Poker Face

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“Faces don’t lie.” - This is a very popular phrase. It means that a person’s expression can tell about his thoughts and emotions. The facial expressions of every common person change according to the situations they are in.

However, there are some “stone-faced” people who have strong control over their emotions. They do not panic even in the worst of situations and so their facial expressions remain the same. In the world of poker, this is known as a poker face expression or a blank expression.

Contrary to popular beliefs, poker is not just an average game of cards because it is the people playing with those cards that matter more than just the cards. Relative to this, while reading the opponents is a crucial skill to ace at any game of poker, having a poker face is another important skill to become a winning poker player. Now, if you are unsure about the meaning of poker face, then keep reading because, in this post, we have highlighted the meaning of poker face and discussed the importance of having a poker face.

What is the meaning of poker face?

The poker face meaning is basically a face that betrays zero emotions. In other words, a player is said to have a poker face meaning when he remains absolutely expressionless and emotionless at the tables irrespective of the strength of his hand. A player with a poker face generally gives his opponents zero information about the type of hand he is likely holding.

Origin of the term- poker face expression

The term “poker face expression” did not originate in the game itself. In the 1920s, an American sportswriter coined this term for a competitor who was not at all affected by any of the stressful situations that the game threw at him. Since then, it has been used for every poker player that remains calm and expressionless, irrespective of the kind of hands they have.

Whenever you are playing poker for money, try to keep your face completely blank. Else you will face heavy losses even if you have a strong hand. In fact, a player with a weaker hand can earn more profit by bluffing with his facial expressions, but a player with a strong hand will always incur a loss.

Poker face expression or blank face expression

The term “blank expression” refers to a blank or expressionless face that implies a lack of emotions or thoughts. This expression does not reveal anything a person thinks. When the facial features of someone are positioned to be neutral, they have a blank expression.

This blank expression is also known as “poker face expression”. This is because professional poker players remain expressionless while playing so that their opponents are unable to guess their strategies or situations in the game. Every player maintains one’s composure while playing the game in such a way that enables them to conceal their emotions. A poker face expression is as important in a poker game as a good hand. If you keep changing your facial expressions according to the cards in your hands, you can put yourself in trouble. The opponent can then make predictions about the hand you have and start using strategies to ruin your hand and make the game in their favor.

In poker, all the players bet money on their hands. Therefore, as a part of the strategy, every player must hide their cards from other players. If a weak player gets to know about the cards of a strong player, he will not bet as much money as he should have. So, the player with strong hands will not be able to earn a lot of profit. Hence, all the players keep their expressions completely blank.

Importance of poker face

Now that you have got a fair idea about the meaning of poker face in English or poker face meaning, in this section, we have discussed the importance of having a poker face.

A key skill for acing any game of poker is to read your opponents. By successfully reading your opponents you can get a fair idea about the hand they may or may not be holding and thereafter you can plan your moves accordingly. For instance – Let’s assume you are playing a game of poker and your opponent has not maintained a poker face. The flop is dealt and your opponent immediately gets a small smile on his face. This is a tell-tale sign that your opponent likes his hand and unless you have a premium hand you must play cautiously.

Vital to this, to win at poker, it is important for a player to give off as little information about his hands as possible. For this reason, a player must consistently maintain a poker face while they are playing.

Professional poker players in general understand the importance of having a poker face. For this reason, poker pros invest hundreds of hours perfecting their poker faces and thereafter ensure their face gives off zero tells to their opponents.

Amateur players on the other hand generally fail to gauge the meaning of a poker face and often struggle to maintain a poker face. This leaves them vulnerable to their more experienced counterparts.

Unfortunately, there is no one-strategy-fits-all solution to ace this practice. Though there are some simple tips you can employ to maintain a poker face. For instance – while playing a game of poker always keep your face relaxed or stoic and maintain the same expression whether you like what is happening in a hand or not.


We do understand that maintaining a poker face is easier said than done, especially when the tensions are high. But if you practice consistently you will be able to make sure that your face is not giving away any tells to your opponent while you are involved in playing a poker game.

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