word type: noun

  1. A mandatory bet paid equally by all players prior to a hand being dealt.
  2. To place this bet into the middle of the table, as in "anteing" (verb).

Poker Game Usage

Antes are most commonly found in stud games, such as seven card stud, seven card stud hi/lo, razz, and five card stud. In these games, there are no blinds, so without antes, there would not be much incentive for anyone to play anything but the very strongest starting hands.

Games with blinds, such as Texas hold'em and Omaha hold'em, can also feature antes, but they are almost exclusively found in the later stages of tournaments for these game types. Antes could easily be eliminated from hold'em tournaments, but some tournament organizers like to implement them as the tournament progresses to encourage more action.

In Popular Culture

The phrase "up the ante" has become a part of everyday English language. It means to increase the value of something, be it monetary value or simply importance.

2006 World Series of Poker

Believe it or not, Jeffrey Lisandro and Prahlad Friedman almost came to blows in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event over a 5,000 chip ante when millions of chips were in play. The man in the middle of it all, Dustin Holmes, later admitted on an internet message board that he knew he was at fault the entire time (just watch and you'll know what we mean), but he decided to let his opponents go at it, in hopes that they go on tilt and make poor decisions.

The entertainment begins at the 17:29 mark. Once it hits a break, skip to the 23:16 point in the episode.

Related Terms

Blind, Small Blind, Big Blind