How To Get A Better Poker Face?

How To Get A Better Poker Face

Is a poker face good?

Poker Face FAQs – Why is it called a poker face? It’s called a poker face because poker players have adopted having a deadpan or emotionless expression on their face while playing poker. Is it good to have a poker face? Yes, it’s good, even essential to have a poker face while playing poker.

  1. This way you’re able to school your expression and fool your opponents into believing exactly what you want them to believe.
  2. Q; What is meant by having a poker face? A: A face not showing any emotion or change in expression.
  3. How do you do a poker face? One great example of a poker face is Phil Ivey.
  4. He has no expression with his eyes boring into your soul, no smile, only a deadpan expression.

Some players put a hand on their opposing arm, keeping their body immobile while another player might be staring them down in order to elicit some information. Is having a poker face bad? Having a poker face is a great quality while playing poker. If you’re standing at your wedding with a poker face, maybe not the best time to have one. Christina Bradfield Editor Christina is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer who discovered poker at the age of twelve. She’s been a contributor to PokerNews since 2022.

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    Why do some people always have a poker face?

    ‘Poker face’ is a good example of a phrase used in poker that has entered the common vernacular. Pretty much everybody — whether they play or not — knows that having a poker face means successfully hiding your emotions behind an impassive, unrevealing expression.
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    Does a poker face matter?

    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. 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.
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    What personality types are good at poker?

    Sure, you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em. But more importantly, you need to have the emotional temperament to follow through on that strategy, even when the stakes are high and the pressure is on. That’s the conclusion of a newly published study that examines the personality types of successful poker players.

    Confirming the cliché, it finds such people tend to be cool, calm, and difficult to rattle. Writing in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, a research team led by the University of Helsinki’s Michael Laakasuo suggests such steadiness is a prerequisite for developing expertise in the popular card game.

    “Higher emotional stability predisposes poker players to continue playing poker,” it writes, “whereby they are likely to accumulate poker experience and skill.” Laakasuo and his colleagues conducted an online survey, in English, featuring 478 poker players.

    • Participants filled out a detailed survey designed to assess their personality using the HEXACO model, which measures honesty/humility, emotionality, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.
    • The “emotionality” trait, which is labeled “neuroticism” in another well-known personality index, reflects one’s “tendency to experience fear, anxiety, and need of assurance.” The researchers note that it, and indeed all personality traits, “are known to be, to a large extent, stable over time,” meaning that it is unlikely they would be impacted by accumulating poker experience.

    Participants were also asked how long they have been player poker; the level of stakes they typically play at; the approximate number of hands they have played in their lifetimes; and whether they consider themselves a professional poker player. The results suggest veteran players are, by nature, cool customers.

    “A predisposition for emotional stability — that is, lower scores on emotionality — is linked to high levels of poker experience,” the researchers report. “The effect of emotional stability was most strongly associated with the levels of stakes at which the participant typically played poker,” Laakasuo and his colleagues add.

    “This indicates that experienced poker players may have an innate disposition to tolerate mental and emotional pressure, and keep calm while making decisions involving large sums of money.” While this held true across the board, the researchers also found personality differences between people who play online, as opposed sitting around a table with fellow players.

    • In-person players tended to score high on extroversion and openness to experience.
    • Extroverts seek excitement, activity, and novel experiences,” the researchers note, “and these are probably more often found in live poker rather than in online poker.” So, if the idea of playing poker for a career sounds tantalizing to you, you need to take an honest look at yourself.

    If you can analyze the pros and cons of such a move from a detached perspective, and be pretty sure you won’t get caught up in the thrills and agony of wins and losses, you might want to cut a deck of cards and get to work. Pacific Standard grapples with the nation’s biggest issues by illuminating why we do what we do.

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    Why do poker player wear sunglasses?

    Why Do Poker Players Wear Sunglasses? – Poker players that wear sunglasses are likely doing so in an attempt to disguise physical tells, Sunglasses conceal the areas right around the eyes, along with the eyes themselves. Eye twitches, glancing at your chips, or looking away from an opponent’s stare can all signal certain things at a poker table.

    To scan other players for tells without them knowing To look cool or portray a table image To shield from bright lights around the table To improve mental focus

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    How do you keep your face serious?

    3 Ways to Keep a Straight Face Keeping a straight face when you’re trying not to laugh or give away how you’re feeling can be really tough. Try to control your face by preventing a smile from spreading across it. You can also distract yourself if you’re trying not to laugh or you don’t want anyone to know how you’re feeling.

