Poker is a card game where players form hands based on the rank of their cards to win a pot. The pot is the total value of all bets placed by all players during a betting round. The highest ranking hand wins the pot. There are several important concepts to understand and learn about when starting out in poker, such as reading your opponents. This includes studying their bet sizing (the bigger the bet size, the tighter you should play), stack sizes (when short stacked, you should play fewer speculative hands and prioritize high card strength) and bluffing.
The first thing to understand when playing poker is that you are going to lose money, and often a lot of it. This is called variance and is unavoidable. However, it is possible to prepare for variance and learn how to cope with losses by practicing good bankroll management. This means only playing in games you can afford to lose and staying within your bankroll limits.
It is also important to realize that your emotions are a major factor in the outcome of a hand. If you are upset after losing a hand, it will distract you and make it more difficult to maintain your strategy. Learning to control your emotions and not let them influence your decisions is crucial. Taking a break after a bad loss will help you regain composure and focus on your next move.