Keeping a poker face
In this video, Paul Phua explains why a good poker face has more to do with consistent actions than pretending to be a statue
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!
Good poker players will be looking for all sorts of tells from you to try to get a read on your poker strategy, and gauge how good your hands are. This is where keeping a poker face comes in: you want to make sure you are not giving off any tells.
That said, as Paul Phua explains in this video, the term “poker face” is a little misleading. Most people think it’s all about keeping very still. That’s one way of doing it, but it’s not the only way. In fact, when a very talkative player suddenly goes silent and rigid and puts on a “poker face”, that is a tell in itself! It often means he’s been dealt pocket Aces, or just flopped the nuts.
A poker face is about not giving out tells
Keeping a poker face doesn’t just mean trying to imitate a statue. Keeping a poker face is 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 act like a statue when he is at the poker table. Quite the opposite, in fact. Paul loves to chat and joke at the table during long cash poker sessions. After all, the reason why he is playing poker in the first place is to enjoy himself!
Be consistent in your actions
However, he does make sure that he is consistent in his actions. 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 take the pot. And he doesn’t suddenly go silent and stone-still when he was cheerful and chatty before.
Paul Phua says it is vital that you are consistent during Texas Hold ’Em poker games. Paul says that one of the things that amateur Texas Hold ’Em players often don’t manage to be is consistent in their play. For instance, if they have top pair with a good kicker, they often bet very quickly. With a hand that requires a little more thought, such as a flush draw, they might pause before acting.
This last point is also important in online poker. When playing poker online, you can whoop with delight when you get a great hand, and no one will know. But they may well notice if you take much longer to bet than usual.
Don’t let your actions give your poker hands away.
Please read our video script here on keeping aPoker Face.