What is EV?
Expected Value (EV) stands for the average outcome of a given situation when the situation depends on an uncertain event.
We've encountered many people who did not know why EV is so important in the poker world. Some of them argued it's pointless to show expected results because they are not the real results of the player.
You cannot pay your bills using your expected winnings, that is true, we are not trying to deceive you. The cold, hard cash in our hands is needed for our survival.
So why are we using $EV in almost every article you've ever read on our site? Let us explain to you.
Why poker expected value?
Expected value is acknowledged and used by every good poker player. This statement may look bold in your eyes, maybe even a little untrue - you know we are not in touch with every regular in the world. But this is something that separates sharks from the fishes.
Poker is a game of incomplete information. There is no way we could know what our opponent is holding or what cards will hit on the later streets. We may look out for particular habits, emotions, and behaviours of our rivals, but most of the time we cannot be 100% sure of our findings.
Let's move to an excellent example of this. You are on the river with a top pair top kicker and stack to pot ratio of one. Your opponent has the same stack and is firing a third barrel all-in on you. You need 33% equity to call. He may have better holdings, but there are also some missed draws in his range. You call, and he shows you two pairs. Does it mean anything?
It may and it may not. What you do next is to check this decision by using an equity calculator, contact better players, and set various ranges on your opponents. And let's say that you always get a profitable call in our made-up situation. So, what will you do when it happens again? Will you fold because you saw someone with better cards than yours, or will you call because that's just a profitable play?
Folding is a result oriented play and is not a sign of a great poker player. That's why we use expected value in this situation and we strive to play plus EV poker.
It's pure math
Let's say we are 100% sure about an individual habit of our opponent. We know he is donk-shoving draws on the flop and we are there holding the nuts. We are snap calling and making the right decision; there is no way we could fold there. We play equity poker.
But guess what - our rival is not dead! If we are not already holding something better than flush or straight, he still has about 25%-40% equity, and we have no idea what cards will appear on the turn and river.
In the long run, we will win a lot on this play. But you may find yourself with a losing streak, when your opponents are hitting everything, even with that 25% equity. "Poker is all about that", you may say. However, your mind will notice that misfortune, and make you mad at your luck. But do you still fold your nuts next time it happens?
There is a lot of variance at Spin & Go's, and one day we will write about that too. We've seen awful players with positive results, and we've seen a lot of good players with negative results.
We will always choose the latter because it's more profitable even from a business point of view. You bet on the winners; you do not pray to God for good results. People that are making the right decisions at the poker tables have a bigger chance to make a profit. It's all about equity poker.
Remember, poker is a game of little edges. You are so rarely ahead by a significant margin. Most of the
Not fair? It's all about positive expected value in poker
Is it unfair for the players who are consistently making profitable decisions and yet, they are struggling to make a profit?
Sure, it is unfair, and we may talk about other unfair situations in life, making the point that life is mostly not fair
So, what is EV? Expected results are also something to hold on
It's also a reliable representation of someone's skill. You know that someone is a good player if he made $20,000 in EV. That's a sign of someone crushing his opponents, getting deep into the game, knowing what to do in a lot of situations, playing plus EV poker.
When you are against such a guy, you know it will be a lot harder to beat him. No single No-limit Hold'em EV chart will help you.
Why $EV, not cEV?
You may wonder, why we are often using $EV instead of cEV.
$EV shows you your expected value in dollars while cEV shows you how many chips you are expected to win.
Let us give you another example. You are on a date, and this conversation starts:
"What do you do for a living?", she asks.
"I am playing poker, a format called Spin & Go's.",
"I do not know this game. Can you win money there?"
"Yes, last month I made 52
"So, you are playing for chips, not real money?"
And that is confusing! If she were a poker player, she might also ask you, on what stakes did you make 52 cEV/game? After many changes of rake and differences in stakes, it's not so clear how much you are winning. 52
We know the answer, and we are not going to share it, you may try to calculate it. But now you can
As we said before - it does not represent the actual results of the players, but his real skill. And that's what we are interested in.
The variance easily distorts actual results. You never know how much you will win or lose, but you may do everything in your power to win the most and take control of the areas you actually can control - your decisions at the tables.
Losing money may happen to you even if you are a winning player. We have many people
Smart Spin has an infinitive bankroll, and we do not care if you got stuck in a losing streak. If you are a winning player, we will bet on you.