What Does Poker Face Mean?

If you just sang the popular Lady Gaga song in your head after reading the title, you've definitely heard of the term poker face before.

However, many people still wonder what it really is. As it turns out, it’s closely related to poker. In this article, we will discuss the poker face meaning and how it is used as a strategy when playing. Read on.

Poker Face Definition

So, what is a poker face? Basically, it is used for anyone who wants to hide what they’re thinking or how they’re feeling. Even though this may seem easy in theory, it’s actually complicated to pull off in emotionally charged situations, as we often express small movements in our face that other people can “read” and tell if we’re feeling sad, happy, angry, and more. In fact, it takes a lot of practice to be able to maintain it.

Now that you know the definition, it’s time to discuss how it’s used in poker. As you probably already know, we are talking about a game that will put you through an emotional rollercoaster. If you have good cards and believe the hand is yours, you don’t want to share your enthusiasm with others as they’ll fold, and you won’t manage to make the hand profitable. It’s similar when your cards are bad — perhaps you can bluff it if you can keep a straight face and not show disappointment with cards. 

If you do master the art of maintaining a poker face, you’ll be able to do much with it when playing. It may even help you further in many other situations in life when you need to remain calm or at least appear calm to get the best possible result.

If you find it hard to maintain, the good news is that you don’t always need to have a poker face when playing. Namely, there are plenty of great platforms where to play poker online where you don’t actually face other players. You’ll still need great skills to win, though.

Famous Poker Faces

The expression has been a source of inspiration for many works of art. Perhaps the most famous example is Lady Gaga's Poker Face. Even though it’s technically a love song, Lady Gaga uses many poker references in the song, making it popular both among poker players and lovers.

South Park made fun of this song, making the Cartman Poker Face version, which is basically the same song but sung in the iconic Cartman voice.

Of course, the expression has been referenced in numerous other songs, movies, and other pieces of art, too.

Final Thoughts

If you’re good at controlling your emotions and keeping them behind a curtain for a long time, you might be suitable for a poker player. But let’s face it — not many of us can do that (at least not without practice). Therefore, it’s best to start playing live poker online, where you only need to focus on the game rules without having to worry about someone reading your face.

Once you feel confident enough, you can put your skills to the test in poker rooms and see whether you can hold a neutral face for a long time. More importantly, you’ll see whether you can read other players’ faces.

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