What Is a Poker Face and How Can You Improve Yours?

If you are an experienced online poker player looking to start playing in-person, or you are a new player altogether, it is important that you get a poker face. If you have not played in-person, you might not even know the answer to, what is a poker face? So, what is a poker face? Your poker face is an expressionless look you put on your face to avoid giving away your hand. Without a poker face, you could end up giving away when your hand is weak and when it is strong. This would obviously be very detrimental to your chances of being profitable. As a result, it is important that you develop a poker face before you head over to the live casino.

What Is a Poker Face?

Ideally, your poker face will be a blank and expressionless face that keeps your opponent from seeing your emotional state. Your emotions will naturally run high when you are in the middle of a big hand. Whether you are bluffing or trying to get your opponent to call when you have the nuts, you do not want to give away what you have. So, you need to eliminate your tells.

Tells are small, usually involuntary movements you make that can give away your hand. They might not always be involuntary, but you might do them without thinking. As a result, you could be giving your hand away without knowing. Common tells include touching your face, crossing your arms, or talking too much. Doing these things are regularly is bound to result in you losing hands that you would otherwise win.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Now that you know that answer to what is a poker face, we can start to look at things you can do to improve your poker face. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is easy for your emotions to get to you when you are in a high stakes game or hand. You need to be aware that this is going to happen and learn how to manage your nerves. Consciously avoid nervous ticks and you will be a better player overall.

Try to Avoid Changing Your Facial Expression

If you are smiling when you have a good hand or you are crossing your arms every time you make a bluff, your opponent will surely pick up on these things. As a result, you need to avoid changing your facial expression throughout the hand. This can be the difference between being a winning and losing player.

If you are struggling with your ability to keep your face from changing, do not be afraid to wear sunglasses to your poker game. Professional players do not wear sunglasses because they think it is stylish to wear them indoors. Instead, they wear them because it conceals their eyes. Your eyes tell a story, and they are the part of your face that is most likely to move involuntarily. By wearing sunglasses, you will hide many of your tells.

Do Not Look at Your Hand Too Often

A common problem new players have is that they look at their hands too often. You should try to memorize your hand at the beginning of the hand so that you do not need to look at it more than once. Looking at your hand repeatedly to try to see if you have a good hand is an indication that you are checking to see if you have a flush. More often than not, players can remember the numbers of their cards. However, they sometimes struggle to remember the suits, especially when it is not a suited hand. So, when four clubs come up on the board and you are checking your hand, your opponent might think you have a flush. That is just one example of how checking your hand repeatedly can affect your effectiveness as a player.

The poker face is one of the most important things for you to master as a poker player. It is not as important as you understanding ranges, knowing when to bet, fold, and raise, or how to size your bets. However, it is still an incredibly important part of the game in live poker. If you have a bad poker face, it will not matter if you are playing perfectly. You will still lose a significant number of hands that you should be winning. So, you need to figure out your poker face before you sit down at your first poker game at a live casino.