As we’ve written before, there’s quite a bit of technical phrases and jargon when it comes to poker that needs additional explanation. Poker face is fortunately not one of them. From popular psychology to Lady Gaga it’s an ever-present term to denote all kinds of different things. But in this text, we’ll focus on its original meaning by offering a few tips on how maintaining a poker face can help improve your poker skills.
What is a Poker Face?
A poker face is a facial expression or to put it better a lack of one that conceals one’s actual feelings or emotions. And knowing that poker is a game of skill where a single twitch can reveal your holdings to opponents you can see how important it is to always keep your cool. But it can be a demanding task at times. There are, however, a couple of tricks to maintain that perfect poker face that we’re just about to go through.
Keep a Relaxed Posture
The first thing you should do is to try and relax your body. A cool demeanor means a cool mind. And while the reactions of the body are mostly instinctual, and therefore difficult to control, you can force them into subordination. Take a deep breath, stretch out, straighten your shoulders, and let your back settle into a natural position. These small gestures will help you release any remaining tension, and your confidence will follow suit.
Try to Maintain Eye Contact
And one of the most recognizable ways to show confidence is the ability to maintain eye contact. It’s a long-established notion that someone who can look into the eyes of another has nothing to hide. And that’s exactly what you want your opponents to think even if you do have something to hide. If you find it difficult to look them directly into the eyes, maintain your focus on the bridge of their nose. With minimal eye movement, this will give your opponents zero clues about your intentions.
Cover Your Face
While we’re on the subject of eyes, the previous advice is what other players can apply to you too. Eyes are all too powerful conveyers of emotion to others and that’s something you want to prevent when you’re doing a poker face. And the quickest way to do that is to cover your face so they don’t show off. Wearing sunglasses, a hat, or a scarf is an easy way to make it hard for others to read into your body language. It’s a great way to start especially if you’re a beginner, and with time it will become unnecessary too.
Cut the Talk to Minimum
This advice is optional if you’re a silver-tongued type of fellow who can do magic with words. But assuming you’re not, the best course of action when trying to pull off a perfect poker face is to keep the conversation at a minimum. People who try to strike up a conversation at a poker table are generally thought to be bluffing. And the words you use and the way you use them will usually reveal more about your aims instead of hiding them. From stuttering speech to stumbling over your sentences, you’ll show your nervousness and ruin your play. So, keep your words simple & straight so as not to get distracted. That way, you won’t leave any option for your opponents to find about your true intentions.
Have Fun While Playing
In the end, the idea behind poker as with every other casino game is primarily to have fun. And if you’re not having fun, no poker face will be good enough to help fix your play. There’s no better way to handle negative emotions that can backfire on you than countering them with positive ones. Be present during every hand, whether it be winning or losing one, because what matters is the fun you’re getting.
Does Poker Face Work in Online Casinos?
One would think poker face doesn’t apply to playing poker in online casinos but this is far from the truth. While you can’t see your opponents in person while playing online poker to try to figure out if they’re bluffing there are a couple of tell-tale signs you should be on the look-out for. One of those is acting too quickly which most players view as an indicator of weakness. In live versions of the game, poker face is all about body language, while online poker tends to focus more on timing and betting patterns.
Practice Your Poker Face Online
As with any other thing in life that demands skill, you get better the more you practice. And if you want to improve your poker face well enough to face the pros of the game consider starting with the online casino versions of poker. The easiest way to do it is to try one of the many different variants available at Mr. Yabby’s casino. From video poker to live versions of it, you have plenty of chances to work on that perfect poker face. As Lady Gaga would’ve put it: get it hot, show them what you got!