First and foremost, you need to be honest about why you are playing. If it is to win money, to polish your game, or to have fun with your buddies, just be truthful with yourself.
You also need to be able to afford to play. Can your bankroll handle the level at which you are playing? If it can’t, just try a lower level.
If you are playing at a casino, whether online or bricks and mortar, make sure you are aware of any bonuses.