Surely you have heard the term “poker face”, not only within the world of poker. In everyday life this expression is widely used, although not always correctly. There is even a very famous song that inevitably comes to mind when we hear the phrase.
But what is the origin of the expression? Why is it so important to have a good poker face when playing live? How can we guarantee that we have a good poker face in our game? Is the poker face no longer important when it comes to playing poker online?
Let’s discover the mysteries of this ancient concept in the world of poker.
What does the expression poker face mean in the world of poker?
The expression poker face (poker face in Spanish), refers to the lack of expression on the face. What could colloquially be known as “blank face”.
The origin lies in the beginnings of poker, where, as they were face-to-face games for money, they generated very tense situations, in which it was a matter of keeping an expressionless face so as not to reveal whether the player had a good hand or not, and thus avoid unnecessary provocations.
It is considered a fundamental tool among the various ways to win in poker, since body language information is just as important in a live game as the cards in play, and sometimes even more important. Perhaps you have also heard the expression “play with the player, not his cards”.
How is the expression poker face used in everyday life?
We can hear this phrase every day in the business world, where maintaining a good poker face is an advantage for the success of negotiations. Also in any situation in which a person seeks to hide his emotions or true intentions. Sometimes it could be confused with the expression “cheeky”, but that is not exactly what it means.
Why is it important to have a good poker face when playing poker?
In live poker, knowing how to maintain a good poker face is key to protecting your game. The less information you reveal to your opponent, the better chance you have of being able to bluff when you need to, or hide a monster hand so that more players contribute to the pot you’re trying to win.
The poker face is also the opposite extreme of the “tell”, the involuntary bodily disclosure of some emotion. Body language can sometimes betray us… Professional players can even read micro-expressions on the opponent’s face and detect a twinkle in the eye when the dealt hand is very good, or a slight twitch at the corner of the mouth when the hand is very bad.
But how can these automatic reactions of the body be controlled? You may have seen many players wearing sunglasses, hats or hoods, trying to hide their faces as much as possible. The strategy is good and it can work, but the more you master the game and your emotions, the less you will need these cheats.
And what about online poker? Obviously, if no one is looking, you don’t have to worry as much about physical composure. However, practicing a good poker face, even when playing poker online, can help keep you aware of the importance of not letting your emotions take over your game.
Do you have a good poker face?
And you, have you thought about whether you have a good poker face? Be careful not to confuse “poker face” with not being a good friend. Although the face of always being on the verge of a fit of anger can also work, the problem there is not losing your temper, and not getting really tense. After all, the idea is to enjoy the game to the fullest.
The best thing is to train to be able to relax your face, and be really aware of your emotions and the image you are projecting on the table. Until you reach this level of focus, you can always resort to the aforementioned resources: sunglasses, but make sure they don’t reflect your cards on the glass; a good hood or hat that helps you shade your face and hide your microgestures as much as possible; etc