    1. 1 Take a deep breath. It’s impossible to laugh while you’re inhaling. If you’re afraid you can’t keep a straight face, take a deep breath in, and let it out slowly. Repeat this as many times as you need to until you feel like you don’t need to laugh anymore.
      • Don’t take a huge deep breath with your mouth open – it might be obvious what you’re trying to do. Instead, take a deep breath through your nose since that should make your breath quieter.
      • To get a good, deep breath, you should inhale for 2 to 3 seconds and exhale for 3 to 4.
    2. 2 Purse your lips. Pursing your lips together can help prevent a smile from spreading across your face. Clench your jaw and press your lips together. With your jaw clenched and your lips together, you won’t be able to laugh out loud.
      • If you’re worried pursing your lips will be obvious, clench your jaw tighter. Doing both will keep you from losing your straight face, but clenching your jaw will make it less obvious what you’re doing.


    3. 3 Bite the inside of your cheek. If you feel liking pursing your lips isn’t working, try biting the inside of your cheek. It’s easier to keep your face straight when your cheek is sucked in. And if all else fails, the pain should help you keep your feelings to yourself.
      • If you’re worried about looking obvious when you’re biting the inside of your cheek, use your hand to pretend to wipe across your mouth. As you’re doing that, bite the inside of your cheek.
    4. 4 Cover your mouth. If you’re really afraid you can’t stop yourself from smiling, cover your mouth with your hand. Try not to be super obvious when you do it, though. Cover the corner of your mouth with your fingers or pinch your lips together.
    5. 5 Pretend to cough or sneeze. If you really can’t keep a straight face, pretend to cough or sneeze. That gives you a chance to hide your face when you cover your mouth and contort your face if you can’t keep it straight.
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    1. 1 Look elsewhere. If you see something funny and you’re afraid you won’t be able to keep it together, look away. Focus on something just above or to the side of whatever is funny to you. This way, it looks like you’re still paying attention and you don’t come across as rude.
      • If you’re in a situation where looking away might seem rude – in class or a meeting, for example – you can take a look at your notes. That still seems appropriate and helps you cover.
    2. 2 Look at your feet. If you really can’t look away – maybe you’re having a conversation with someone or playing a game – try looking at your feet. It’s a pretty normal thing for people to do, and it might buy you just enough time to get your facial expressions back under control.
    3. 3 Think about something else. If you’re worried, you’ll laugh, think about something sad. This will almost always relax your face. It keeps you from laughing if you’re worried about that, and it will also make your face hard to read.
      • For example, think about a sad commercial you saw recently.
      • If you’re worried about your reaction to thinking about something sad, try thinking about something else – you can count backward from a very high number, or try to remember something complex, like a math formula.
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    1. 1 Ask questions. If you’re trying to keep a straight face while you’re talking to someone, invest yourself more in the conversation. One way to do this is to ask the person questions. It’s also a good way to steer the conversation away from something you find funny.
      • For example, if the person you’re speaking to has been telling you about their job, but then they veer off into a topic you find funny, try to ask them questions that get them back onto talk about their job.
      • You can say things like “Tell me more about what sort of schooling you needed for your job,” or “How did you get started in that field.”
    2. 2 Practice what you’ll say. If you have a hard time keeping a straight face when you’re telling a joke or playing a game, practice ahead of time. Practice the joke over and over so you can keep your face straight when you tell it. You can also practice things to talk about during a game to distract yourself and keep a good poker face.
      • If you’re trying to distract yourself during a game, talk about something completely unrelated to it.
      • For example, if you’re playing poker, don’t talk about other poker games you’ve played. Instead, you can talk about what’s going on at work or something that happened while you were at the store.
    3. 3 Think of similar situations you’ve been in. People you speak to will feel validated if you can back up what they’re saying with your own experiences. Thinking about your own past gets your mind off the present and helps you control your face.
      • For example, if someone is telling you an embarrassing story that you can tell hurts them a bit, share your own embarrassing story. It not only stops you from laughing, but it can also help the other person feel better about their own experience.
      • Validate what they are saying.
      • Let them know that you are there for them.
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    • Question How do I not laugh when someone is telling a joke? Usually, if you’re trying not to laugh, there are a few ways to achieve it. You can bite down on the inside of your cheek until the urge to laugh goes away. Or you can try to convince yourself that you’re delivering bad news until you get to the punch line or the end of the joke.
    • Question How do I keep a straight face when I am being tickled? Try discreetly pinching or scratching yourself, and focusing on the feeling of the pinch or scratch instead of the feeling of being tickled.
    • Question How can I force myself to not cry at all? Think about something else, something funny or odd. Do not think of cute, sweet or sad things, as these can just add to the feelings of wanting to cry. If it’s inevitable, pretend to trip and say that you hit your hand against something and it really hurts and rub it a lot.

    Ask a Question Advertisement Co-authored by: Licensed Master Social Worker This article was co-authored by, Sabrina Grover, LMSW is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) who earned her degree in Advanced Clinical Practice from New York University. Sabrina has experience working in substance abuse recovery centers and schools where she gained experience providing evidence-based treatment to children, adolescents, adults, and families.

