As we explore in our article, How to Improve Your IFMP Rating, the Match Poker Online™ algorithm only increases a player’s Rating as a result of skilful play. Because the luck of the cards doesn’t help you win in Match Poker Online, you need to improve your play and your skills to keep increasing your Rating.

An important concept that will help improve your game is Expected Value (EV). Every action you take in poker has a mathematical likelihood of resulting in a positive or negative outcome. There are actions that have an expectation of producing a positive result – so you can/should take these wherever possible. Sometimes, of course, you can lose chips and still consider it a positive result – as when the action you take loses you fewer chips than an alternate action would have lost you.

Understanding Expected Value (EV)

To help you understand Expected Value, imagine rolling a six-sided die. Now, someone asks you if you would accept two-to-one odds that the number will be 4 or higher? The answer would be “OF COURSE!”. This would be a positive expected value strategy (+EV strategy) because the odds of the die being 4 or higher are 50-50, whereas the payoff they are offering is better than 1:1 (it is 2:1). This means that, even though you will lose approximately HALF the time, you will end up ahead AS LONG AS you always take this bet. Deviating from this strategy, even just once, would be a mistake, as it is not the most positive EV strategy.

If the situation changed so that you only get 2:1 odds of the die being a 5 or higher, then this would no longer be a +EV strategy. This is because the payoff odds exactly reflect the statistical likelihood of the likely outcome.

Clearly then, players who take +EV actions in poker will necessarily win more than players who don’t. This ‘win more’ outcome will be reflected in an increase in Rating. So, if you’re looking to improve your IFMP Rating, the question is: how do you play poker in a way that maximises expected value (EV)?

In poker, often there are far too many variables for a player to always know what the most-positive EV play is, but our article, 10 Tips to Improve Your IFMP Rating, gives a list of ten Positive EV strategies that are easy to introduce into your play. These will help you play better and ensure you maximise your Rating.