Poker is a game of skill, probability and psychology. While luck plays a significant role in the outcome of any particular hand, most bets are made by players who voluntarily place money into the pot because they believe they have positive expected value. In the long run, these individualized decisions will determine players’ winnings and losses.

When you’re starting out, it’s important to play only with money you’re willing to lose and to track your wins and losses. This will help you understand your bankroll growth and losses over time, as well as whether or not you’re making progress toward your goals.

It’s also a good idea to mix up your style and play different hands, especially speculative ones with high potential upside. This will keep your opponents guessing and make it harder for them to read your tells. If they always know what you’re holding, they won’t be as likely to call your bluffs or fold when you have the nuts.

When playing with more experienced players, be sure to study their gameplay. Watching them make mistakes can teach you to avoid similar pitfalls in your own play. In addition, observing their successful moves can expose you to different strategies and allow you to incorporate their ideas into your own gameplay. You can find plenty of poker resources online, including poker blogs, professional poker players, books on the subject and even video tutorials. With these tools, you can become a better poker player in no time.