    1. Sabrina specializes in Dialectical, Narrative, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies.
    2. She has particular expertise in treating clients struggling with grief, complex trauma, interpersonal difficulty, family conflict, anxiety, and depression.
    3. She commits to providing a supportive environment for everyone who commits to growth and offering a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere.

    This article has been viewed 680,947 times.

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    “I was taking part on a small school film and was playing the rule of Dr Watson from Sherlock Holmes. I couldn’t stop myself from cracking up on a specific scene. But with the scratching on the tip of my thumb, the muscle relaxing, and the math solving, I made it!”,”

    : 3 Ways to Keep a Straight Face
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    How do you control your emotions at a poker table?

    March 06, 2015 How To Get A Better Poker Face Phil Hellmuth is well known for his epic meltdowns at the table when things don’t go his way. Enterprising fans of the game have gone so far as to produce compilation videos of his most impressive blow-ups. To be sure, Hellmuth is one of the most successful tournament players alive today.

    But should you emulate his antics at the table? The answer to that question is absolutely not! My interviews with top tournament pros revealed a near unanimous opinion that it is not possible to make it in poker without a large degree of emotional control. Consider this quote from one of my interviewees: Emotional control is very important.

    You have to be able to take the beats without going on tilt. You have to be strong and know that in the long run, whoever makes the best decisions is going to win. You can’t let the effects of one hand destroy you. You have to be tough! If you want to make it in the dog-eat-dog world of poker, you simply must work on your temperament. and, naturally, he reraised. Max Heinzelmann was sitting behind him in the big blind with He decided that Deeb was just making a play, so he four-bet it. The early position player folded and Deeb — who really wanted action with his hand — sized his five-bet in such a way as to induce action. Deeb got his wish when Heinzelmann shoved. Deeb snap-called, then the board ran out to bring two sixes, rewarding Heinzelmann with trips and the huge pot! Deeb was crippled and was out shortly thereafter. How To Get A Better Poker Face Shaun Deeb (left) kept cool after hand with Max Heinzelman (right) Deeb understands full well that he wants people to make moves against him with weak hands, just as Heinzelmann had done. That’s what we all want. But he also understands that sometimes those weak hands are going to suck out.

    • When that happens, the key is to maintain control over your emotions so that you can continue playing an optimal game.
    • So the big question is how does one increase emotional control? I believe that the answer is multifaceted.
    • First, to know and understand the mathematics of the game helps a lot.
    • There are very few situations where your hand is a 100% lock if there are still cards to come.

    Also, even the worst hands in poker will win a certain percentage of the time. Knowing the math can help you to maintain logic in difficult situations. Second, you must practice calming yourself down. It’s only natural to get angry when bad things happen, and all but impossible to be devoid of all emotion — if you’re human, that is.

    1. The trick is to learn to control your emotions.
    2. You can work on deep breathing, practice mindfulness, and incorporate meditation into your training regime.
    3. You must practice these techniques away from the table often enough that they become automatic.
    4. Third, take notes on all upsetting hands and enlist the help of a coach or mentor who can help you review them.

    Dissect those hands to get a full picture of what specifically put you on tilt. Knowledge is power and increasing your level of self-awareness can be immensely helpful. Just knowing what sets you off makes it easier to recognize and manage potentially tilting situations before they get out of control.

    • Increasing emotional control is one of the best things you can do to increase the probability of making it as a poker player.
    • Fully commit yourself to doing whatever it takes to improve in this area and it will pay dividends many times over. Dr.
    • Tricia Cardner is the author of Positive Poker with Jonathan Little, available in paperback, audio, and e-book formats via D&B Poker as well as through the PokerNews Book Section,

    Follow her on Twitter @DrTriciaCardner, Get all the latest PokerNews updates on your social media outlets. Follow us on Twitter and find us on both Facebook and Google+ !

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      Why poker face is attractive?

      Poker Face: The Male Advantage Poker might be thought of as a training ground for developing the masked face. Boys who play this game learn not to give away their hand with their nonverbal expressions, thereby tipping others as to how to bet. Over time, they develop the poker face, which can be a great advantage to them in adulthood during negotiations.

      According to matrimonial attorney Eleanor B. Alter, men are “a lot less frightened by negotiating. They’re not afraid to offer whatever they think they can get away with. Or they’ll say, ‘I’ll offer very little and wait them out.’ Women have a hard time with that.” The poker face helps men seem as if they’re maintaining their cool, even if they’re not.

      As Alter explains, “Emotional detachment can be productive.” In a context of a negotiation a woman can borrow and employ the poker face because it doesn’t always behoove her to let others know what she feels. Suppose she’s in a union negotiation with a union representative she dislikes.

