The concept of poker face refers to the ability of a player to hide facial gestures with an expressionless face. By not expressing any emotion, any information can be hidden from the rivals at the gaming table, so they cannot interpret what the person is thinking at the same moment. The poker face is one of the most critical aspects of the card game. Players need to get some non-visible information about the poker hand to gain an advantage in the game.
The term comes from the card game
The term is not exclusive to the game of poker, but it is related by having the same name. In these games, it is crucial to keep a controlled expression, so as not to give clues about which hand you have. In this way, no advantages are lost, nor information is given to the rest of the table, which may well be one where the money is wagered.
How to Put “Poker Face”
Knowing how to put a poker face on a poker game is one of those accessory skills that become truly important when playing live. Here is the step-by-step technique to try to eliminate all the signals that can reveal the strength of your hand.
Putting on a poker face is a skill in controlling emotions. When you manage to control them, the signals (also called tells) disappear on their own. If you don’t feel anything, you will have no feelings to show. Check out the famous guards at Buckingham Palace. They are famous for not showing emotions.
Here are a few tricks to keep your composure and make a poker face:
Getting rid of your signals
The expression on your face is not the only signal you show. Not standing still or fooling around with your hands is a typical sign; On many occasions, newbies don’t even realize they are doing it. And even if they do, they often think that they always act the same, regardless of the hand they hold.
But the problem is that the signals are unconscious. You are not aware that you are hitting the table with your fingers when you have a good hand, and you do not know that you run your fingers through your hair when the cards are bad.
Learn to sit totally still; meditation usually helps a lot to achieve this skill.
If you play a lot of online poker, you might think that it does not matter if you show your emotions during the game or not. But this will create bad habits that you will later pass to your live games. Use online poker to practice your poker face. During Internet games, focus on eliminating your expressions, even if no one can see them.
Every time you sit down to play poker, even if it is for pennies and with your children, you will have an opportunity to practice your poker face. Take advantage of these opportunities.
Never show emotions.
One way to control your emotions is to start the games, thinking that events are neither good nor bad; they simply are. You will win some pots, and you will lose others. It is the nature of the game. Practice equanimity.
Don’t be conflicting. Let the game go and then make sound decisions, one after the other. If you get overwhelmed, your opponents will notice and take advantage of it.
Poker is not just a game of math. It also involves control of the emotions and delusions of the mind. Learning to put a poker face on a game can be one of the most difficult skills for the player to acquire, but it is also one of the most important. Poker players who can’t get a poker face have a big disadvantage compared to those who can.