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How To Master Your Poker Face And Get Ahead

Possessing an effective poker face can be a brilliantly useful tool for those hoping to get ahead in the world around them. Not just on the tables in a poker hall but in nearly every aspect of life, the ability to keep your peers guessing ensures that you are always in the driving seat for how an encounter pans out, meaning there is always an opportunity to get ahead.

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#1 More Than A Face

In reality, it is more than just the face. The body. The tone of the voice. The way chips are put into the pot. How you sit. Everything matters.

In social situations, in business, and in relationships, your poker face will come into play. What I discovered after many years in sales was to watch the other person's face to see what they were really thinking.

Contributor: Donna Blevins from

#2 Tells

Everyone has a tell, that means that if you think you don’t have a tell, it’s only because you haven’t found it yet. The most important thing is to relax. Of course, telling someone to relax is a practice in futility, because it only makes them more nervous. The reason that everyone has a tell is that poker is a game of reactions.

Contributor: Caleb Backe from

#3 “Play Your Opponent, Not Your Hand”

The reactions can be to the cards that you’re dealt, to other players getting the better of you and every other possible thing that can happen at the table. That’s why in poker the commonly given advice is to play your opponent not your hand. Think of it like a chess match, and the perfect hand as your opening to take an important piece off the board.

Contributor: Caleb Backe from

#4 Know Yourself

In order to maintain a poker face, you have to know yourself. As an example when you get that perfect hand you don’t want to appear excited, if you’re the type of person who will get excited, you may want to consider bringing your energy up for the whole game so that when you do get that perfect hand no one’s the wiser. The idea is if you know your tell than you’ll also know how to cover it with a whole bunch of superfluous behavior.

Contributor: Caleb Backe from

#5 Learn Your Neutral Face

To master your poker face, you must first find your neutral -- that place your face rests when you are displaying no emotions. Learn where that place is so you can go there regardless of what cards life has dealt you.

Find that place of sincerity, of truth. And be there. Be in the calm.

Contributor: Donna Blevins from

#6 Trust In The Right Decision

My poker coaching clients have told me that regardless of how big or small my stack is in front of me, my face convinces them that I have the winning hand.

I guess one of the biggest lessons I learned from poker is that my intention is to make the correct decision and to remain unattached to the outcome. That has become profoundly effective in life.

Contributor: Donna Blevins from

#7 Facial Flashes

There are seven universal emotions that are called facial flashes because an emotion can flash in as little as 1/25 of a second. I learned how to spot the poker tells at the table and that seamlessly transitioned and became life skill sets.

When we focus on our emotions, we display them on our face, and we give them strength. They get stronger and we get weaker.

Contributor: Donna Blevins from

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Written by James Metcalfe

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