      • It would be smart for her to hide her disgust.
      • We’re all in situations when we’re with people we don’t like.
      • What to do? Women can be more conscious of “controlling” their facial expressions (also other nonverbal cues like posture and gestures).
      • They must watch for overly reactive facial expressions and maintain an air of neutrality.

      They practice the face they want to wear in the mirror! THE CLASH OF THE NONVERBALSThere is greater latitude of acceptance for men to assume neutral facial expressions. We expect emotionlessness from them. For women however, the opposite is true. Our expectation is that women should be the happy, cheerful, which is reflected in the Smiley-Face Syndrome.

      Many miscommunications can occur because female and male facial expressive styles vary so profoundly. Although men might take on an air of neutrality, there is, in truth, no such thing as neutrality in communication. Women perceive blankness negatively. Men’s masking of facial expressions causes uneasiness in women, just as it did in Carroll Izard’s study of infants with their mothers described above.

      This is why women often interpret men’s monotonic facial expressions as punishing and admonishing or as negative feedback. The monotonic face is one of the reasons women feel uncomfortable with men. Males can appear unavailable and emotionally inaccessible because it has political value to them; this is the ultimate nonverbal way for them to express their masculine control.

      (Indeed, Senator Bob Dole consciously tried to smile more during the 1996 presidential campaign to himself from his image as “Nasty Bob.” On the other hand, the “naughty frat boy” smirk hurt George W. Bush’s credibility with some voters during the 2000 presidential campaign.) When a woman can’t take a read on the man with whom she is talking, it makes her,

      She becomes confused and begins to doubt herself. She might even become more animated to spark a reaction, but the man will hold fast to his stony demeanor. Indeed, when a woman increases her expressiveness in this situation, the man may believe that she’s becoming overly emotional.

      This undercuts her credibility. This is one of the occasions that prompts women to complain: “I get in trouble when I’m excited.” As a consequence of male facial stonewalling, the woman may cut short the conversation, explode in a, or avoid personal contact altogether. Some men love the stone face because they know that it makes the other person feel uncomfortable and throws them off balance.

      It puts them in control. What should a woman do when she encounters this stratagem? I recommend that she recognize this ploy and then hang-tough, refusing to be influenced by it. Or she can use the verbal package to expose the nonverbal, by saying, “I’m not getting a read right now on how you feel about what I’m saying. How To Get A Better Poker Face : Poker Face: The Male Advantage
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      Which personality type has poker face?

      That would be the ESTP. ESTP’s use their sensory and attention to detail to read people with ease. In some scary cases like ENTP’s, they may play mind tricks and troll the whole poker table just by looking at everyone else’s body language.
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      Is poker a skill or luck?

      Conclusion: Is Poker Based on Luck or Skill? – The answer to whether poker is gambling or based on skill is that it’s a little of both. In order to win a hand, a player will need some element of luck, but they’ll also need to know exactly what to do with the cards and the situation in front of them.
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      Do you need high IQ to play poker?

      I have played for money as a professional poker player for over 10 years now. The ride is definitely a rollercoaster that takes a specific skill set in order to excel. It takes a lot more than just pure intelligence or a high IQ to win at the game. In fact, just being smart might be the least important quality that leads to success.
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      What is the strongest position in poker?

      The Button – Dealer (also classed as a LP) – In flop/community games such as Texas Hold’em being “on the button” is where everyone would like to stay! In terms of advantage it is the best position in poker. After the flop the dealer always gets to act last in every round of betting for that game.
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      What is the unluckiest hand in poker?

      Dead man’s hand Poker hand purportedly held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was killed For other uses, see, “Aces and eights” redirects here. For other uses, see, Not to be confused with or, The card hand purportedly held by at the time of his death: black aces and eights The makeup of ‘s dead man’s hand has varied through the years.
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      Can you be naturally good at poker?

      4. Natural Poker Ability – There are a number of players in the poker world who have achieved great success mainly through natural ability. For the most part, this applies to those who came up before the online poker boom like Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson and Stu Unger.

      • There have also been more recent cases of success in poker through natural ability; Isildur1 (Viktor Blom) notoriously jumped straight into the highest stakes online and seemed to learn through trial and error.
      • However, in the competitive environment that is poker today, the best players are constantly working on their game.

      You are likely to fall behind your competition if you aren’t doing the same.
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      What is the kindest personality type?

      1. ESFJ – People who fit the ESFJ personality type can usually be recognized by their big hearts and kindly manner. ESFJs are warm and welcoming and their love of tradition means they value good old-fashioned manners highly. This personality type embodies the politeness of the past, always keeping the utmost respect for social rules.
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      How do you become mentally strong in poker?

