Poker is a game that requires a lot of thinking and planning. You have to work out the probability of a card you need coming up on the next street, compared to the risk of raising your bet and the amount you can win. As you play more and more, you’ll get much better at this on the fly, which is important if you want to make the right decisions.
Another key aspect of poker is trying to determine what your opponent has in their hand. This can be done through subtle physical tells, but a lot of the time it’s also down to studying how your opponents act and betting patterns. For example, if a player always raises the pot when they have a strong hand, you can assume that they are a player who doesn’t play a lot of weak hands.
There’s a catchy expression in poker that says “Play the player, not the cards”. This simply means that your success at the table isn’t just down to the quality of your own hand, but also how it compares to what everyone else has in theirs.
Poker is a great way to learn discipline, both in terms of money management and how to control your emotions. This is important not just at the poker table, but in life in general. Nobody goes through life racking up victory after victory, and poker teaches you to be prepared for this.