Poker is a complex game of math and psychology (with a dash of art thrown in for good measure) that can be quite intimidating to new players. It’s no wonder that many of them will stop trying to improve after a few tries. This is to be expected, but if you persist then you’ll find that your poker learning journey takes longer than you might think – but it can also be very rewarding.

The first thing you should do when trying to improve is understand what it is that you don’t understand. You’ll often find that there are a whole host of things that you need to work on, and it might be useful to write them down. Ideally you should also review hands that went well and try to figure out what it is that made them go so well.

Another aspect that you should work on is reading other players. It’s a really important part of the game and can be very profitable. Look for things like eye movements, idiosyncrasies, hand gestures and betting behavior.

Finally, one of the most valuable lessons that poker can teach is how to control your emotions. There will be times in life where an unfiltered expression of emotion would be justified, but most of the time it’s best to keep your cool and focus on the task at hand. This will help you make better decisions at the table and will carry over into other areas of your life too.