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What is Poker Face? How it works?

One of the wonderful parts of being among the poker community is that apart from the thrilling gameplay you get to enjoy, you also get to know about quite a few interesting words and idioms that are part of the poker lexicon. One of the terms that is commonly thrown around is Poker face. No, we are not referring about Lady Gaga’s single that made waves around the world, rather it is something associated with poker. We are sure most of us would have heard the word at least once in our life. The term despite having its usage largely in the poker world, has found its use among the common language we use.

The phrase poker face is thrown around often to keep your emotions in check. The term has an interesting origin. The term poker face was first used way back in 1875 in a book about card games which was published back then. The author of the book is assumed to be Cavendish with no further details available back then. It is interesting to note that Poker game was in early stages of development back then in England, with games such as Blackjack, Brag, and 21 cards getting more coverage and popularity.

What is Poker face?

While playing poker (Texas Hold’em and PLO), cards are dealt to all the players in a table. And the cards they receive create a lot of impact in the hand they make. They bet money based on the strength of their hand. Strategically, it benefits every player to keep his hands secret. This is because, if they have a strong hand, other players would hesitate to bet on their own hand. This ensures that person with the strong hand won’t get as much money as they would like to win.

This is also applicable to player with a weak hand. A player with a bad hand can still win lots of money by bluffing everyone that holds a strong hand.

Therefore, in order to not show any markers, poker players try to keep their faces completely blank without any kinds of expression, so that no one can predict if they have good or bad cards.

A sad or despondent emotion expressed will give a clear clue to your opponents on the cards you hold. Similarly, any hint of over excitement or enthusiasm will pave the way for your opponents to bait you. Very often your expressions and reactions will reveal your hands and cost you the game. Always keep your emotions under check.

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