      April 12, 2017 How To Get A Better Poker Face A few weeks ago, I touched on how a key component to Daniel Negreanu ‘s success in poker is his goal setting, We later looked at self-awareness, another attribute Negreanu and many other successful poker players share. Now I want to delve into the third component of poker success which is known as determination or “mental toughness” (as we call it in the mindset biz).

      You’ve probably heard the phrase a lot and know people who seem to possess mental toughness. But how exactly does one acquire it? I’m so glad you asked! Sports psychologist Dr. Graham Jones and his colleagues conducted a series of interviews and focus groups with various types of elite performers to find out how important mental toughness was to their success.

      He and his group determined that mental toughness is having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you:

      • generally, to cope better than your opponents with the many demands that sport (or intellectual competition) places on a performer; and,
      • specifically, to be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident and in control under pressure.

      Dr. Jones also concluded that there are 12 attributes that the mentally tough competitor must attain. While all 12 are important and none should be overlooked as they’re all interconnected, the items at the top of the list are most critical. Here they are as they relate to developing mental toughness in poker:

      1. Believe in your gut that you can achieve your goals. An unshakeable belief in your ability will be especially essential when things are not going well. Individuals who have this trait know they can overcome obstacles.
      2. Be able to bounce back from defeat and setbacks. Learn to use your losses and setbacks as a source of motivation. The road to the top is rarely smooth.
      3. Believe that you have unique qualities that give you an edge over your opponents. People with this mindset have the confidence to train in ways that best suit them and their needs, even if these methods aren’t traditional.
      4. Have an insatiable desire to succeed. This need should be almost overpowering. It takes a great deal of time and effort to become an elite player, so the desire to meet that goal must be motivated from deeply within.
      5. Be able to maintain complete focus on the task at hand. In order to be mentally tough, learn how to keep focused no matter what is happening around you.
      6. Be able to compose yourself rapidly following unexpected, uncontrollable events. Poker comes with a healthy dose of variance and factors that are out of your control. To succeed, learn to compose yourself quickly to get back into the game.
      7. Be able to get past psychological pain, like fatigue, or emotional pain, like tilt. The goal is to make optimal decisions in every situation, whether you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed or dead tired and need a seventh Red Bull.
      8. Believe that you can cope with competition-anxiety effectively. Perhaps it’s your first televised final table or you’re a favorite to win your first major event and the pressure is on. The pressures of real and/or imagined expectations can be anxiety inducing. Mentally tough players allow the less important details to fall away, and remain focused on their goal.
      9. Do not be adversely affected by the good or bad performances of other players. It’s easy to be swayed by horrid play or impressed by a celebrity or your favorite pro sitting at the table. Forget comparisons. Always strive to play your best.
      10. Thrive on competition. If you are the type who elevates your game when the occasion calls for it, you have this skill mastered. Being able to perform at your best when the competition is fierce is another sign of mental toughness.
      11. Remain fully focused even when dealing with personal issues. This one can be tough, but find a way to use these concerns as a source of motivation. Whatever you do, you must keep your head in the game.
      12. Switch your poker focus on and off as required. While focus is essential when you’re playing or studying, it’s also important to switch your focus to something completely unrelated when you go on break. Your brain needs a chance to relax, so you are ready to dive in when you return to the game.

      All right, so now we know the necessary attributes to be mentally tough. But how do we develop them? To start, practice mental toughness at the table.

      • Come to the table with a strong desire to win.
      • Have a clear intention for every session.
      • Maintain present focus at the table by being concerned only with the here and now.
      • Present a strong image at all times.
      • Always keep a positive attitude.
      • Even if you have played poorly, you need not accept defeat.
      • Plan your hands.
      • Take your time in large pots.
      • Remain flexible.
      • Overcome fear of failure.
      • Be on the lookout for situations where you were mentally weak and find ways to improve before you sit down at your next session.

      These lists may seem overwhelming, initially. As I wrote in the goal setting article, start small — so small you can’t say “no.” Use what you’ve learned in the previous two articles to develop these attributes, and improve your mental toughness. In combination, goal setting, self-awareness and mental toughness will help to catapult you towards success.

      And when you get hit with a few bad beats in a row — which will happen — refocus and just remember that facing hardships can be a good mental toughness teacher. Dr. Tricia Cardner is the author of Peak Poker Performance (with Jonathan Little ), available in paperback, audio and e-book formats via Amazon,

      Take her free online course Rev Up Your Poker Success, a step-by-step guide to designing your best year ever. And for more from Dr. Cardner, visit her website and follow her on Twitter @DrTriciaCardner,

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        Why do poker players wear hoodies?

