Poker is a game of betting and bluffing where the goal is to win money by capturing the pot, which is made up of bets placed by players during each hand. A player may also raise a bet in order to convince the other players that he has a strong hand and thus make them fold (abandon) their hands, in which case the player wins the pot. Having the strongest possible hand is crucial in poker, but knowing when to fold a weak one and thus save money is just as important.
In addition, a good poker player must commit to smart limit and game selection, as well as to find the most profitable games in which to play. Attempting to win more money than your bankroll can handle will quickly put you out of the game, and trying to build on a solid foundation without having it in place first is a recipe for failure.
Among the most important things a player can do to improve his poker game is to master the concept of putting an opponent on a range. This involves looking at factors like his betting pattern, the amount of time he takes to decide, and the size of the bet he makes in order to try to figure out what type of hand he has. If you can put an opponent on a range, it will be much easier to determine whether to call or fold when faced with a drawing hand.