Forced Chips: The Ante and the Blinds

Poker and most gambling games simply do not work without money or a particularly important wager. Without the risk, it would come down to who was luckier. Money makes people think twice about running into a hand and increases the stress at the table and with it, the excitement. It makes sure that the ball is rolling and that people are going to play and play hard. For the most part, there are two rules that force chips onto the table before anything even happens.

The ante is one of these methods. Poker isn't the only game to make full use of the ante rule, as other card games can force a bet from players to make sure that the round has a point and to get the chips rolling. For those games that do use the ante, make sure to note that it is not actually a bet. This may become important depending on the card game that you're currently enjoying.

The second kind is the well known and due to Texas Hold'em, widely publicized blinds. Unlike the ante, this actually doe count as a bet and one that is actually forced. This is important in Texas Hold'em in particular as action might often grind to a halt if there are rounds where there is nothing inherently at stake. This also prevents overly defensive players from simply waiting out the storm until the right cards start coming along. The players who have to put up the blinds are usually the players to the left of the dealer or the dealer button. These blinds often come in two flavors - the big blinds, which is the full value of the blinds and the small blinds, which has a value half of the big blinds.

The amount required by the blinds is often set before the game even begins. Some tournaments enjoy increasing the tension and the fun of the game by increasing the blinds occasionally to compensate for the higher concentration of chips that occur from players losing and leaving the table.

Blinds and ante have one massive difference - the aforementioned fact that the ante does not actually count as a bet. This means that if you're playing with an ante, you generally don't have to match it before you participate. Blinds, as they count as bets, need to be matched and essentially set the minimum amount needed to participate in any given round of the card game.

Search Index

Register to Newsletter


Highest Rated Casinos