What are the steps to compute Expected Value (EV) in gambling?

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6 months ago

I’ve been playing poker for a while now, but I’ve realized I always play by instinct rather than statistics. I’ve heard a few pros talk about the concept of Expected Value or EV in making their decisions at the table. Can someone break down the steps to calculate Expected Value in gambling scenarios? I guess a practical example would be largely helpful to understand the concept better. Also, how important is this calculation, and is it used widely by professional gamblers?

Answers:

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6 months ago

Calculating Expected Value (EV) in gambling scenarios involves figuring out the various potential outcomes, then weighing their likelihood and potential payout. For instance, if you’re on the river in poker and considering whether to call a bet, you’d estimate how likely your opponent is to have each possible hand, multiply the probability of each hand by the payout if that hand is their actual hand, and sum up those products.

EV serves as a statistical means to measure the average expected gain or loss of an action, in this case, your call. Professional gamblers do rely heavily on EV in their calculations, it’s an essential metric for them to make informed decisions. In the long run, plays with a positive EV will be profitable, and plays with a negative EV will lose money.

I remember when I started using EV in my poker games, it brought a significant change in my gameplay. Do you also play other casino games or just poker? Do you think calculating EV might influence your decisions in those games as well?

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