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Professional gamblers treat online gambling like a science. They dissect every aspect of a game to maximise payout probability. If you want to get the most out of your online blackjack sessions, understanding key concepts like EV is the first step.
EV is essentially the long-term expectation associated with placing a particular bet, or, in the case of online blackjack, making a particular decision. It can be positive or negative, and it is calculated by multiplying all possible outcomes by the probability that each outcome has of occurring, and then adding all the values together.
Expected value is basically a numerical indicator of the average amount of money you will win or lose when you hit, stand, split or double down in blackjack online.
Most players who are not mathematically inclined are probably throwing their hands up in the air in defeat right about now… and you are almost certainly wondering how a numerical value is assigned to an outcome.
The good news is you do not have to concern yourself with how EV is calculated. What you do have to do is come to grips with how it can impact your online gambling results over the long term.
There is an entire legion of clever folk who love the challenge of calculating anything and everything. The EV in online blackjack is one such challenge that has now been fulfilled. With the number crunching out of the way, all you have to do is find the data you need by searching online – but more about that later.
In the meantime, the crux of the matter is when you apply the concept of EV to your decision making, there is a better than average chance your online blackjack sessions will be more lucrative.
The easiest way to describe EV is by way of example. You embark on an online gambling session at Springbok Casino and select blackjack as your game of choice. That makes sense as it has one of the best average payout rates around!
As is your want, you open the betting with a R10 chip and you’re rather fortuitously dealt 10 – 10 against the dealer’s 5. In this context, the only strategic decision you can make is to stand. How come? Well, hitting on 20 is insane – and splitting is not an option, as we illustrate a little further down the page.
When you stand on 20, there are only three possible outcomes:
Once the outcomes have been multiplied by the probability and aggregated together, the expected value when standing on 20 with 5 as the dealer’s up card is + 67%. That is the EV as it relates to those particular cards over tens of hundreds of rounds of online blackjack.
As already mentioned, there is only one other decision that can theoretically be made – and that is to split 20 into two hands of 10. According to the basic blackjack strategy chart – which, to the best players at Springbok Casino, is the equivalent of the online gambling bible – splitting 20 is a big no-no.
That may be the gospel according to the strategy but what is the expected value associated with such a move? Is splitting 20 an inspired move or a poor decision? Based on the expected value charts available online, the EV plummets to + 34.5% on each hand.
Although it is still a positive expectation, it is nominal when compared to the + 67% EV associated with the stand decision. In this instance, the EV re-affirms the optimal strategy for online blackjack.
Why is expected value considered a crucial element in the context of online gambling? It allows players at Springbok Casino to base the moves they make on hard, mathematical calculations.
EV can be used to optimise decision-making in online blackjack, play particular poker hands like a pro, and select the best bet types in online roulette – all in order to get the maximised long-term return.
When used as an online gambling tool, EV can save you money, even when the calculated expectation is negative – e.g., an online blackjack hand or poker bet that you are always going to lose. When used in conjunction with the edge or RTP, EV can help you find the best online gambling outcomes in terms of rands and cents.
Online EV charts, which list negative or positive values for every conceivable two-card blackjack hand weighed up against all possible dealer up cards, are one option. User-friendly EV calculator apps, which spit out automated answers within fractions of a second, are another. Both are freely available on the World Wide Web and easily located via Google search.
EV basically encapsulates three key elements of online gambling – what the chances are of winning, how much you will win when you win and how much you will lose when you lose. It is basically an aggregated average of the long-term results you can expect from any given outcome at the online casino.
When you play blackjack online and consistently make decisions with a positive expected value, the real money results will improve over the long run. That of course means there is a good chance the balance in Springbok Casino account will be in positive territory… and that is what all good gamblers strive for!