Poker is a card game played in a variety of ways by two or more people, either face to face or at a distance. It is often considered the national card game of the United States, and its play and jargon permeate American culture. It is widely played in casinos, in home games, in clubs and over the Internet.

The object of the game is to make the best five-card hand possible. If two hands have the same rank, the one with the higher cards wins (five aces beats five queens, for instance). If no hands have the same rank, it is a tie. The highest rank is a royal flush, consisting of the 10 through Ace of the same suit.

Each player makes a bet, or call, by raising or folding, depending on their cards and the situation. If they have a good hand, they raise to force other players to call, increasing the value of their pot. If they have a weak hand, they fold, reducing their risk.

When a player is holding a strong hand, they can also try to make other players believe that they have a strong hand by bluffing. A successful bluff can increase the value of your pot, and help you win the game. You can tell if an opponent is bluffing by looking for certain tells, such as shallow breathing, sighing, nostril flaring, blinking excessively, or a hand over the mouth.