Having a poker face is easier said than done as per many people. Well, partly, it is true but with the right procedure, control of emotions, and practice, you can easily master this very artful style of deception.
The Poker Face, How to Do It?
Actually, in this article, we will break down the steps into three parts – Preparing your face, Develop the right body language, and Keep your voice tone neutral. With that said, here are details.
Prepare Your Face
First is to prepare your face before any interactions will be made. You can do this by relaxing your face because your face is the very first thing that your opponents are going to look at most of the time. Learning how to control your facial expressions is good start in developing a good poker face. For you to do this you must clear your mind of anything that would bother you or for those things that are bothering you, try to think that they are under your control so you can gain more confidence and relaxation.
Next is to maintain eye contact with your opponent. This way, you are showing a high level of confidence and a steady emotion on the game. People can’t read players who look straight in the eyes of their opponents in a neutral manner. This may take some time to perfect but this is really a great help in setting up your stand.
Related to maintaining eye contact
Try to blink to make everything as natural as possible. Looking at someone without blinking is like trying to intimidate or scare someone and that shows a lot of emotions. The main principle of the poker face concept is to look at someone normally without showing any stress or excitement.
Another facial component that you need to control is your lips and jaw. Always keep them relaxed and out of any stress (like after you have run a long mile then you suddenly open you mouth to grasp for air). Also avoid grinding your teeth or playing with your lips a lot. This only shows uneasiness on the situation.
Next, never look in all directions obviously. Just look straight forward and focus on the game. Circling your eyes around may mean that you are looking for something, maybe a good card, which would make you more comfortable in the situation.
Lastly, wear sunglasses if needed. This can hide your eyes and some facial muscles that can show your emotions throughout the game.
Develop the Right Body language
Aside from improving your facial expressions, part of having a deceptive or neutral showmanship is with the right body language. Start with the correct posture by relaxing how you sit. Before you sit, take a deep breath to ease out some of the stress. After that, sit straight and never arch. Sit naturally as if you are sitting in your home porch. Also, make sure that your limbs are not stressed so look for the right position that will make everything comfortable.
Next, avoid adjusting or fixing your clothes unless there is a very big need to. These gestures only show uneasiness and nervousness. Always mind your tiny movements such as biting your fingernails, tapping fingers, touching your face or other parts, and loosening your shirt. These movements definitely show stress.
If you are having a hard time controlling your emotions, divert it into other things. You may bring a stress ball for you to squeeze but make sure that it is not visible to the others.
The Neutral Voice
This is the last part of our tips for you to develop a good poker face. Having a neutral voice is actually quite easy. Just think of you conducting a lecture in college. You can start with doing even tones (or be monotonous). Make sure the rise and fall of the pitches are minimal for this shows a lot of emotions.
For the choice of words, keep them simple and few. Remember the saying, “less talk, less mistake” because this can be applied here. Your choice of words is also a reflection of who you are.
Lastly, you can create confusions by talking from time to time but in a consistent manner. This means that what emotion or mood you have started during the start of the game must be the same all throughout the game. This way, opponents can’t read how you react on certain rounds.