Having a poker face is a phrase that is in common usage and not just in a Texas Hold’em poker game, but what is a poker face? The dictionary describes it as an expressionless face, a blank canvas that gives no clue to the emotions or thoughts that are going on behind the mask-like exterior. It is the type of look that the best professional poker players cultivate at all times, registering nothing when either the cards are dealt or when they have just been beaten to the pot. Some give the impression that if the table collapsed beneath them they would still remain like carved statues. But is it easy to wear a poker face?
The Benefits Of A Poker Face
A poker face is one of the most crucial assets you can have in any live dealer poker match, but in a nail-biting, tense match where you’re rubbing shoulders with experienced, aggressive players, it is crucial. Remaining totally expressionless is a key point in not letting on that you’ve just been dealt a royal flush. If you sat there with your blood pressure soaring with excitement, pupils dilating, drawing in breath in agitation and throwing yourself back in your chair, your opponents would soon suspect that your eagerness to place a big bet was due to a strong hand. Equally, if you’d just been dealt the worst hand you’d ever seen, they’d soon guess that your fake smile, grinding teeth and eyes rolling to the ceiling indicated a disappointment. You would soon become a target, particularly if the game was about to bubble. Poker is all about the ability to bluff, conning your opponents into guessing the strength of your hand. The prime benefits of a poker face is retaining the element of surprise and spoiling your opponents’ plans and strategies. Above all, it means being in control.
Poker Tips For A Blank Look
The poker players who can keep their emotions and reactions in check are usually more successful than their jittery colleagues because they give nothing away in their expressions. Trying to acquire a poker face isn’t quite so easy as there are so many body language factors that can betray your feelings. Even the speed at which you put your cards down on the table can give you away. Practise picking cards up and memorising them in a set time, otherwise spend too long on them and your opponents might think you have been dealt a problem, too quick and they’ll guess your cards are fairly good. Of course, you could act in that way to pretend but that’s hard to maintain throughout a match. Even hiding behind sunglasses can indicate that you are not quite so composed as people might think. Developing a stony poker face is the most secure way to appearing strong and emotionless.
How To Make A Poker Face
Many dedicated poker players follow strict regimes, practising in front of the mirror in the privacy of their own homes as they strive to look blank or vacant. A technique known as Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) suggests trying Dissociation which involves imagining your inner self stepping beyond the confines of your body. Without the mind to tell it what to do, the body becomes motionless and your mannerisms cease, no longer giving away your inner thoughts. If you can achieve the out of body experience every time you sit down to play, you already have the advantage over your opponents.
Poker Tips For Poker Faces
By trying to read and eliminate your own mannerisms and facial expressions, you will soon be able to transfer those skills to observing your opponents in more detail than usual. Watch for signs of a stiffening lip, tongue in the cheek or a hand over the eyes that indicate an opponent is in a poor state, while staring eyes, nostrils flaring and a vein pulsating in the neck could mean you need to play a sharp check-raise to force him into folding on a good hand. It can be useful to employ a few props such as sunglasses and baseball caps while you are mastering the technique. Once you can control your emotions and reactions to a fine degree, your poker strategies will be far more effective and your opponents will be so busy trying to figure you out, they won’t be concentrating so much on their own game, leaving you with the upper hand.