The object of poker is to form the highest ranked hand of cards by betting into the pot (the total amount of chips bet during each round). The player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot at the end of the hand. Players can either call, raise, or fold.
A good poker player must be able to read the other players at the table. This includes reading their body language and betting patterns, as well as noticing tells (eye movements, idiosyncrasies, hand gestures etc). The best way to improve your poker skills is to play with experienced players and learn from their mistakes.
When a strong value hand comes along, don’t be afraid to play it aggressively! It’s better to bet and push weak hands out of the pot early than to lose a big hand because you were scared to bet enough. There’s nothing worse than underplaying a pair of Kings only to be beaten by someone who checked before the flop with 8-4 and then magically formed a straight.
Also, don’t be afraid to raise a large amount when you’re in position! You’ll find that this forces other players to think you’re bluffing and overthink their decisions, and will often lead them to fold. Plus, when you’re the last to act, you have a clear idea of what your opponents have, so you can inflate the pot size even more with strong hands. This gives you a lot of value and can help you win the pot more often.