Poker Ante

Beginner Tips RSS / Dave Allan / 23 November 2010 / Leave a Comment

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The 'ante' in poker is simply a wager you have to make before you see your cards. It is the fundamental reason why poker is a game of skill, as these endless blind bets force players into making plays with hands outside of the very best ones, which creates the endless conflicts that define the playing landscape in poker.

The size and structure of the ante in poker fundamentally changes how you have to play in poker, and understanding what adjustments are needed is one of the most crucial skills as you approach both the games you know, and the games you don't. At it's most basic, the rule is very simple - the larger the ante, the more hands you have to be willing to play to stay afloat.

If the ante is very small, you can sit back and play a very small percentage of hands (especially in games where the other players are playing very loose), as the cost per hand of folding is pretty low. However, as the cost per hand rises, you need to start fighting for blinds in order to stop this endless drain of small bets from destroying your stack.

Even if you still win the odd big pot playing very tight, a big ante will slowly drain you, and this is one of the key reasons why large antes are usually advocated and encouraged by good players. As you cannot sit back and play tight (which is one of the harder styles to exploit for a good player), you are forced into many pots, which forces you into many more complex decisions with marginal hands, which is where skill will really be shown in poker.

Because of this, studying and understanding the ante is very important in analysing what games you should be sitting in and how you should be playing in them. Jumping into a game with a very high ante and a lot of strong players is a much trickier proposition than sitting into a hyper loose game with a small ante and a lot of weak players. Always remember that poker at it's core is completely reliant on the antes and blind bets, and it should never be far from your mind when analysing your play.

Adjusting To The Antes
Attacking The Blinds
Surviving To The Antes
Whose Blind Is It Anyway?

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