There is a lot of risk in poker, but there is also a great deal of reward. In fact, it is easier to win at poker than most other games, even if you aren’t the best. However, like life, you will only get good results if you know how to play well with what you have.
Many beginners don’t bet aggressively enough in poker. Instead, they tend to check when they should be raising, or they call when they should be folding. This is a big mistake. If you have a strong opening hand, such as pocket fives or a pair of Aces, then you should bet heavily to make other players pay for the privilege of seeing those cards.
It is also important to understand a bit of basic poker math, and know what your pot odds are. You should never be calling with your draws if the odds of making a better hand are worse than your pot odds. However, there are some situations where you want to raise with your draws in order to force weaker opponents to fold. This is something that I talk about in my book Crushing the Microstakes.
Finally, it is essential to learn how to read other players. You can’t read subtle physical tells in poker, but you can pick up on certain patterns. For example, if one player is checking every time the flop comes A-8-5 then you can probably assume that they have a very strong hand.