Poker is a game played with cards and chips. The rules vary between different variations of the game, but the general idea is the same: players place bets with their chips in order to make a hand and win the pot. The game was first introduced to the public in the 19th century and it soon became a popular spectator sport, with large audiences watching high-stakes hands and dramatic confrontations.

Poker requires calculation and logic, and it can help you become a more adept decision-maker. Additionally, the game will encourage you to stay patient in complex situations, which can be incredibly useful in your professional life.

It can also teach you how to read other players and watch for tells. A common tell is fiddling with chips or a ring, but you can also look for patterns in a player’s betting behavior. If a player is usually raising when they have strong hands, but calls with weak ones, it’s probably because they’re nervous or scared to lose.

In addition to studying poker strategy books, it can be helpful to find a group of winning players and talk about your play with them. This will allow you to discuss difficult spots that you’ve found yourself in and see how other players might approach them.