The Standard Deviation

**How Does The Standard Deviation Work?**

If you haven't taken statistics, this term may scare you, but it's really
not hard to grasp. Try thinking of the standard deviation as though it's an
adjective modifying a noun (your hourly win rate). Here's an example:
"She's wearing a dress." Dress, of course, is the noun. Now modify
that sentence by adding one of the following adjectives: "She's wearing a
(sexy, blue, business-like, grandmotherly, clinging, revealing, scandalous,
see-through, designer, hideous, glamorous) dress. As you can see, substituting
one adjective for another radically changes the meaning. It's much the same
with the relationship between the standard deviation and the mean.

If there were no dispersion (range of values) in a distribution, all observed
values would be the same. No observed value would deviate - move away - from
the mean. If, for example, it were exactly 64 degrees Fahrenheit in your wine
cellar for 6 days in a row, the mean temperature would be 64 degrees for that
period, and there would be no variance at all between the high and low readings
- just the way things should be in a wine cellar.

But observed values usually do deviate
from the mean. Some deviate by a little, others by a lot. The standard
deviation is a measure of the "average" amount by which all values
deviate from the mean. In poker, the higher it is, the larger the bankroll
you'll need to withstand expected bumps and potholes on the road to consistent
profits.

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