The fun in playing poker is winning. If poker players want to win, they’d better master the art of keeping poker faces.
A poker face is one that shows no emotion. No joy at receiving a tremendous hand. No sadness when picking up a dreadful hand. Otherwise, the other players will know what kind of hand the player has, and fold or raise accordingly. If the player wants to win at poker, developing a poker face is mandatory.
If players smile, or even excessively move their bodies to express joy when they get a great hand, chances are they won’t be winning that day.
On the other hand, revealing untrue emotions is not considered cheating. So it’s all right to smile when holding an awful hand. Or looking glum with the best hand ever. How does a player develop a poker face that reveals no emotions whatsoever? After all, human beings, alone among living creatures, have expressive facial features that can reveal exactly what they are feeling.
To develop a poker face, it is necessary for poker players to practice suppressing their emotions in front of a mirror, or at least to disguise them. While players must play ethically and never cheat, the key to successful poker playing can rely on good acting. Poker players must not show their true emotions. Why would anyone drop money into a pot if someone else has a better hand?
Not only must poker players know how to disguise their emotions, they must know how to display emotions that are opposite to what they are actually feeling. If they have a great hand, they are allowed to stare glumly into space. They are also allowed to smile when they have an awful hand. This kind of deception is not considered cheating.
Poker players may not always win, but at least they can be winning actors.