There are tons of different technical phrases and jargon to get to grips with when it comes to playing poker, and the ‘poker face’ is definitely one of the most popular, not only when playing the game, but in general life too. Being able to maintain a poker face is essential to becoming a good player when you are playing poker in-person with others, and many experts say that their wins at the table are often mainly down to being able to carefully control their facial expressions and body language so as not to give away what their hand might be. Having a poker face is all about being very careful when it comes to letting your opponents know what you are thinking, throwing them off the real facts.
What is a Poker Face?
Keeping a good poker face when playing involves having a blank expression, or not revealing any signs of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you might be having at the time. Doing this means that it’s harder for the other players to figure out what might be going on with your hand since you’re maintaining a relaxed body posture and not giving anything away with your expressions, so anything could be happening whether you are winning or losing.
With online casinos like PlayLive Casino, the biggest South Africa Online Casino, becoming more and more popular, keeping a poker face might not always be necessary if you are playing video poker or playing remotely where other players can’t see you. You can get as excited and give as much away as you like when you play at Play Live Casino, but it’s a good opportunity to practice your poker face and perfect it for the next time you play with people in real life. Consider the following tips for developing and maintaining a good poker face in your next game.
Keep in Control of Your Emotions
Maintaining a good poker face is all about maintaining your emotions, and keeping your feelings in check can also help you be in with a better chance of winning. Avoid playing a poker game if you are feeling overly emotional as this can make it more challenging to maintain your feelings throughout the game and keep your poker face. In addition, if you’re feeling super happy or super sad, or you’ve had a few drinks, you will be less likely to make wise poker decisions.
Some players who are very skilled at influencing others and talking to people can become experts at manipulating their opponents through conversation, making them believe exactly what they want them to think. However, if you’re not skilled at this or not comfortable doing it, then it’s best to limit talking. Unless you know exactly what, when and how to say something, talking too much to your opponents could seriously backfire on you. Keeping what you’re thinking to yourself by both keeping your emotions hidden and avoiding talking too much is the best way to not give anything away.
Have Neutral Body Language
Any good poker player will be observing you carefully when you are sat at the same table. And even if you have the perfect poker face that does not give anything away, your body language could be revealing more than you think about your hand to the other players. An experienced player will be familiar with how other players might react with their body language when they have a good or bad hand, so it’s important to keep this in check too and try to keep your gestures as neutral as possible when playing. Be mindful of how you’re reacting to things using your body, for example, sighing or shrugging your shoulders might send a message to other players about the type of hand you are looking at, even if your face is saying nothing.
Cover Your Face
If you’re just starting out, covering your face can make it easier to hide your facial expressions and practice maintaining your poker face. Thanks to COVID-19, masks are required or recommended in many public places right now including casinos, so nobody will bat an eye if you turn up to the table with your face covered. Wearing a hat can also make it harder for the other players to see your face clearly, or you could consider wearing sunglasses to make it hard for other players to see your eyes and get an idea of what might be going on with your hand.
While being disconnected from your feelings and emotions might not be a good thing for the rest of your life, it can be a really helpful thing to do when you are playing poker. Poker is a game that can sometimes be an emotional rollercoaster, and going from a big victory to coming close to losing everything can definitely make you feel a range of different emotions in a short space of time. Instead of listening too carefully to your emotions and letting them have too much control over your decisions during the game, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your logical side when you are playing and make decisions based on these thoughts, rather than your feelings. Not only does this help you with making more efficient game decisions, but it can also be very useful to maintaining your poker face.
Practice at Home
Finally, with online poker games now more popular than ever, there are plenty of chances for anybody to practice poker and perfecting their poker face at home. If you want an easy start, consider playing poker that does not require you to wager real money using an app on your phone or a console game before moving up to online casinos. You may find it easier to focus on keeping your poker face when nobody can actually see you.
Maintaining a poker face is important for success in this game, since your facial expressions can give a lot away and influence the decisions that other players make.