        Why Do Poker Players Wear Hoodies? – One reason poker players wear hoodies is to try to avoid having physical tells. Some popular physical tells include touching their arms, rubbing their hair or fiddling with their fingers. A hoodie attempts to hide these body parts from view, removing the impulse to touch certain parts of the body.
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        Why do poker players not look at their cards?

        Most professionals won’t look at their hole cards until it’s their turn to act. There are smart reasons for this, and it’s definitely something you should do yourself. Why? Because there’s simply no upside to looking at your hole cards before it’s your turn to act.

        • You see, most poker players, especially men, like to think that they have faces of stone.
        • They believe that they’re incapable of revealing any physical tells.
        • Well, they’re just plain wrong.
        • Everyone has tells, even professionals, and if you observe carefully, you’ll spot them.
        • Pros are just better at masking them.

        The tells that they do reveal are often very subtle. I’m often asked how I’m able to get solid reads on others players. It’s a skill that takes discipline. I watch my opponents as they look at their cards before the flop. Depending on how they study their cards, I can often figure out if they’re planning to call or fold.

        That single bit of information can determine how I play a hand, and if I win or lose. The main reason you shouldn’t look at your own cards right away is that there’s so much to be learned by watching your opponents look at their own cards instead. Why cheat yourself out of this valuable learning opportunity? It’s also important not to look at your own hole cards until it’s your turn to act because you’ll conceal tells that your opponents might be picking up on you.

        I recall playing in a $20-$40 Hold’em game at the Mirage in Las Vegas when I was in my early 20’s. I played a guy who always looked at his hole cards as soon as they were dealt. If he liked what he saw and planned to play the hand, he’d put a chip on his cards to protect them.

        • He wouldn’t bother to protect his cards at all when he had a junk hand.
        • Nowing this, if I planned to steal the blinds from late position, but noticed that he had placed a chip on his cards — telling me he had a hand he liked — I’d simply abort mission and save myself a probable loss.
        • On the other hand, if he didn’t protect his cards, I’d push in my chips and follow through with my original plan.

        Obviously, tells aren’t always that easy to read. Nor do tells have to be that transparent in order to give away useful information about a hand. Many novices, for example, will glance at their chips immediately after they look at their hole cards and see a playable hand.

        1. They’re on the receiving end of a subconscious message telling them to get ready to grab those chips and fire them into the pot.
        2. Remember, too, that tells aren’t exclusive to pre-flop play.
        3. Stay observant and you’ll be surprised just how much free post-flop information is out there ready to be exploited.

        For example, when a player misses his flush draw on the river, he might literally jump out of his chair and curse his bad luck. You don’t ever want to be that guy but you certainly want to play against him! More likely though, he won’t launch out of his chair.

        Rather, he’ll stare at the felt, crack his knuckles, stand a chip on its side — pretty much any physical act that might reveal something important, or might mean nothing at all. If you observe some random behavior that you’ve only seen rarely, it probably means nothing. If, however, you observe repetitive behaviors throughout a long game, you’re likely onto a meaningful tell.

        One final comment: Remember to stay alert as it’s always possible that you’re being set up by a false tell. This is poker after all. Visit for information about Daniel Negreanu’s new book, Hold’em Wisdom for All Players.
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        Why do poker players carry backpacks?

        You can expect to play for 14 hours – with regular breaks and a dinner hour sandwiched in there – in order to bag chips for Day 2. With that in mind, it’s crucial to keep your belly full throughout the day. A backpack makes this task so much easier because you’ll always have a meal or two within arm’s reach.
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        What does a good poker face look like?

        Download Article Download Article Having a good poker face means not expressing positive or negative reactions to the game, keeping your body in a relaxed position, and calmly interacting with other players. This can become difficult when tensions are high but is necessary when playing the game.

