What Is An Ante In Poker?
In poker, an ante is a forced bet that each player must post before the hand begins.
Ante is not always in play, meaning that most cash games do not have it, and it usually kicks in only in the later stages of poker MTT. That said, when the ante is active, it is typically a fraction of the big blind used in tournaments to encourage action and build bigger pots.
Because the ante creates a bigger pot, the players are incentivized to play more hands, thus creating more action. Sometimes, you will find a specific format of big blind ante to speed up the game, where one player posts antes for everyone at the table.
Although antes can be used in cash games, they are primarily used in tournaments to help prevent excessively tight play and create more exciting and dynamic gameplay.
If you find yourself in games with antes, there are a few things that you should adjust:
- Be more aggressive
- Widen your hand ranges
- Increase your stealing frequencies
Overall, if you want to play poker games with antes optimally, you should have a slightly different approach than in games without antes.
Poker Ante Example:
Let’s say you are playing in a Texas Holdem tournament with 500/1000 blind level and 100 ante and eight players at the table.
This means that before the start of the hand, the small blind will post 500 chips, the big blind will add 1000 chips, and every player at the table will have to post an ante of 100 chips before seeing their cards.
This creates a pot with 2,300 chips in the middle instead of the 1,500 we would have without antes.