Poker is a card game that involves betting over a series of rounds. The player with the best hand wins the pot. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game, but it is important that you stay focused and follow the rules. If you don’t, you could end up losing a lot of money and ruining your chances at winning in the future.

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is defiance and hope. This means that they keep betting money when they shouldn’t, hoping that the turn or river will give them the straight or flush they want. This can lead to disaster and is why it’s important to learn to fold when you don’t have a good hand.

Another mistake is getting attached to a hand. You must remember that even though pocket kings or queens are strong hands, they can still lose to other players. It is also a good idea to take breaks between hands when you need to use the bathroom, refresh your drink, or have a snack. However, you should never miss more than a few hands because this will throw off the rhythm of the game.

It’s also important to learn how to read other players. This includes knowing their tells, which are the nervous habits that they display, such as fiddling with their chips or wearing a ring. It’s also important to be able to read their betting patterns.