For those just getting started in the world of poker, it’s likely you’ve seen a lot of terms being thrown around, not all of which are immediately
easy to understand. Two such terms are ante, and blind. With each game having its own rules surrounding both forms of ‘bet’, understanding the difference between playing an ante
and placing a small or big blind can make getting to grips with play all the more simple.
What Is An Ante?
An ante is defined as being money placed into the pot before the poker hand has begun. This is typically a small portion of a bet that each player is required to contribute in order to ‘seed’ the pot to ensure that, even if all but one person was to fold, money could still be won. Generally speaking, a game can have both antes and blinds, though this may differ depending on the type of poker that you’re playing.
Antes do not affect the overall size of the bet once the game begins. This is simply money placed into the pot and is considered 'dead' to the game
with the exception of the eventual winner.
What Is A Blind?
A blind, on the other hand, is a bet that only one, two or three players are forced to make, essentially starting off a round of betting. These
bets are made ‘blind’ – in other words, without seeing your own cards first – and typically consist of a small and big blind. The player directly to the left of the dealer is required to place the small blind, and the player after is required to play the big blind – typically double the small blind.
This money is lost to the round of betting in a similar way to the ante, but unlike the latter, it becomes part of the bet.
Is One Better Than The Other?
Technically speaking, any one poker game can have both a blind and an ante depending on the style it’s adopted or the kind of game you’re playing, whether that’s a 3 Card Poker, No Limit Hold’em Poker or Seven Card Stud. Antes are good for pot-focused games, forcing players to add money to a pot to give the table something to play for. This, of course, adds up over time and the winner wins bigger and better prizes. For blinds, it starts off betting, getting something out on the table before players can choose to check, bet or fold.
For games seeking bigger pots or more substantial winnings, utilising both blinds and antes gives a significant starting point for building this up. Understanding not only the difference between the two, but how they can work together to provide a more intense and entertaining game is vital. Hopefully this guide has helped you learn more about antes and blinds, ready for your next game.