Training Your Poker Face
Poker is a game of incomplete information. It is like a jigsaw with a myriad of missing pieces. The job of everyone sitting at the table is to find these pieces and complete the jigsaw.
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to you, the dog has eaten them, and so they will never be found. Instead, you need to study the jigsaw and use your imagination to complete the missing pieces.
You do this by observing the information present and then visualizing what the whole piece would look like.
Part of the information that is available to you is etched on the faces of the other players around the table - sometimes known as their poker face.
The way a player looks or acts will give you vital information to the potential power of their holdings. Here is a very simple example to demonstrate:
You are playing poker with a beginner. They look down at their cards and they instantly smile. You smile at them in acknowledgement of their smile and they start to smile even more.
Their next action is to bet and to bet big. This habit is not an easy one to lose, and some players always have a subtle smile sewn into their silhouette.
So, how can you create the perfect poker face? It’s all about habitual change. You need to acquire a behavioral change and follow it until it becomes involuntary.
The best way to do this is to act the same way every time. This way it becomes a habit.
Examples include never looking at your cards until it is your turn to act, picking a spot on the table to stare at when people are focusing on you, and never looking at the flop until it is your turn to move.