        1. 1 Relax your face. Your face is the first giveaway that could cost you a game of poker. Keeping your emotions and reactions in check regarding hands dealt to you is a key part of poker. Any type of expression sacrifices your power in situations with your opponents. Clear your mind, wiggle your face to loosen the muscles, take a deep breath, and relax.
          • You want to be in control of the situation and if you’re too stressed, you can lose that control.
          • Hiding your reactions is power because no one knows what you’re thinking or what you’re about to do.
        2. 2 Maintain eye contact with others. You can win the upper hand by showing people you are confident and intimidating by locking eyes with them. Meeting people’s eyes also shows that you have nothing to hide so they don’t know what to expect from you. Look at the bridge of their nose to stare them down and keep your focus. Advertisement
        3. 3 Blink occasionally to avoid staring. Staring into space or focusing too hard on your cards is also how your poker face can be compromised. It either shows that you aren’t paying attention, or that you’re concerned for your hand and chances. Remind yourself to blink so that your eyes don’t dry out while you concentrate.
          • Excessive blinking can also show nervousness, so don’t go overboard. There’s a balance between blinking enough to keep from staring and keeping your eyes focused so they don’t flit around.
          • Staring too hard can also cause your shoulders to bunch up and posture to suffer.
          • Focusing too hard on one thing visually can also distract you and you may miss an important play.
        4. 4 Keep your lips together and jaw relaxed. Your mouth is the main support for your face muscles and any tension, smile, frown, or smirk will influence the rest of your face. Relax your jaw first by letting it go slack, creating space between your back teeth. Open and close your mouth a few times to help relax as well.
          • Avoid showing your teeth. Whether it’s for a small grin or grimace, visible teeth means your mouth is moving and movement can give you away.
          • Don’t grind your teeth. Your jaw will show the pressure your teeth are under.
        5. 5 Look straight ahead. Don’t look up or to the left or right out of the corners of your eyes. These are all tells which are little clues to your opponents that you have something to hide, whether it’s a good hand of cards or bad. It’s hard to do, but minimize your eye movements. Even squinting or excessive eyebrow raises can give away your reaction.
        6. 6 Wear sunglasses to conceal where you are looking. To protect yourself, wear sunglasses so you don’t have to worry about giving anything away with your eyes. Sunglasses won’t be a problem indoors if you have enough lighting.
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        1. 1 Relax your posture. Take a deep breath, raise your shoulders to your ears, and let them drop down. Arch your back and then let it settle into a natural, upright position. Shake out any tense limbs and roll your head around on your neck. All of these will help you get back to a proper posture and break up any tension you have built up that will reveal your anxiety.
        2. 2 Avoid fidgeting or adjusting your body or clothes. Whether you’re excited or nervous, small twitches are a big giveaway to your emotions. Take a mental note to see if you’re exhibiting any little movements that come from nervous energy. Pay attention to yourself to make sure you’re not demonstrating any of these tics:
          • Knuckle cracking
          • Fingernail biting
          • Tapping fingers
          • Leg cracking
          • Pulling on your collar or tie or shirt sleeves
          • Rubbing your face, hands together, or arms
        3. 3 Divert any tension to something else. Hold a stress ball or curl your hand into a fist to take any tension your body is storing. It can be hard to make yourself relax your entire body, so if you have to tense up, try allowing only one part of your body to hold that stress.
          • Conceal any movement or tension that you have. For example, hold your fist under the table or press your knees together to redirect any tension to where no one can notice it.
          • Don’t grip your cards too tightly or you’ll have white knuckles which will show.
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        1. 1 Speak with an even and balanced tone. Your voice is also capable of revealing your emotions. A quiver in your voice or jumping to another octave while speaking is an easy tell for your opponents. Clear your throat or take a full breath before speaking so that you have enough air to talk in a neutral register.
        2. 2 Keep your words few and simple. Stick to the facts of what’s happening and you won’t need too many words. Stumbling over your sentences, stuttering, or saying “um” too many times shows that you are nervous or unsure of yourself. Short, sweet, and to the point is how you should talk when in high-stress situations.
          • One-word answers are acceptable, especially in high-stakes games like poker. You need to concentrate more on the game anyways rather than shooting the breeze with your opponents.
          • If you’re playing a game with friends and there isn’t real money at stake, the atmosphere may be a little more relaxed so talking may more appropriate. Just watch yourself when examining your hand.
        3. 3 Nod your head if you aren’t comfortable speaking. When asked a question by the dealer or someone else, it’s acceptable to simply answer “yes” or “no” by nodding or shaking your head. If you don’t feel comfortable opening your mouth because you’re afraid that your voice will give you away, simply use relaxed body language to convey your answer.
          • To distract yourself and keep from speaking, chew gum or keep snacks at the table.
          • It helps to think about what you want to say before you speak. That way you can keep yourself from sounding excited or disappointed.
        4. 4 Confuse your opponents by talking constantly. To be completely counter-intuitive, instead of staying silent you can comment on every hand dealt or result. You can pepper in false reactions too to throw your opponents off. Constantly talking can also distract your opponents by diverting their attention from the game to whatever you’re saying.
          • Bluffing is an important part of poker. For example, you can receive a bad hand and pretend like you just got a winning hand.
          • If you’re consistently inconsistent with your reactions, no one will be able to guess your true reactions. This is much harder to do but can work in your favor.
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        Add New Question

        • Question How do I keep a poker face without being bored? Christopher Jones Community Answer To prevent being bored, keep reevaluating information while you are maintaining your poker face, such as facial feature positioning and blinking. Plus, you shouldn’t be bored as you should also be assessing other in-game things such as pot odds, implied odds, tells, assessing an opponent hand range, and even your next action depending on how your opponents act on the current street.
        • Question How do I keep a poker face all of the time, not just in specific situations? Practice a ton! If you spend a long time practicing your poker face, it will start to come naturally to you.
        • Question How do I keep an unreadable face while I am mad about something happening in the moment? Practice helps a lot! If you’re really mad, then try taking deep breaths and acting like you don’t care.

