Lady Gaga's Song "Poker Face" Isn't About Playing Cards – Here's What It's Actually About

The lyrics to Lady Gaga's 2008 'Poker Face' have been misinterpreted for years. Here's what the song is actually about, as told by Gaga herself.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Oct. 2 2023, Published 5:08 p.m. ET

lady gaga in las vegas tiktok screenshot
Source: tiktok / @jomaticaa

It’s official! My childhood has been ruined. I have been wandering through life not knowing the true meaning of this 2008 banger. Ever heard "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga?

This may be hard to swallow but "Poker Face" is not about playing poker whatsoever — and it is peppered with sexual innuendos. Truthfully, this is almost as bad as when we found out Metro Station's "Shake It" wasn't about dancing. Keep scrolling as we unpack the true meaning of "Poker Face."

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lady gaga
Source: getty images

Lady Gaga in 2008

Lady Gaga just explained the real meaning of "Poker Face," and it's dirty.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, a poker face is "an expression on someone's face that does not show what they are thinking or feeling."

It obviously goes hand in hand with playing cards as you never want to make it obvious to your opponent what you’re actually thinking. That said, many of us assumed "Poker Face" about playing cards. In fact, she is even seen playing cards in the music video.

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But lo and behold: Lady Gaga’s "Poker Face" is actually an anthem about having sex that celebrates bisexuality and suggests that women having sex with women is better than having sex with men.

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While performing the song during her Jazz and Piano residency at the Dolby Live Theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas in Sept. 2023, Lady Gaga let fans in on this secret.

“Bet you didn’t know that this song was about sleeping with men and thinking about women the whole time," she said, adding "Now that’s a good poker face."

Later in the performance, the pop star started talking as if she was with a male partner in the bedroom. “Baby right there” and “Mmhmm, yeah, it’s so good," she said with a hint of sarcasm.

She also made some changes to the post-chorus hook. Instead of singing “p-p-p-poker face,” she said “f--k her face” and “I’m f-----g her face” instead.

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In a TikTok video filmed during the performance, fans were shocked to learn that they had totally misinterpreted the song's lyrics and meaning. Comments included: "I thought she was talking bout cards" and "I'm just realizing she's not really saying poker face."

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tiktok comments poker face
Source: tiktok

Lady Gaga actually revealed there was an explicit lyric in "Poker Face" in 2009, but apparently none of us were listening.

As aforementioned, Lady Gaga sang the lyrics "f--k her face" during "Poker Face" while performing in Vegas in Sept. 2023. This wasn't just an edit for the performance, though. The explicit word has actually been a part of the lyrics since the song's inception, but it went undetected. The majority of radio stations and fans believed she was singing "p-p-p-poker face."

But a performance at Wango Tango in Irvine, Cali. in 2009, Lady Gaga confirmed that the lyrics were "f--k her face."

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She pointed out that only one radio station actually heard the real lyric she was saying and took the liberty of censoring it on air.

"KIIS FM is the smartest radio station in the whole world and I'll tell you why. Because this song, it got played all over the world on tens of thousands of radio stations, but KIIS FM was the only one that said I had to censor my lyric because they thought I might be saying something bad," she said.

Lady Gaga added: "And out of all the radio stations in the world that played this record over and over, KIIS FM was the only one that was right and caught on."

Wow, she's good.

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