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Holdem Blackjack – What is Expected Value (EV)?

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Knowing your Expected Value (EV) in Holdem Blackjack for certain situations is important when you are faced with difficult decisions. The same difficult decisions crop up repeatedly in Holdem Blackjack. Once you learn the EV for a certain situation, you’ll start to instinctively know the right play when faced with the same decision in future games.

What is Expected Value (EV)?

The Expected Value (EV) of a bet is how much you will win in the ‘long run’ by making that bet. To calculate your EV, you take each possible outcome and multiply it by the probability of that outcome happening. You then add the numbers of each outcome to find your EV. You’ll end up with either a positive number or a negative number. Obviously, if your EV is positive, the bet is worth making. For example, let’s say you were offered a bet that had both a 50% chance of winning and losing. Every time you are a winner, you win $20. Every time you are a loser, you lose $10. Your pot odds would be 2-to-1 ($20:$10) for an even money chance. You should, of course, take the bet. The following EV formula confirms this:

Holdem Blackjack   What is Expected Value (EV)?

EV = (probability to win * amount to win) + (probability to lose * amount to lose)

EV = (0.50 * $20) + (0.50 * -$10) = ($10) + (-$5) = $5

So if you were to make the same bet hundreds or thousands of times you would expect to make a $5 average profit every time you made the bet.