25 June 2023


Tips & Tricks

The Concept of Expected Value in Gambling: An Essential Guide

In gambling, the Expected Value (EV) is a critical mathematical concept that indicates the average outcome of a scenario if repeated multiple times. It's a key component in probability theory, useful for predicting potential wins or losses per bet in various games. The EV varies across casino games due to differences in rules, odds, and payouts. While skill-based games like Blackjack and Poker might offer better EVs with strategic play, luck-based games like Roulette often have less favorable EVs. Understanding and calculating EV is vital for determining a game's long-term profitability. A positive EV suggests potential profit over time, while a negative EV indicates likely losses.

When it comes to gambling, understanding the mathematics behind the game can provide a significant advantage. A central concept in this respect is the Expected Value (EV). Essentially, the EV can guide gamblers to make informed decisions, potentially turning the odds in their favor.

Expected Value is a mathematical term used to describe the average outcome of a given scenario when the scenario is repeated multiple times. It is the core concept in probability theory and is exceptionally useful in various fields, including gambling. The expected value gives gamblers an idea of their potential win or loss on each bet they place.

To calculate the expected value in gambling, you need to multiply each possible outcome by the likelihood of that outcome, then sum up those values. However, keep in mind that the actual outcome of a single bet can deviate significantly from the expected value as it’s a measure of the long-term average.

Casino GameExpected Value
European Roulette-2.73%
American Roulette-5.26%
Blackjack-0.5% on average, varies with rules
Baccarat Player Bet-1.2%
Baccarat Banker Bet-1.05%
Caribbean Stud Poker-5.22%
Casino Hold’em-2.16% on average, varies with rules
CrapsFrom -1.36% to -14.35%

The expected value varies from one casino game to another, as each game has different rules, odds, and payouts. Games like Blackjack and Poker are skill-based to some extent and offer better expected value if you employ strategies. In contrast, games like Roulette and Slot machines are more reliant on luck, and the expected value is usually less favorable to the player.

Understanding and calculating the expected value is vital in gambling as it helps determine the long-term profitability of a game. If a game has a positive expected value, it means the player will, on average, make a profit over numerous games. On the other hand, a negative expected value indicates that the player is more likely to lose money over the long run.