The Benefits of a Good Poker Face and How to Have One
You’ve probably heard the expression “actions speak louder than words.” Having a good poker face is putting this phrase into effect.
Poker is known as a game of skill, chance and a steady blank expression. The cards in your hand impact the outcome of each round. Changing the outcome of a round relies on your ability to keep a straight face. The practice of having a poker face has been around for nearly 150 years due to the competitive world of one of the most popular card games.
Having a good poker face also applies to situations even after leaving the card table. Whether you strive to become a leader in your work environment or want to reach a new personal goal, learning the benefits of a good poker face can become a helpful tool. Understand how to recognize emotions in facial expressions to hone in on your own and use them to your advantage to perfect your poker face.
What Is a Poker Face?
The term “poker face” is officially recognized in various rule books related to its respective card game, poker. Players first coined this term in the late 19th century to define the practice of maintaining a blank expression to coerce opponents into bluffing or reconsidering their next move. Many players take this practice very seriously in hopes of winning big.
While most recognize a poker face as a series of emotionless expressions, positive facial features can have the upper hand over their famous counterpart. Poker has always been a game of competitive analysis. Those classic blank expressions may only waiver an opponent’s confidence, while a positive demeanor influences their decisions directly. You can show these facial expressions through a slight smile, raising your eyebrows and keeping your eyes alert.
Although these are only a few immediate actions that can make another player shift their focus, other steps can help perfect the poker face outside the casino.
How to Have a Good Poker Face
Having a good poker face means having a relaxed, neutral expression. Keep eye contact with others at the poker table, but try to blink naturally and act as you usually would.
Since emotion — and sometimes the lack thereof — plays a crucial role in having a good poker face, consider how other players react to certain physical expressions. By using poker as an experiment for studying reactions to certain emotional expressions, this study provided researchers with an interesting outcome that most card players would find surprising.
This experiment uncovered that when playing a round of poker, players are more likely to spend extra time deciding on their next move or becoming increasingly worried about their opponent’s hand when presented with a positive expression rather than a neutral or negative demeanor.
How Can You Use This Emotion in a Game?
A natural poker face can take time to perfect. With a little practice and determination, your next round is sure to keep everyone on their toes. Follow these steps to create the most effective poker face:
- Practice self-awareness: The first step to having a good poker face is understanding how you display emotions. When you identify how anger, joy or frustration change your own facial expressions, you can start to recognize these feelings in others. Self-awareness is being able to ask yourself how another person actually feels rather than what it would feel like to be in their shoes. Take the time to study these physical actions and challenge yourself to see how others’ reactions influence your own decisions when playing a game.
- Tap into your emotional intelligence: Self-awareness is one small aspect of strong emotional intelligence. Once you have established what various emotions look like on others’ faces as well as your own, try to maintain a calm and collected expression at all times. This appearance will allow you to make challenging decisions more effectively under pressure. Maintaining this look will also alert others that you are confident and trustworthy in a high-stakes situation. This expression can either cause other players to falter or help establish stronger relationships among your peers.
- Put it into motion: You are now in a position of power within your social group. You can recognize and maintain stable emotions in stressful and controlled situations. Practice this skill regularly to perfect your advantage both in and out of the casino.
Like most areas of expertise, practice will always make perfect. A poker face can be relatively tricky to figure out on others, let alone your own face. It may take time to use this skill during your next round of cards, yet players find that the results reap benefits in most aspects of life, even outside of the casino.
Benefits of Having a Poker Face
A poker face relies on your ability to refrain from showing any wavering emotion through physical expressions. Your opponents in a game may be waiting for another player to accidentally show off their current hand without showing their cards. Their face gives it all away. This mistake is something that all poker players must try to stray from but look out for at all times.
This skill is not just limited to the game of poker. The benefits of having a good poker face apply to other casino table games such as blackjack, Texas Hold ’em and Spanish 21. Each of these competitive settings requires the player to appear at a clear advantage against others no matter what cards they have. A poker face then becomes a tool to win against other players or the dealer while they try to piece together your current position in the game.
A good poker face has many benefits outside of the game itself. Being able to control your physical emotions in any setting can let others know the professional demeanor you can maintain in any challenging dilemma. This skill grants you the appearance of a calm and collected individual and makes you appear more trustworthy.
One study found that a person’s negotiating skills increase when they’ve perfected their unwavering poker face. Negotiating is a valuable skill in any aspect of life, from opportunities in the workforce to raising a family.
And now that a positive facial expression has taken poker faces to a new level, research has shown that this demeanor can:
- Promote more effective outcomes in a stressful situation within a group setting
- Generate feelings of goodwill toward that individual
- Make that person more agreeable
Think of a setting where these results would work best in your favor. You may picture your workplace where you can rise to a leadership position using these skills. You might imagine a more personal situation where your goals toward success need a bit of revamping. Maybe you really want to win your next round of poker. In most cases, these results from perfecting your poker face will come in handy.
Use Your Poker Face at Tachi Palace
Now that you have what it takes to perfect your poker face, try your luck at Tachi Palace. With eight types of table games to play, you’ll have so many chances to practice your new skills in self-awareness, emotional intelligence and, of course, your new poker face.
Our Lemoore, California, location is perfect for a weekend getaway. Slot machines, live entertainment and tasty dining options are only a click away. Book a visit to Tachi Palace Casino Resort today for an unforgettable night of fun.