poker face

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poker face

A blank, emotionless expression that gives no indication of one's thoughts or intentions. Poker players use such an expression so as not to give their opponents any clues about which cards they are holding. I kept looking over to see if she was impressed, but she wore a poker face throughout the performance. Now, make sure you keep your poker face on for these negotiations—we can't let them know where we stand.
See also: face, poker

poker face

A visage lacking any expression that can be interpreted, as in Whenever Betty attended one of her children's performances, she managed to keep a poker face . This term alludes to the facial expression of a poker player who is expert at concealing his feelings about his hand. [c. 1880]
See also: face, poker

poker face, a

Total lack of expression; deadpan. This term comes from gambling, where the astute player tries not to betray the quality of his or her hand by remaining expressionless. Originating in the late nineteenth century, the term was transferred to other areas in which individuals tried hard not to betray their thoughts. C. E. Mulford used it in his western novel, Rustler’s Valley (1924): “He glanced around the circle and found poker faces.”
See also: poker
References in periodicals archive ?
FRESH from his humiliation on Celebrity MasterChef, Michael Buerk gamely subjects his poker face to the fierce scrutiny of opposing team captain David Mitchell, and this week's guest panellists Anton du Beke and Danny Baker.
Binder also happens to be one of the more respected players in New York City's residential real estate community, a realm of suits and poker faces.
ON CUE: Higgins' POKER FACES: Tommy Tiernan and Ken Doherty