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Thread: Calculating Expected Value and Hand Range Percentages

  1. #1
    QF10 is offline Junior Member
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    Feb 2014

    Default Calculating Expected Value and Hand Range Percentages

    Hello. I'm having a hard time understanding expected value. Before understanding EV I think I would need to understand an opponents hand range on how often they raise, call, or fold with. I am playing on Carbon Poker using their HUD software. I can see the percentage of hands they raise pre-flop as well as the percentage of how much they call. Other than that, if I do not see their hand it is very hard to determine what range of hands they will play or not play.

    Are there any techniques for understanding hand range or does it just come from experience and just guessing what type of hands they call/fold/raise with on the flop, turn, and river?

    Once I figure that out, I think only then can understand how to use the formula in the article on "Calculating Expected Value" from

    It would be so awesome if someone could give me a detailed explanation on this subject.


  2. #2
    Tim's Avatar
    Tim is offline quintessential chopbuster
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    Firstly, welcome to the forum!

    It does come with experience. It's all about educated guesswork.

    I would recommend having a read of this lesson first:

    Hand Reading - Putting Poker Players on a Hand |

    Then go through this lesson on 'Thinking Through a Hand', in particular the hand example:

    Thinking Through a Poker Hand |

    In addition to this, I recommend getting a copy of PokerStove and playing around with it. This is a good way of playing with percentages. Check out the tutorial below:

    PokerStove Tutorial |

    If you read / watch and absorb all the above I'm sure you'll have a better understanding of the subject.

  3. #3
    bambini's Avatar
    bambini is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2012


    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    Tim has made some great recommendations for further reading to explain this in more detail, but I thought I'd say a little on your point about the HUD figures. This is just part of the information you might want to consider when putting someone on a range. People adjust their range for a number of reasons: they're more likely to widen their range on the button, when the game is short-handed, later in tournies and when they are playing a very tight table, and more likely to narrow their range when the opposite is true.

    Other factors also come into play - are they short stacked and on the bubble? If so, they might tighten right up in the hopes that someone else will bust before them. Is there someone else on the table who's shoving a lot? Then people may loosen up to try and catch this guy out, or may tighten up because they're nervous. Are they making a 3-bet? If so, you can probably narrow their range. Do they bluff a lot? You can probably widen their range.

    What HUD information like VPIP (voluntarily put into pot percentage) does is give you some indication of what kind of player they are in general. A person with a VPIP of, say, 15% is likely to be a very tight player, so you put them on a narrow range. A person with a VPIP of 50% is likely to be a loose player, so the range of hands they might be playing is much wider - they might play hands like K8o where the tight player would fold it. You can also use HUD information in other ways. If you know that someone folds to a bet on the flop 75% of the time, then you can narrow their range considerably if they call - they probably have a strong hand.

    However, as I've already indicated, HUD percentages are only part of the story. Working out someone's range is a complex process because there are a number of factors to consider, and requires careful observation of your opponent's tendencies. The good news is that it gets easier with practice.

    Hope this all makes sense, but feel free to ask more questions if there's anything you don't understand.
    "Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city" - Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf

  4. #4
    QF10 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    Thanks guys for the help!


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