Poker is a card game where players wager money to form the best hand according to the rules of the particular game. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot, which consists of all the bets placed by players during one or more betting rounds.
Unlike other casino games, poker does not involve an initial forced bet; instead players place a bet voluntarily into the pot for various reasons (to bluff, to improve their chances of winning, etc). While there is a significant element of luck in poker, the majority of long term profits are based on skill. The most successful players combine game theory, psychology and poker knowledge to make calculated decisions.
While the ability to read people is a useful skill in poker, there are many specific details you can watch for when reading opponents. Pay attention to their hand movements, mood shifts and other tells to get a better understanding of how they play their hands.
Your stack size will influence the range of hands you play from each position, and you should always be thinking about how you will manipulate the pot on future betting streets. If you are short stacked, you will want to play very strong hands and avoid calling re-raises with weak ones. Late positions, on the other hand, give you the flexibility to call re-raises with a wider range of hands and increase your edge over your opponents. However, you will still need to be selective and disciplined when playing your hands from late positions.