Ante is a mandatory bet, which is placed into the pot before all the players enter a hand. The main function of this bet is to incentivize players to be more involved in a game process.

What is ante for?

The main function of the ante is to form the initial pot.

This bet is set by poker room operators in order to:

  • increase the performance of players in the distribution process;
  • maintain high dynamics during the gameplay.

Differences from other mandatory bets

The main difference between ante and other bets is that it is mandatory. In other words, even if the player sits out and doesn’t take part in the game at all, the ante is taken from him anyway. Moreover, players have an obligation to carry it before they see their own cards for the first time and evaluate the strength of their hands.

The second difference is that this type of bet is mandatory and applies to all participants in the distribution.

Ante size and setting rules

The established size of the ante doesn’t exist. It all depends on the policy set by a poker room and the game format chosen by a player.

According to the canons of poker, the ante is one-tenth of a big blind or one-eighth (one-fourth) of a small blind.

What types of poker have ante

Ante is required for the following types of poker: 

  1. Razz;
  2. Five Card Draw or Stud;
  3. Seven Card Stud;
  4. Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo.

These types of poker don’t have such bets due to the absence of other mandatory bets – big and small blinds.

Texas Hold’em and Omaha have a blind system, so ante is not obligatory and can be entered into the game at the discretion of the operator. Frequently, it is introduced at the final stages of major tournaments in order to encourage players to struggle for the final prize. Moreover, this system helps to avoid the well-liked strategy among experienced players, which is to sit out while the weakest players will be eliminated, and, after a while, to join the primary part of the game.

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