Poker is a game that involves strategic thinking and the ability to evaluate situations and make decisions. It also requires patience and the ability to control emotions, both of which are important skills for life. In addition, the competitive nature of poker can boost confidence and improve concentration and focus.

Although poker is a skill-based game, it is still a gambling activity and players can lose money. Managing risk is an important part of poker, which includes never betting more than you can afford to lose and knowing when to walk away from the table. Moreover, poker can help you develop a better understanding of probability and how it applies to the game.

It is also a great way to meet people from all walks of life and improve social skills. If you’re not having a good time at the table, ask for a different seat or switch tables. This will prevent you from getting emotionally dragged into a losing hand and improve your decision-making abilities.

If you are playing EP, you should open your range slightly more than MP, but still only play strong hands. If you’re on the button, you should raise more often, because it gives you an advantage over the players behind you. This is because they have to decide whether to call or fold based on your bet size and their position at the table. It is important to understand the rules of the game and the meaning of positions before you start playing.