Small Antes

In high-ante poker games, not playing loose enough is less common problem between poker players rather than playing loose in low-ante and average-ante games. When the player in a game shouts, "Here comes the live one". It means that "Here comes the player who plays too many pots, who wants always to get into action, who doesn't think about odds before calling, who calls to the end with next to nothing when two aces are watching in the face." To put more concisely, it means "Here comes the sucker"

When you play too loose for the ante what will happen? Even if you play well from then onwards, you will have the difficulty in playing a worse hand on average than your rival who is playing according to the ante. Accordingly, you figure to lose to them till they play as well as you play. Even though they do not play better than you, you figure to lose to them because their starting requirements are more than yours and so the hands they play, on an average, will be better than yours.

In Las Vegas , there used be a no-limit hold'em game with a very small ante and there were a couple of excellent players in the game. But they claimed on raising every pot before the flop, not to steal small antes, but just to get more money in the pot as they felt they could outplay everybody else from that point on. Thus, when average player who simply played rigid came into the game, they found that they couldn't beat him. Of course, what was happening was that the hands they played were on average not as good as the average player's and with a pair of kings, even the world champ is a loser against with a pair of aces. It won't matter how great a player is, if he plays loose for the ante, he gives an edge to those players who play correctly for the ante.

With a small ante, you should play contradictory of the method you would with a large ante. You steal lesser antes; you play lesser hands and you slow playing big hands to draw people in. If the hostile players choose, let them control their game. Let them steal the antes. Let them give a false sense of safety measures. When you are in a pot against them, your hand will be stronger than theirs on average that you can win any antes they have stolen from you and many more.

Most of the time, as longer you play rigid in a small-ante game; it will be probable for you to steal antes infrequently. Thus, when you are re-raised or called, especially from the players you know to be firm, you should give up your deceit immediately as you are up against a big hand.

The common rule is that when the ante reduces, you should strengthen up. But when you are good or better than your rival in a game with a very low ante, you should not strengthen up so much that you never play a hand.

When the ante gets to a very low level, there should be an edge that how much you should strengthen up because you yourself should be given a chance to outplay weaker rival in later rounds. Since the best player in the game, you want to play poker many hands to use your full store of weapons.

Not many games have a small ante and also a small primary bet. In such instance, you must play loose for the primary bet only, called with trivial hand but folding on the next round of betting if your hands are not progressed. When you do advance a hand, your small investment will pay more dividends. In Nevada there is $3 - $6 game with tiny dime ante. Rigid players think that they have a gold mine in this game but against decent player they don't. The object is that the first bet is just 50 cents. It would benefit to play a trivial hand to see one card for half a dollar in the hope to make a hand that will win a big pot. As the immediate pot odds does not justify the call, the obscure odds you are getting, do justify it. You can call that half-dollar 20 times without your hand improves, but if, when a hand is made, you get just one rival to call you to the end, you can win more than twice what you had to pay for those 20 hands which had not improve. On the other hand, do not forget to withstand any temptation you may have to continue calling, if your hand has not improved on fourth Street .


All poker starts with a struggle for the antes. The size of the poker ante verifies the method you play to a large extent, because if you do not struggle correctly for the antes, you yourself cost money one way or the other - either to play too many hands when there's a small ante or too few when there's a large ante. When the ante increases, you should loosen up and with a low ante, you should play rigid. (Except in cases noted above)