Poker is a game of skills and strategy that puts an individual’s analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. The game also indirectly teaches people life lessons that can be applied in real life situations.

Whether you’re dealing with friends or strangers at the poker table, it’s important to have a plan for every hand. This is especially true when playing Pot Limit poker where a player must be able to adjust their play based on what the person to their left is doing. You’ll want to have a plan B, C and D for each situation – that way if your rival gets wind of your strategy you’ll have plenty of tactics at your disposal to send them packing.

Another crucial skill learned from poker is patience. This is important because the game can drain a person’s mental and physical energy. It’s essential for new players to remember that even on their best night they’re going to lose a few hands. It’s important to keep this in mind and know that things will eventually turn around if you stick with it.

Poker also teaches you to read your opponents and be aware of their tells. You’ll need to pick up on these little cues in order to make the right plays and avoid getting ripped off. It’s also important to have a clear purpose when making any check, call or raise. You should always have a reason in mind, like if you’re raising for value or as a bluff.