We’ve all heard the term ‘poker face’. It means having an expression that doesn’t convey any emotion. Someone with a poker face is able to appear completely neutral no matter the situation. A great poker face can come in handy at the poker tables, as you’re able to hide your emotions. Your face doesn’t change no matter the cards in your hand or on the table. It gives you the ability to appear uninterested, even when you’ve gone all-in with a great hand, or even a bluff. It affects how your opponents read you. Therefore, it affects how they choose to play their own hand. But where did the idea of a ‘poker face’ come from?
Long before Lady Gaga’s 2008 hit of the same name put the term into the public vernacular, ‘poker face’ was found in a poker rule book in 1874. The term was used to describe the blank expressions used by poker players to fool others at the table. Since then, ‘poker face’ has grown to see use outside of the poker world, referring to someone with a blank expression in any situation.
If your poker face isn’t great and you’re worried about your expressions giving you away, there are other ways to hide your feelings. Back in the Old West, poker playing cowboys would lower their cowboy hats to obscure their face. Today, players can use hoods, large hats, or sunglasses to achieve the same effect.
Glasses at the poker table first came into use in the 1970s. Pro player Johnny Moss was suspected of wearing tinted prescription glasses at the tables to hide his eyes. Reflective sunglasses became fashionable in the 1990s. While still in use today, they remain controversial. Some players think that only amateurs wear sunglasses. They believe that real pros have the perfect poker face and don’t need them. Others think that you should use the tools available to you. Some even think that sunglasses should be banned at professional tables because they’re unfair and bypass a large part of the game: being able to control your emotions.
With the holiday season approaching, you might find another use for your excellent poker face. Maybe you’re trying not to blow the surprise of an amazing gift that you’ve purchased for a loved one. Or maybe you’re trying to hide your true feelings about a not-so-great gift that you’ve received, Either way, we hope that you put your poker face to good use this Christmas!