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A Brief Explanation of the Reason for Poker Ante

Sep 2, 2008
Poker ante refers to the set amount of money that each player has to pay into the pot in a poker game to get started in each round of play. The money you win in a poker game comes from the money that other players bet starting with the forced bet at the beginning, which is the ante. The main reason for having this forced bet is to eliminate players who know that they do not have good cards and thus have no chance of winning.

Antes are most common is stud poker and draw poker games. They are not used in such games as Texas Hold and Omaha where there are blinds. However, in some tournaments, all players still have to pay an ante in order to keep the players from playing a really tight game. If they pay the required amount of money they may as well stay in the game to see what the next cards hold for them. When playing a tight game, players will fold if they do not have what they consider to be good cards and without paying an ante the player does not sustain any loss when he/she folds. However, when they have to pay an ante, there is a cost involved whether they decide to fold or not. When antes are used in a poker game, more players stay involved and this helps to increase the size of the pot.

The ante decided at the beginning of the game can remain the same throughout or can increase in gradual intervals, such as after every round or after a period of time. An ante in poker is similar to a blind in some respects in that each player has to take a turn paying the big and small blinds. In such games, though, the player to the immediate left of the player pays the small blind and the next player pays the big blind. The amount of the starting blinds is decided by the organizer of the tournament. The small blind is an amount equal to half of the amount and the big blind is the full amount. This ensures that there will be at least two players who stay in the game for the first round of betting until the flop. It also ensures that there will be money in the pot for the player who wins with the best hand.

In some cases, players whose turn it is to pay the blinds next are put out of the game either because they do not have enough chips or because they lose all their chips in the previous round. Then a simple adjustment takes place at the table with the next player paying the required amount of chips. In regular tournaments, blinds increase every 15 minutes. In deep stack tournaments, which take longer to play, the blinds increase every 30 minutes.
Before you start playing poker, you have to have enough money or chips to keep you going in paying the antes. You cannot rely of winning to help you have the money you need.
About the Author
For more information on poker ante,poker odds and Texas Hold Em strategy visit http://www.PokerTips.org
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