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The idea behind the song was to be with a man but fantasizing about a woman, hence the man in the song needs to read her "Poker Face" to understand what is going through her mind.According to Kerri Mason of Billboard, the composition "carr[ies] the pleather-and-sequins vibe of the downtown New York scene out of the underground and onto the FM dial without losing its smut and sass." According to Daily Star, the chorus repeats two alternating lyrics.
Gaga stated in an interview that "Poker Face" was written by her as a pop song and was a tribute to her "rock 'n' roll boyfriends".Upon release, "Poker Face" received critical acclaim.Priya Elan from The Times, in a review for The Fame, said that "Poker Face" was one of the finest moments of the album with its "love-as-card-game cheek".'Poker Face' keeps the motors humming as everyone waits for the next step forward from Lady Gaga." Chris Williams of Billboard also gave a positive review of the song saying, "Once again, hooks are aplenty, with '80s-inspired synthesizers, robotic verses and a warm, sunny hook in the chorus, which is even more addictive than the previous single ('Just Dance')...With a focused artistic vision, a swagger in her interview style and above all, a fantastic collection of diverse pop nuggets, Gaga is playing her cards right—and "Poker" is another obvious ace." Evan Sawdey from Pop felt that "Poker Face" along with the track "Paparazzi", duplicate much of the same "glitzy territory that previous single 'Just Dance' had covered, but never once does it feel like Gaga is deliberately repeating herself." "Poker Face" became Gaga's second consecutive number one song on the Hot 100, marking the first time a new artist has had their first two charting singles hit number one on the Hot 100 since Christina Aguilera did so with "Genie in a Bottle" and "What a Girl Wants" in 1999–2000.