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Statistics: Expected Value

One of the most valuable things to learn for any serious poker player, is how to evaluate the value of your own hand. That doesn’t mean learning that two pair is better than one, or which cards have the best chances pre-flop. It means evaluating the odds of making what you consider to be the winning hand against the value of the pot. With a little bit of practice, you can get a gut feel for the odds, most players use “outs” to simplify it all. Then all that is left is to compare those odds to the possible winnings. 3 times your bet, 10 times your bet, what we call the “Pot Odds”. Every hand, every round if you are a true by the book player.

This is based on the statistical formula for Expected Value. Knowing the payoffs and the probabilities, it’s determining what is the actual value for a random selection from the known outcomes. A handy thing to know how to do.

So here is a video I made explaining Expected Value, it’s about ten minutes, and isn’t perfect, but I think it is a good primer on the subject.

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