, you need to develop a solid range of starting hands and learn how to play them aggressively.

Inexperienced players will often play too many weak hands, which can lead to a large loss. A good strategy is to stick with a core range of starting hands like pocket pairs, suited aces and Broadway hands, while adding suited connectors when they are in the majority. Then focus on playing these hands aggressively, building the pot and chasing off other players who are holding strong draws.

Another important aspect of poker is knowing what other players have in their hands. Beginners can learn to do this by observing the other players at the table and looking for their tells. Tells can be anything from fiddling with a ring or a bracelet to how they are acting during the hand. Observing these tells will help you determine what type of hands your opponents are likely to have and how to play them.

It’s also important to remember that position is important. Having more information than your opponent when it’s your turn to act gives you better bluffing opportunities. If your opponents always know what you have in your hand, they’ll be less willing to call your bluffs.