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Expected Value

What is 'Expected Value'?

In gambling and especially in video poker, the 'expected value' is the average amount returned to the player when they play a particular hand. The value is calculated based on a complex system of current odds on each hand and usual stakes placed by players, along with the game's individual 'expected return'. Players can access software which analyses their play and advises on these 'expected values', and many video poker games provide details of the 'expected value' within the game's interface. Understanding these values can help a player make better decisions during their games and give them a stronger chance of playing a winning hand and the jackpot.

'Expected Value' Explained

In mathematics and statistics, 'expected value' (EV) is a prediction on the value of an outcome, based on the sum of all potential values multiplied by their own chance of occurring. It is closely linked to the 'expected rate' (ER), which is the average value returned from all likely outcomes. In gambling, EV can be calculated by dividing the ER by the coin bet value used. In single coin bet scenarios, EV and ER will show the same value. The terms are commonly interchanged, although they are actually two separate statistics which affect each other directly.In video poker and blackjack games, the 'expected value' is often provided for the player by gaming analysis software. It shows the likely return for any particular play, helping the player calculate their chances and make intelligent decisions which are likely to give them a payout. Such software is commonly used by poker players and it might also be available within the game's interface directly. The values shown are averages and might not be entirely representative, but they give the player a good idea of what they might win from each hand they could play.
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