EV graphs

In this article we are going to illustrate situations where the result can be compared with the expected value. Expected value or EV is here a measure of how well the players perform.

The most efficient and best illustrated way to compare result and performance are by comparing graphs for result and EV. This will give you an overview in a glance over how lucky or unlucky you have been. Luck can never be measured to 100 percents in poker, but this will give you the best estimation you can get.

Here you can see a diagram with one graph showing result and another showing EV:


As you can see the curves sometimes deviates from each other. This happens then there's all in situations involved. In the middle of the diagram, the separating are most apparent: the player is losing a big hand in an even situation. This could, for example, be a standard coin flip situation, like A-K against T-T. At the end of the graphs, we can notice that the player have earned a little more money than he deserved.

Let's now look at a specific hand. In this situation, you is re-raising all-in with Q-Q and getting called by A-Js. You will be a favorite here with approximately 70%-30%. Although, in the graph, you will not see this in percent but money. If you and your opponent both have $50 in chips the pot will be $100. If we don't count in the rake or the chance of a split the value to be won here is $100.

Your EV in this situation is therefore 0,70*$100 = $70

In this case we get two different graphs depending on the outcome.

two graphs

In the first diagram, the favorite hand holds. However, as you can see the EV graph is some lower than the result graph. This is because the expected value was $70 and not $100. The EV is obviously to be seen in a long perspective.

In the second diagram the curves separates and we can for sure say you was a bit unlucky in this situation.

This is a tremendous way to analyse your game and find out how well you perform in relation to your result. Have you just been lucky or should you have won even more? One another thing is that you never must be unaware of the real circumstances. Then players face lots of bad beats some beginning to mistrust the poker room for giving them a fair game. With an EV graph you can see the fact – maybe you, in fact, were very unfortunate or maybe your losses weren't so unrealistic after all.

To get access to EV graphs you need a poker software, like Poker Tracker or Hold'em Manager. These kinds of software can automatically transform your hand history into EV graphs and lot's of other things.

Related article:EV (expected value)