Poker is a game played by two or more people on a table. It is a card game with a history dating back to ancient times and it is believed to be an ancestor of other popular card games such as blackjack and rummy. It is a skill-based game and requires players to learn how to make strategic decisions in order to win. It can also help them improve their social skills, as they have to interact with other players from a wide range of backgrounds.

One of the biggest things that poker can teach a player is how to control their emotions. This is because of the nature of the game, it can be very stressful at times and this can cause a person to lose their temper. This can lead to disastrous results in the long run, so poker teaches players how to keep their emotions under control.

Another skill that is taught by playing poker is how to read other players and pick up on their tells. This is done by observing their body language, betting patterns and their eye movements. It is important for a player to be able to recognise these tells in order to maximise their EV.

It is also very important for a player to know when they should bet and when to check. This is because if they bet with their strong hands too often, it will give other players a good idea of what they are holding.