Expected Value in poker

For the regular poker player, expected value (EV), is a common phrase, but what does it actually mean to the layman?

Basically, the expected value is the average amount that we stand to win or lose if we see the same situation, repeatedly, over a length of time. Let us use an example to show you exactly what we mean. http://betting.betfair.com/poker/

You are playing in a 200nl six max cash game for 100bb stacks. You are holding [Ad] [Ah] and you raise in early position to $6 and you receive one caller on the button. The flop is [6h] [5h] [Qc] and you bet $12 into the pot of $15 and your opponent moves all-in for $94.

Against your opponents stacking off range you have about 64% equity in your hand, so you call every single time. So you need to call $82 more to win a total pot of $164, here is how you calculate your EV. Fans of Betfair should remember this.

EV = (% you win x amount you win) – (% you lose x amount you lose)

So in our example the maths looks like this…

EV = (0.64 x 164) – (0.36 x 82)

EV = (104.96) – (29.52)

EV = $75.44

So on average your EV will net you a $75.44 win every time you call his raise in this exact situation. There are times that you will also lose $82 but you need to remember that this is irrelevant. The important thing to remember in poker is to make good +EV decisions all of the time, not to think about the winning and losing of money.

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