Poker is a card game in which players place chips (representing money) into a pot to compete for the right to win the hand. Each player receives two cards and must put in a small amount of chips into the pot before betting starts. The person to the left of the dealer places the first bet and is said to be “in the pot.” The player in the pot must raise his or her bet if at least one other player calls it.

A good player has a strategy that is developed through thorough self-examination of his or her own play and a willingness to discuss the game with other players for a more objective look at his or her weaknesses. The good poker player also commits to smart game selection, choosing games with the proper limits and game variations for his or her bankroll.

A bad poker player is someone who makes a lot of poor decisions. The best way to minimize these errors is to practice bankroll management. This ensures that when you do get unlucky and lose a large sum of chips, it will not threaten your ability to continue playing poker. In addition, a good poker player works on his or her mental game to combat leaks such as tilt. This can be as simple as learning how to bluff and understanding the odds of certain hands vs. others. It can also involve learning how to deal with variance, which is a fact of poker that cannot be avoided but can be mitigated through bankroll management and careful study of game theory.