Poker expected value is a critical concept if you want to boss it on the felt.
We all know that poker is about much more than luck. Strategy and skill play a huge part too. And understanding expected value is kind of at the heart of every good card player’s success.
Picture yourself at a poker table, chips in hand. Your decision making isn’t just about the cards you hold. It’s about calculating your expected value. In simple terms, EV is the average amount you can expect to win or lose on a bet. It’s your ticket to making the best decision based on the odds.
How does poker expected value work?
Suppose you’ve got a solid hand and you’re deciding whether to call a bet or not. To calculate EV, you first have to consider the size of the pot, the amount to bet and your chance of winning. If you’ve got a positive poker expected value, it’s a good bet. If it’s negative, think twice.
Still confused? Let’s break it down.
There’s £100 in the pot.
Someone’s bet £10.
Based on the cards you have, your chance of winning is 50%.
So that EV calculation would be (50% * £100) – (50% * £10). That works out as a positive EV of £45. And that makes it a good bet.
Maths not your strong suit? We’d suggest playing around with an online calculator like this one to get a feel for how EV works.
It’s not just about one hand
But understanding EV goes beyond one hand or session. It’s about the long game. And that’s the game every poker player should play. Even the best players face losses. And there are always bad beats. But with a positive poker expected value mindset, you know you’ll come out ahead in the long run. So do yourself a favour and make the decisions that pay off over time, not just in the moment.
And it’s not just about maths either
Just as important as working out the maths is reading the table. Understand your opponents and figure out what their tendencies are. Are they aggressive or passive? This information feeds into your EV calculation, letting you make more informed decisions.
Now let’s talk about implied odds. Put simply, they’re a part of EV that considers future betting. Say you’ve got a drawing hand. The current pot odds might not justify a call. But if you factor in potential future bets, the poker expected value might become more positive. It can be tricky to judge, but with practice, you’ll get better at it. And this foresight is the key to mastering EV.
It’s also vital to adjust your EV calculations based on the situation. No two poker games are the same. Your approach should change depending on the dynamics of the table and your position. Flexibility and adaptability are crucial in any game of poker, even when you’re an expected value convert.
And of course, if you’re looking for somewhere to practice your expected value calculations, a great place to go is bet365. Plus if you’re a new player, we have this shiny new bet365 bonus code that you can use to get a brilliant welcome offer.