Blank expression

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For the song "Blank Expression" by the Specials, see The Specials (album).
A woman with a neutral expression

A blank expression, also known as a poker face, is a facial expression characterized by neutral positioning of the facial features, implying a lack of strong emotion. It may be caused by a lack of emotion, depression, boredom, slight confusion (such as when someone refers to something which the listener does not understand), or may be a deliberate attempt to disguise one's emotions, such as when playing the card game poker.[1][2]

The term poker face was used outside the game of poker by American sportswriters in the 1920s to describe a competitor who appeared unaffected by stressful situations (an important skill when playing poker for money, to avoid giving your opponent any tells about your hand).[3] It is often used by mental health professionals to describe certain patient behaviors, and by marketers and salespeople during business negotiations.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Judi James (2007). Poker Face: Mastering Body Language to Bluff, Read Tells and Win. Da Capo Press. p. 17. ISBN 1-60094-051-X. 
  2. ^ Richard D. Harroch; Lou Krieger (2011). Poker For Dummies. For Dummies. p. 22. ISBN 1-118-05358-3. 
  3. ^ Joey Lee Dillard (1985). Toward a social history of American English. Walter de Gruyter. p. 169. ISBN 3-11-010584-5. 
  4. ^ Arnold S. Goldstein (1981). The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling a Business. Penguin Group USA. p. 154. ISBN 0-452-26111-2. 
  • Jan Hargrave (2010). Poker Face: The Art of Analyzing Poker Tells. Kendall Hunt Pub Co. ISBN 0-7575-7789-X. 
  • David Naimark; Ansar Haroun (2011). Poker Face in Mental Health Practice: A Primer on Deception Analysis and Detection. W W Norton & Co Inc. ISBN 0-393-70699-0.