pokerev – Poker EV stands for Poker Expected Value and is used by any serious poker player.  The EV is the expected return on a bet in the long term.

Poker Expected Value

The way that we win money in poker is by making plays that have the best expected value. This means making the play that wins the most money in the long run or loses the least amount in the long run. If you practice playing hands that are +EV then you will see that you are winning money in the long run by making those plays.

Poker EV = ($pot)(Probability of Win) – ($to call)(Probability of Loss)

When you are evaluating the expected value of each play you need to think about the expected value of each other play as well. Let’s say you have a $4 +EV to check/raise an opponent as opposed to a $2 +EV if you bet out at them. Both of these plays will make you more money, but check/raising will win you a significant amount of more money. Spotting these poker ev situations is vital in pot limit and no limit games, and even more important in fixed limit games.

Roll the Dice

If someone said that they would give you 7 – 1 odds to roll a 2 on a 6 sided die would you do it? You should, because it is a +EV play. You have a 1 out of 6 chance of rolling a 2 so your odds to roll are 1/6. This means that you have 5/6 of the chance to lose this situation. It might seem like you are taking a bad bet here since there are 5 other numbers that you can roll that lose, but it isn’t based on the odds that you are given. You will get paid 7 times the bet for every time you roll the 2. So if you roll 6 times you will lose 5 bets for a total of 5 bets lost. You will also roll a 2 one out of 6 times and earn 7 bets for that. So you will lose 5 bets and win 7 bets with a total of +2 for this investment. Hopefully this helps you to understand expected value a little better.

Expected Value in Poker

Now you might have noticed that you don’t roll any dice in poker. You do play your odds in poker though. Let’s say you are on the flop with a flush draw. There is $100 in the pot and your opponent bets out $50. It would cost you $60 to possible win $160 so your pot odds are 3 – 1. Since your flush draw will only hit 1/3 of the time this is a -$20 EV play. If in the same situation your opponent bets out $40 then it is then +EV to call because you are getting over 3 – 1 odds for your call.  In this situation you will win $20 in the long run.  Knowing the amount of pokerev in a situation is a huge advantage.

Another thing that you have to take into consideration when thinking about expected value in poker is the probability that you will get your opponent’s entire stack. If your opponent is aggressive and likes to steal blinds, then it is a –EV play. Your chances of making a set on the flop are only around 12%. 88% of the time you miss and have to fold which means that the aggressive player has stolen from you successfully. When you hit and start to show aggression back they are more than likely going to give up the hand and you won’t win much. Since you will not even make your hand close to 90% of the time this means that 90% of the time trying to mine a set here loses money. Then the 10% of the time that you do hit you would have to get more than 9 – 1 to make up for it and your opponent folds most hands they are raising with here when aggression is shown. You never really want to play against a player unless you are getting at least 16 – 1 to play for the size of their stack.