What is Ante?
In private and casino poker games, players are often required to pay an ante into the pot before the cards are dealt out and play can begin. This initial stake is a set value paid by every player, and subsequent bets are often multiples of the original ante. Games which have forced blinds do not require an ante, as the initial pot is made of these forced blind bets. The term can be a noun, referring to the amount paid in by each player, or it can be a verb which means making this payment.
In poker, the ante is the bet made before anyone sees their cards. It is made by all players at the table during the course of the game. Many poker games split the ante into blinds, and the responsibility of paying these blinds falls to two or three players each round. The blinds pass round the circle of players. Others require every player to pay the ante each round. A player makes this ante and is entered into play; the act of placing the bet is known as ‘anteing’ or ‘to ante’.
Having this initial stake in the pot ensures that there is something to be won by the player, even if all opponents fold at the first draw. It is sometimes seen as a fee for entry into the round, or a payment made in order to be dealt cards and have the option to play. The ante is often a small sum, typically the table minimum, and subsequent bets are multiples of that original ante. Players who wish to stay in the game must at least match the ante on each round they take part in, though they also have the choice of raising the stakes if they feel particularly confident about their hand.