Mathematics in poker is an essential part of this card game. While it is true that this is a game in which luck plays a big part, the truth is that doing the maths and crunching the numbers can be very useful in many cases. The Expected Value Poker (EV) is one of the formulas that you must include in your strategies. The reason: because it offers you very valuable information to make your decisions in special situations, as we will see below. The connection between the cards and the numbers you calculate can be seen in several directions, depending on the formulas you apply. Especially when it comes to online poker tournaments – regardless of whether they are Sit & Go, MTT or Cash Games.

Here’s everything you need to know about Expected Value Poker – read on to keep up to date with the latest strategies and formulas you need to be a champion at this game of chance and strategy!

What is Expected Value Poker?

Expected Value Poker is a concept that means “expected value”. It refers to the amount of chips or money that we should win or lose according to the statistics on a given hand. In other words, it is used to calculate the average amount of money we would win or lose on a specific play – taking into account the money in play and the money we put in (stack), as well as the odds of winning or losing on a specific hand. Expected Value Poker is often very useful when playing poker games such as Texas Hold’em or Omaha – the two most famous poker variants in the world. However, the only drawback is that it must be calculated for each specific situation, something it shares with Poker Equity -which is also very useful for shaping our poker strategy and avoiding missteps-. With the latter we can know the times when a player has a bigger advantage over the rest.

Formula for calculating the Expected Value Poker

The formula for calculating the Expected Value Poker is quite simple, however, you may need to make use of a pen and notebook for your first calculations. You will also need to take into account the odds of winning a hand. But stop! Let’s take it step by step so there’s no confusion. Here is the formula: [(probability of winning/100) x amount you can win] – [(probability of losing/100) x amount you can lose].

Example for calculating Expected Value Poker

Let’s look at it with an example so that there are no doubts when it comes to calculating it when the opportunity presents itself. Imagine you are playing a hand in which you are the big blind with an amount of €50 and one of the players makes an aggressive all-in preflop move opening up a pot of €100. Suppose you have a stack of 10 big blinds and you have a pair of J + J in your hands with a 77% chance of winning. Bear in mind that if you win, you would win €200 and if you lose, you would lose the 50 from the big blind and the 50 from the call. Well, if we apply the formula to these values, we would get the following result: 131. This means that the decision to see the call in is the right one, but if it is negative, it would be advisable not to continue with the duel.

Odds of winning a hand

There are several charts on the internet and in poker manuals that can help you determine the odds of winning a hand in poker. Keep in mind that these vary depending on the phase (preflop, flop, turn or river), as well as the number of active players. It also depends on the cards you have in your hand and the type of poker game you are playing. These tables should be with you whenever you are playing an online poker game and should be consulted when necessary.

Other things that influence Expected Value Poker

You should bear in mind that in poker there is always a factor of luck, so the predictions are not always accurate. However, the Expected Value Poker is very effective when calculated over the long term. There are other aspects that play a big role in whether or not the predictions come true, such as the type of opponent. Not all players use the same strategy or play as aggressively as the one mentioned in the example. There are cases and cases, and with experience you will know how to identify them. The EV should not be calculated in all situations, we know that it is a tedious process. However, our recommendation is that you do it when the game is difficult or when you are playing to stay in the pot -for example, in MTT tournaments or Sit & Go tournaments in general-.

Is it effective to calculate Expected Value Poker?

Although you may not be giving much thought to this formula, you should be aware that it is very effective when you are doing your strategy over the long term. The EV varies constantly depending on the hand you are in, but the strategies of the same player – for example – are usually the same, so you will eventually figure it out if you make good use of this formula. It is very effective to always keep this calculation in mind and our recommendation is that you do it, especially when facing very aggressive players who open bets with big pots and who play more desperately. It is true, however, that the maths may not be as effective when your opponent is soft and calculates all his moves.