Poker is a game of chance, but there is also quite a bit of skill involved when you bet. The best players know when to call, raise, or fold with a strong hand and they use their knowledge of the other players’ tendencies to make smart bets. They also have a good understanding of their own playing style and constantly tweak it to improve. Many players even develop a strategy by reading books and discussing their hands with other players.
The first thing to work on is your understanding of ranges. A range is the selection of hands that an opponent could have and you can figure out how likely it is that they will have a strong hand by going through that list. This can help you avoid putting your opponent on a specific hand and it will also make your bluffing more successful.
You should also work on your table reading skills and learn to watch for tells. These aren’t just the obvious ones like fiddling with their chips or wearing a ring, but also include things such as how fast they play. A player who calls frequently but doesn’t bet much will usually have a strong hand, while someone who raises often will likely be holding the nuts.
Don’t waste money by calling and hoping for that perfect card to come up on the turn or river. That’s going to cost you money and it will be difficult to break even.