Keeping a poker face
Keeping a poker face is so important, that one of the biggest selling pop stars of recent years wrote a song about it! But the best way to find out how to keep one isn’t by listening to Lady Gaga. It’s by listening to Paul Phua!
There’s a good reason why this is important. Good poker players will be looking for all sorts of tells from you as a beginner to the game to try to get a read on your poker strategy, or gauge how good your hands are. Keeping a poker face is the way to prevent that happening.
If you asked lots of people in the street what keeping a poker face meant, most people would probably say “it’s all about keeping very still”. That’s one way of doing it, but it’s not the only way. Keeping a poker face doesn’t just mean trying to imitate a statue. Keeping a poker face is just about eliminating, or reducing drastically, the number of tells that you give your opponents during casino and any other face to face games (for more on tells, please watch this video here). And there are lots of ways to skin that cat.
Paul Phua doesn’t do the robot or go down the statuesque route when he is at the poker table. Quite the opposite in fact. Paul’s advice isn’t to sit totally still. He does allow himself to move around, to talk to his opponents, to smile sometimes. After all, the reason why he is playing poker in the first place is to enjoy himself!
However, when he does all those things, he makes sure that he is consistent in his movements. He takes a similar amount of time to bet whether his hand is a good or bad one. He doesn’t put his chips in more aggressively when he is optimistic about his chance of winning than he does when he’s fearful that he won’t come out winning the pot. In short, he is consistent in what he does – the time it takes, the manner in which he does it, and the circumstances in which he does them.
Paul Phua says it is vital that you are consistent during Texas Holdem poker games. Paul says that one of the things that amateur Texas Holdem players often don’t manage to be is consistent in their play.
Don’t let your actions give your poker hands away.
Please read our video script here on keeping aPoker Face.