Part of me feels like a traitor, like Im giving away secrets or something.  But the fact is, if theres a fish out there that found his way here, he obviously had enough determination to seek opinion, and if he didnt find it here, he would probably keep looking until he found it elsewhere.  And Im all for people getting better at poker.  Fish are great money, and theres tonnes of them, and I mean tonnes.. But often you lose a big pot to a fish where you wouldve won against a good player who had the same cards the fish did.  I almost prefer to play an average player to a fish because they know when to fold, they can be bluffed, most fish cant.   Average players may take notes on you and chances are theyre good notes.  Fish dont bother, or maybe they mark you down as one word : DONK  cause last time you played them you took them out with 87suited when they were bluffing ace king down three streets.

You know, pot odds and outs, fractions and ratio’s, all this isnt very NEW to me, Ive known about this stuff since I first started taking this game a bit more serious a couple years ago.  Ive read a few books.   I never mastered all the math, and I wouldnt even say I know it well.  But ive got the gist and I do apply it whenever I can.   I was reading a forum around christmas time, and I came across people referring to +EV, and I had no idea what it was.

I searched youtube and watched a couple of videos on it.  Again, I got the gist, but it was pretty greek.

EV started coming up more and more in front of me whenever I read anything.  I dont like being the guy who doesnt know something that other people know.   So I searched harder.  I read another book.  Its funny, Ive read 1, 2, 3, 4, … 5.  About 5 whole books on poker, and about 4 half books on top of that, and I have never come across EV

But Ive learned about it enough since then, and I am going to talk about it today.

We know about outs.  If I have 2 spades and theres two spades and a club on the flop, any spade will likely win the hand for me.  Since theres 13 spades in a deck of cards, and I can see four of them in my hand and on the flop, that means theres 9 spades left in the deck.  So that can be counted as 9 outs.  Maybe I have AK of spades and the flop is 4s 8s 9c.  So at this point I can count my A and my K as outs too, cause if I get one of those cards chances are I will have the best hand.   So I can add the 3 remaining aces and the 3 remaining kings to my outs, giving me 15 outs.

We know about pot odds.  If somebody bets 400 into a 1200 pot, the pot becomes 1600.  Now Im facing a bet of 400 to win 1600.  This is 4:1 pot odds, meaning it will cost me one unit to win 4 units.   Seems like a good deal right?  Well it depends on what your cards are 😉

Well if youve read a book, you know that to determine if the call is right or not, you compare the pot odds to the odds of getting or improving your hand.   If the chances of getting your hand are 3:1 and the pot odds are 5:1, the call is good.  Technically.  If the chances of getting your hand are 3:1 and the pot odds are 2:1, youre not getting a very good financial deal to play it out.

It seems pretty simple, but I still have trouble applying it when im under pressure, or when its a tricky situation and the clock is ticking.  I think about a lot of things during a hand, and sometimes theres just not enough time for math.   I want badly to incorporate this knowledge into more of my decisions.  So I researched and made myself a chart to stick on the wall behind my computer screen.

Basically it converts outs into percentages and ratios.  Its rounded off where it needs to be, but its basically this : if I have One out after the flop, Im 2% to make my out on the turn (46:1)  Another 2% to make it on the river(45:1).  Or if I went all in after the flop and guaranteed to see the turn and river, I would be 4% to make it, or 22.5:1

Now If I had 12 outs after the flop, I would be 26% to make it on the turn, or 3:1.  I would also be 26% to make it on the river, or 2.75:1.  Both turn and river together would be 45% and 1.25:1

My chart, I just slide down the left where the outs are, and then follow that row across to see my odds.  Finding out what your outs are is the easy part, as long as you remember not to count cards twice (like if your counting 9 spades, and any jack can help you too, be aware if youve already counted one of the jacks as a spade)

Thats what I would do first in a hand.  Count my outs after the flop.  Now it gets tricky when you face bets.  Lets assume you dont have my chart 😛  You know you have 9 outs, but how do you compare it to the pot odds?  Well, I dont know, a bunch of complicated math.  What I do know is this.  A quick way to figure out the percentage of making your hand is to multiply your number of outs by 2, and then add one.  Like if you had 9 outs, 9×2= 18.  18+1=19.  So you have a 19 percent chance of making your hand on the NEXT card.  Its not 100 percent accurate but its close enough.  Really.

Thats nice and everything, but your facing a bet of 600 into a pot that is 2000.  Now what?  Well, theres two ways to do this.   If you have a calculator, 2000/600 = 3.3  –  meaning your getting 3.3:1 pot odds.  If you dont have a calculator, try and break it down.  2000 to 600 can be 1000 to 300 right?  500 to 150.   250 to 75.  Thats about where I get stuck and round it off to 300 to 100 or 3:1  and as you can see 3.3:1 and 3:1  are slightly different.  If anyone has better advice Im all ears.

So now you know that you have a 19% chance of getting your card on the turn, and the pot is offering you 3.3:1 odds. You could even call it 3.5:1 odds.   Well 19 percent is an apple and 3.5:1 is an orange.  How do you make the connection?  Fucked if I know, but lets try.  Hey, Im learning too!

“The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.”  — Benjamin Disraeli

I dont know who that is but hes right, and the funny thing is I saw that quote here on wordpress after I published a post.