        See more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement

        • Try practicing in front of a mirror.
        • Practice keeping your reactions to a minimum, and then not at all.

        Thanks for submitting a tip for review! Advertisement

        You could think of mundane things like chores or a grocery list to distract yourself from the game and maintain a neutral expression. But be wary of getting too distracted that you don’t pay attention to the game.

        Advertisement Article Summary X Having a good poker face is all about looking relaxed and not showing emotion. Take a deep breath and relax your facial muscles to hide what you’re thinking and feeling. Make normal eye contact with people so you always seem confident.

        • Look straight ahead and avoid glancing around, which can be a sign that you’re hiding something.
        • In addition to keeping a blank face, you should also avoid any kind of fidgeting, like tapping your fingers, touching your hair, or cracking your knuckles, which can give away your emotions.
        • If you’re struggling to contain your nervousness or excitement, squeeze your fist under the table or press your knees together to relieve the tension.

        For more tips, including how to maintain a calm tone of voice while playing poker, read on! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 279,952 times.
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        Why do we need to avoid poker face?

        I coach many people who get feedback that they need to develop a “poker face”. They get comments such as, “Stop wearing your emotions on your sleeve.” Typically, the person I am coaching is told that it is too obvious when they are frustrated or upset.

        • They are called too passionate or too emotional.
        • Interestingly, they never get told to stop expressing positive emotions such as praise or gratitude.
        • But, their negative reactions are too obvious and upset people.
        • As a result, it is not unusual for someone I am coaching to ask me to help them develop a poker face.

        My advice? Don’t do it! There is a rule in communications (the 7/38/55 rule) based on research that shows that when we send others messages about our feelings and attitudes, 55% of the message is communicated through non-verbal gestures, 38% by the tone of our voice and only 7% through the words we say.

        • When your words are saying one thing and your non-verbal communications are saying another, not only do people “hear” what you really think through your body language and tone, but you will be perceived as inauthentic.
        • Your words and non-verbals will be in conflict.
        • And, since only 7% of your message is communicated through words, people will believe what they see, not what you say out loud.

        For example, when you meet with your boss and they greet you by saying, “Don’t worry, everything is fine” but they cannot look you in the eye, or they fidget in their chair, or their tone sounds like they are anxious, you sit there wondering what they are hiding.

        1. That is because our minds are programmed to infer intent from reading body language.
        2. And, it is hard to fake non-verbals.
        3. People in the CIA may learn to fake it through lots of training, but I doubt many executives have had that type of training.
        4. It is hard to fake it because others read our non-verbals based on numerous signals including: · Facial expression · Tone of voice · Rate and volume of speech · How we articulate our words · Intonation · Eye contact · Posture · Gestures · Micro-expressions · Touch Notice that facial expressions are just one of many ways we signal our intent.

        So, when you try to disguise your feelings with a poker face, your true feelings will leak out. People will know what you are really feeling. My Advice People get frustrated. People get upset. That is normal. And healthy. The problem is usually when strong feelings cut off discussion or make others feel judged or disrespected.

        The goal is not to avoid having strong feelings. The goal is to both acknowledge your feelings (be authentic) and allow other people to express their feelings too. For example, you can say: · “As you can probably tell from my face, I’m getting frustrated. But, I really do want to discuss this issue and hear what you have to say.

        So, let’s meet in 2 hours when I’m not so upset and I’m more likely to hear what you have to say.” · “As you can probably tell, I’m annoyed. That’s because when you come late to team meetings, it throws my entire agenda out of whack and I’m concerned we may not have time to discuss some critical issues.

        1. Help me understand.
        2. Is there something getting in the way of getting here on time? Is there some way I can be helpful so it doesn’t happen so often?” · “Folks, you may have noticed that I’ve become quiet, dropped out of the conversation and I’ve probably been rolling my eyes in disgust.
        3. I just feel that no one has responded to the concerns I just raised.

        Is there something I have done or said that has caused people to ignore my comments?” Think of an approach that feels comfortable to you and opens the door to a response. Express your feelings without judging others and invite others to express their thoughts.

        Acknowledging your feelings is not the problem. Making others want to avoid you is the problem. If you just keep a poker face, you are still upset, and you have done nothing to solve your frustration. In poker you are trying to hide your feelings so people cannot read you. You are trying to hide what is in your hand so they cannot predict your intentions.

        At work, others want to know your intentions. Otherwise, they may not trust you. In poker you are trying to win, not collaborate or gain trust. In poker you bluff, you misdirect, and hide what you know. You don’t want to be predictable. You want to fool people.
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