Poker is a card game that is played around the world. It is most popular in North America, where it originated, but is also played at private homes, in poker clubs, and on the Internet.

The object of the game is to have the highest-ranking hand among five cards. This hand is called the “poker hand.” Some of the common hands are a full house, flush, straight, and two pair.

A full house is made up of 3 cards of one rank and 2 cards of another rank, or three unmatched cards; a flush is any 5 cards of the same suit. A straight is five cards of consecutive rank; a pair is two matching cards of the same rank and another unmatched card.

Bluffing is the act of playing with a weaker hand in order to get other players to call your bet. This tactic is especially effective against loose players and aggressive opponents.

You should avoid bluffing with junk hands, such as middle-pair or top-pair with a terrible kicker. This is a strategy that can backfire, provoking your opponents into getting reckless and losing large pots with their poor-quality holdings.

A good bluff should always be accompanied by a strong hand, such as a flush or straight. The goal is to force opponents to re-raise your bet by making them pay a lot of money for their mediocre holdings. This will make them fold and you can win the pot.