Well lets look at my chart.  9 outs = 19% on the turn to get your card.  Were looking to compare oranges, so beside my 19% is the numbers 4.25:1  Im not sure what to do with that, but heres something interesting.  The second column of 9 outs, is for the river card, and it sais 20% and 4:1

well theres a connection between 20% and 4:1  20 percent means I would win 20 times out of 100 and lose the other 80.  or I would win 10 times out of 50 and lose the other 40.    or I would win 1 time out of 5 and lose the other 4.

thats exactly what 4:1 is.  one win, 4 losses, in a total of 5.  Lots of people mix up ratio and fractions.  some people may think 4:1 can be written 1/4 .  actually its 1/5 .   Like if I was making a drink that was 4 parts cola, one part whiskey.  thats a total of 5 parts.  4:1

So ok.  Ive learned something already 🙂  the percentage of your outs need to be compared to 100.   For example, lets call it  X:1   the one represents your percentage, and X is the difference between your percentage and 100.

If I have a 25% chance, that leaves a 75% chance of losing.  If my 25% was ONE UNIT, the 75% is 3 UNITS, and together they equal 100.  So that is 3 times I will lose, one time I will win, making 4 games.  3+1.  or 3:1 or 1/4  🙂

Its a bit harder with something like 36% but the formula is there, So I m going to skip it.

So now everything is oranges.  Peachy!  For the hand in question, you have 9 outs which equals 19% on the turn, which is 4:25:1 odds to get your cards.   The bet youre facing is 600 to win 2000.  This equals 3.3:1 odds.  as you can see the odds of getting your cards are not very good compared to the pot odds.  You want the pot odds to be higher than your out-odds.  if the pot odds are 3.3:1, I would want a 3.2:1  chance of getting my hand in order to call properly.

I know, I know, Im sorry.  I titled this entry “Expected Value”  And I made you read all this shit you already knew 😉

Dont worry, weve arrived at expected value.  EV for short.   It is measured it plus or minus, or +EV, -EV

Much like pot odds, you want it to be in your favor, in other words, you want a +EV

Theres a lot of bullshit about rolling dice and buying beers when you search EV online.  I struggled with it for weeks before I understood it. Id like to thank my Girlfriend Anna for helping me understand the math, we broke it down over a few drinks together and I probably still wouldnt know very much about it without her.   I dont know why nobody recorded it in lamens terms, I guess cause they dont want to give away secrets? Well, Im going to make this easy.  Its quite simple.

Nevermind the bush, lets cut to the chase.  Youve got a good hand.  You have 12 outs.  The pot is 1500.  Buddy bets 500 and the action is to you.

If you look at 12 outs, you will see that it is about 25% to win.  My chart actually sais 26, but..  well go with 25.

Now when you break this down, simplistically, it means 25% of the time you will win the pot (2000)  and 75% of the time you will lose your calling bet (500)  remember your facing a decision to call 500 into a 2000 pot.

So lets do the math.  If you won the pot, $2000 25% of the time, 25 x 2000 = 50 000.

and if you lost your calling bet, $500, the other 75 percent of the time, you would lose 75 x 500 = 37 500

So if you played that scenario 100 times (always use 100 because percent is based on 100, right) you would win 50 000 and lose 37 500.  Grade 1 math will show you that thats a profit of $12 500.  Thus making it a +EV of 12,500

Pretty good EV in that situation.

Heres the formula :       Win % x Pot size = X        Lose % x Bet size = Y   If  X is a bigger number than Y, then the situation has a +EV.  The difference between X and Y will be your profit if that hand were played out 100 times.

Part of me is trying to believe that this method can replace pot odd fractions and ratios, cause that stuff is hard and confusing and time consuming.  With this method, ya its definitely one equasion to compare, and you likely need a calculator or atleast a scrap of paper or a PHD in math, but you dont need to piss around converting fractions and ratios and percentages.  And you dont even need a chart because I explained how easy it was to find your percentage – multiply your outs by two, and add one.

Pretty simple eh? Well theres one more thing I need to bring up regarding my chart.  You must have noticed that when I gave a percentage for an amount of outs, it was always for 1 card.  the turn card, or the river card.  And you can accurately ascertain a percentage by multiplying your outs and adding 1 for that one card.  But what if I wanted to know the percentage of both the turn and the river, like if I was contemplating going all in?

Well, Perusing down my chart I can see that the % of getting your card on the turn is almost exactly equal to the % of getting it on the river.  5 outs is 11 percent on the turn, and 11 percent on the river.  13 outs is 28 percent on the turn and 28 percent on the river.  Does this mean I can just add the percentages together to come up with the percentage of making my hand if I went all in after the flop with 2 cards to come?  no.  Why?  I dont know.  lets look.

For 2 outs, the turn is 4% and the river is 4%, and both turn and river is 8%, so that works here.

However, for 6 outs, I have 13% turn, 13% river, and 24% both.  Close, but no smoke.

10 outs.  21% turn, 21% river, 38% both.    14 outs.  30% T, 30% R, 51% both.

18 outs.  38%T, 39%R, 62%both.

So the first thing that comes to mind is multiplying my percentage times two, and subtracting.  But how much?  Well it seems the more outs I have, the more I subtract from the percentage.   For 6 outs, I take away 2.  For 10 outs I take away 3.  For 18 outs, I take away 15.  Well Im not sure of a pattern here, but luckily I have my chart 😉 

If you have input on this, lets hear it.  If you have input on anything here, speak up.  Remember, Im learning too, I could use some help!

If you want a copy of my chart send me an email or something.  Thanks.