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Negative expected value (-EV)

A decision in poker that leads to the theoretical loss of money over the long term. It can include a specific decision in a hand (fold, call, or raise) or it can refer to the decision to play a far superior opponent or tough game. The best players in the world make the least negative expected value plays while losing players constantly make these type of decisions. In a specific hand, each decision on every street has an expected value that is associated with it. Bad decisions are generally ones that have a negative expected value. Example: Player 1: Th9h - $50 Player 2: AhAc - $50 Board: AsJc4h2h Pot: $100 Player 2 best $50, Player 1 calls $50 In this hand, player 2 has a strong made hand while player 1 has a flush draw. Player 2 has decided to go all-in with his three of a kind and gives 3 to 1 pot odds to Player 1 who calls the bet. However, player 1 does not have the equity to call a 3 to 1 proposition with his flush draw. His decision will lead to a loss of money over a large sample of similar hands regardless of the result of this particular hand. Hence, player 1 has made a negative expected value play. If a player is considered to be negative expected value in a game or against an opponent, he or she is playing in a game or against an opponent that is too skilled. For example, an amateur player would be considered -EV against an opponent such as the great Phil Ivey. Negative Expected Value is used in areas other than poker.
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