Poker is a card game played by two or more players and involves betting. It evolved from a simpler game called three-card brag, which was popular as a gentleman’s game around the time of the American Revolutionary War and is still played by some people today.

Poker requires a lot of patience, reading other players and adapting to different situations. Even though luck plays a significant role in the outcome of any particular hand, the best players can control the amount of skill that will outweigh the chance element. They are able to calculate pot odds and percentages quickly, make adjustments to their betting strategy based on the quality of their opponents and know when to quit a game that isn’t going well.

A common mistake is to call too much. Rookie players often prefer to call because they’re not sure of their hand’s strength and don’t want to risk more money on a bet that might not pay off. The problem is that calling too much can make you look weak at the table and encourage other players to call more frequently in response.

Another key is position. Generally speaking, it is better to be in late position than early, as this allows you to act last during the post-flop portion of the hand and give you cheap, effective bluffing opportunities. In addition, it will increase the chances that you can get an opponent to fold a hand when you are behind.