The divide between break-even beginner players and big-time winners is often narrower than people think. It is often a matter of making a few key adjustments to one’s approach to the game.

Poker requires a combination of patience and reading the other players. A player must also be able to calculate pot odds and percentages. Beginners must learn how to read tells, such as fiddling with chips or ringing the bell, and be able to adjust their own play to take advantage of these revealing signals.

If you say “call” or “I call” when it is your turn, you mean that you want to bet the same amount as the person before you. This is known as being active in the pot. If you have a good hand, betting can force weaker hands to fold and raise the value of your pot.

Usually, your hand is either good or bad in relation to what the other player is holding. For instance, if you have two 10s and the flop comes up J-J, your two 10s are losers 82% of the time.

A poker showdown is reached when all players remain in the hand after the final betting round. A main pot is created from the total amount of money that all players contributed to the hand. Side pots can also be created, which are split between the players who have all-in, and any other players who have not called.