Poker is a game full of excitement, with a large number of modalities and variants that make it adaptable to everyone, guaranteeing hours of entertainment, fun and a lot of money at stake. The action of this game is centered, above all, on the jackpot or the amount of the rewards. Something that gives a lot of dynamism to poker, regardless of the variant, are the bets. That is why in this article we are going to tell you about one of the most popular ones, we explain what is ante in poker, a type of mandatory bet thanks to which players can enjoy a more intense and exciting game. Read on to find out everything you need to know about ante in poker!

What is ante poker?

The concept of “ante poker” refers specifically to a type of mandatory betting in the form of money or chips that is made by all players in the game. The most outstanding thing about the ante in poker is that it gives dynamism to the game, since being mandatory it encourages all the players to participate and prevents them from folding in the first round – it makes them think twice since in that case of folding it would mean a loss of money, besides, everyone starts with the same amount so they will have the same interest in the current hand. It is for this reason that with the ante more players participate by playing their hand instead of folding, besides this bet allows to increase the value of the pot -and, consequently, the interest in the game-. The ante helps to prevent players from adopting a too passive strategy, letting hands pass until they find the perfect combination of cards. In short, these are the main characteristics of ante poker:

  • It brings more dynamism to the game.
  • It allows to increase the pot value.
  • It is mandatory.
  • It encourages mandatory bet stealing because there is not so much pressure from the opponents.
  • The pressure on weak hands is higher.

In general, professional players usually adopt a strategy based on antes to try to win a larger amount of money without having to make too big raises. These raises are usually 2 to 2.5 times the value of the big blind.

Difference between antes and blinds

The main difference between ante and blinds is who makes the bet.  While the ante is mandatory for all players participating in the same game, the blinds must be posted by only two players. Specifically by the players to the left of the dealer. Moreover, in the latter case there are two types of blinds, the big blinds and the small blinds. We see them:

  • The small blind: it is posted by the player to the left of the button (dealer) and its value is half the minimum bet.
  • The Big Blind: It is posted by the player immediately to the left of the Small Blind. The value of the Big Blind is twice the value of the Small Blind.

It is important to note that both antes and blinds are posted before seeing the cards, and these bets are not incompatible with each other. In some cases we can find poker games that combine both types of bets, although the most common is to find them separately.

Ante in poker: In what modalities is it played?

At EasyPPPoker we like to explain things clearly, so that players who are just starting out or those who want to increase their knowledge can do so. Therefore, we always try to be as specific as possible, as we have done in the previous section on what is ante in poker. Now, it is important to also answer the question we posed about the most common modalities in which this rule is played, so that you can take it into account before starting a game. These are:

  • Poker tournaments: In poker tournaments, mainly MTT and Texas Hold’em, it is common to have ante bets. These are established as the blinds advance, to ensure that there is more action.
  • Seven Card Stud: In this poker modality, 7 cards are dealt and players have to create the best combination with 5 of them.
  • Razz Poker: This is a poker variant derived from Seven Card Stud. In this modality each player receives a total of 7 cards, but with the objective of keeping the lowest hand. In Razz Poker the game is played with fixed stakes.
  • Poker Stud: This is a modality with limit bets. In it, 3 cards are dealt to each player, 2 of which are covered and the other one uncovered. It is always played with ante.

Normally the ante is usually paid in the advanced stages of Texas Hold’em multi-table tournaments, it does not come into play until a certain level of the tournament has been reached, since the first stages are used to warm up and become familiar with the opponents. It is even possible that in some cases the ante is introduced when the game has already started, thus allowing the players to get to know each other and analyze each other well. The ante is not common in Pot Limit Omaha tournaments. This is because it is not necessary to incentivize the game as there are large pots being played with that already do so.

What is the ante value in poker?

The value of the ante is usually 10% of the big blind and in some cases 20%. This is paid every turn, so it helps to avoid folding too quickly before completing a round. Also keep in mind that in cases where there are no blinds, it will be necessary to pay attention to the minimum and maximum betting values.