Expected Return and Value

For those who are unfamiliar with expected value, it refers to the average return on hold that can be anticipated when playing a certain hand. Once you’re interested in playing video poker successfully, you will also come across the term expected return.

If you want to enjoy a winning gambling experience, you should be aware of the expected value and expected return for each winning hand. By knowing these numbers, you can make better decisions before the second draw in video poker.

Back in the days, mathematicians who were interested in gambling did spend a lot of time calculating the different probabilities that apply to all winning hands in video poker. They worked out how many regular cards were required and how many wilds would be needed to make a game fair. However, including jokers and deuces changed everything–and it made the process even more difficult. What made it even worse was that the payout structure of some video poker games changed so that casinos could take bigger risks with their money!

Nowadays, calculating expected return and expected value is not just a matter of basic arithmetic. It’s an important skill to be aware of because it will help you see what profit you can expect from different investment strategies.

Understanding the Expected Value and Calculating It

We can define expected value as the total payout for a certain combination of hands. In video poker, the value of each hand is based on how difficult it is to make one of those hands or how easy it is to avoid them.

When you have a hand of five cards, you should consider which winning combination is worth pursuing. For example, you might be playing a 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker variation at the casino. This variation offers a payout of 9 to 1 for a Full House and 6 to 1 for Flush combinations.

To determine the value of a certain hand, we simply multiply the frequency of winning times the payout for that hand. If you happen to draw that hand on an initial deal, it’s guaranteed and worth $6.

If you have a hand that has already been formed on the first draw, it’s quite difficult to achieve. However, if you multiply the probability of winning with the payout for that specific hand and then divide by two, you’ll find that it is possible to calculate how valuable your hand is.

The EV is what is known as the expected value of a hand. By comparing the EV of two hands, players can determine which one is most profitable.

If you’re looking for an optimal play in a specific situation, there are three hands you can choose from. For example, if you have the pair of 2s and are hoping for a Royal Flush, then your hand would be worth $0.82. However, if you hold the 10, Ace and Jack of clubs in the same suit, then your hand will be worth $1.32. Another option is to hold four cards in that suit–that is why this example uses 4-of-a-kinds–and hope for a Flush as well; however, since your hand will only contain one type of card at most (at least according to Basic strategy), its value is estimated at $1.28 instead of $1.32 in this scenario.

You can see that the wisest choice is to keep the 10, the Ace and the Jack. Although it might seem safer to keep the second option, there are many other combinations of cards that can replace the pair of 2s. You have one chance of winning with this hand, but there are estimates of 1,081 other combinations that can be formed by keeping these 3 cards. That means that if you want more chances at winning with this hand than just one possibility of forming a Royal Flush ,then keeping these 3 cards will give you more opportunities for winning hands than keeping only two cards.

What is Expected Return? How to Calculate It

To calculate the expected return, you need to know the expected value. The expected value is the average profit you should anticipate receiving over a long time, provided you have made a certain decision. You may be confused about what is the difference between expected return and expected value. Simply said, you will need to know the expected value in order to be able to calculate the expected return.

As we discussed several times, the best strategy for winning at video poker is one that maximizes your potential winnings over the long run. This means that it has the highest expected return. However, you should not be fooled into thinking that simply following this strategy will guarantee you a consistent win every time. However, provided you know what you are doing, you can expect a very fruitful game in the long run.

If you hold four cards of the same suit and the fifth being of a different one in Jacks or Better, there are several possible outcomes. In a standard 52-card deck, there are 13 cards of each suit and since you have already drawn 4 of the same suit, this will leave 9 cards in the deck which can help form a Flush. If you subtract the five cards of your hand in the 52 cards of the deck and multiply by 47 (the number of cards remaining in the deck), you will get an expected return of 114.8% or approximately 115%.

When you are discussing expected return, it’s important to emphasize the payback percentage. For example, if you see a game that has a 92% payback and pays $1 per $100 played, then this means that in the long run players will enjoy a return of 92% and the casino keeps 8%. But remember that there is no way to win $92 on every dollar you stake. However, if you play with the perfect strategy for a long period of time, you should enjoy this payback.

You can see the expected return for each of the possible moves in strategy chart. Naturally, when using a strategy, you should make the decision which offers the highest possible expected return.

Video Poker Calculators

When you play video poker, on the first deal you are dealt five cards, each with a different combination of symbols. These combinations can provide an ultimate payout, depending on how much money you bet and how many rounds you want to play. In the past, calculating all possible combinations was complicated; nowadays there are calculators and software that can help players estimate their expected return.

If you want to become an expert in video poker, you can use online calculators. All you need to know is the expected return for every possible move; then the calculator will show you those payouts.

You can use online calculators to help you choose the best video poker game for you. You can also find in no time the full-pay variation of a certain video poker game with just one click.

To help beginners learn the game more quickly, there are video poker calculators available. However, even if you’re a seasoned player and know how to count cards, there are still other ways to learn the game. One way is to use a video poker trainer. This software allows you to recreate any variation of the casino game and see the possibilities for each type of hand. Usually, such trainers are set by default on 9/6 Jacks or Better which is also the full-pay option of this machine; however, one can easily choose another variation as well as set a different payout for certain hands. This will allow players to see the data that corresponds exactly to the game they are playing: it isn’t necessary for everyone to play with casino games that use 200% payouts (for example) every time they play! The trainer also allows you to choose between Random Mode and Hard Mode; since video poker players are not all alike and may have different types of experience we have created two separate versions of our software so that you can choose which suits your needs best!

The Random Mode allows the player to select five randomly selected cards from a deck. After making a decision, the trainer will show you if you have made any mistakes and provide the best possible play for the specific hand. Whenever you make the wrong decision, he or she will show you expected returns for both hands and provide you with advice on what to do next.

The Hard Mode gives you hands that are a little more complicated and even expert players might find them difficult to decide on.


Understanding the expected value and expected return are important for video poker strategies. If you want to make the most profit possible, it’s important to compare different options and make the most profitable decision for each hand. The highest return might not always guarantee you a win, but in the long run, you can actually enjoy the expected return from a certain game.

Traditionally, it’s been difficult for players to memorize the expected return for each hand on every video poker variation. Thankfully, software has made it possible to compare games with different payouts as well as learn which move is best in every situation.

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a great poker player, it’s knowing the value of each play. A player who is fully aware of these concepts and able to use them in real-time during play, is more likely to find the best strategy out there and have fun while doing it.

Ask a Question and get an Answer.

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How does the EV affect the strategy that I should use when playing a video poker game?

If you play video poker, you can find out what the average return you can expect from a certain combination of cards. As explained above, this is called expected value (EV). The way your strategy is determined depends on which hand will give you the highest EV–that is, the one that minimizes your losses and maximizes your winnings. It is always advised to play by choosing the hand with the highest EV, as this will minimize your losses and help you win more.

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