Do "Big Blind Antes" defeat the purpose?

C

capnkev

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 11, 2021
Total posts
6
The first time I played a hold 'em tournament, I was really more of a 7-card stud player. Fortunately, most of the other players were also less savvy than those who play today. There were only about 40 entrants and I managed to get to the final table, but I was running low on chips. I was able to squeak past the blinds a couple times while the medium stacks were getting eliminated and I ended up in 5th place which got me a few dollars back.

Then the tournaments started introducing blinds at the later levels. This made sense since it forced the small stacks to take more chances because they couldn't get "free" hands to wait for better cards.

The next phase that I ran across was dealer antes. This wasn't bad since the dealer (player) at least had position when having to pay the ante and it makes it easier for the dealer (card distributor) who would not have to bug each player for their ante. The one drawback, if you want to call it that, is there isn't always a player in the dealer's spot. i.e., when the small blind from the previous hand gets knocked out.

Now, they are moving to Big Blind antes.

I see two problems with this....

It defeats the original purpose of the ante. The short stacks go back to saying, "If I can survive the blinds, I get a bunch of free hands."

The other problem with this, and all single-player ante schemes, is that the single-player ante is static and tends to be equal to the big blind. This hurts even more when the table is not full. When anteing individually, if the ante is 100, if you have 8 players at the table, you would toss in 800 every time the deal goes around. if you are down to 5 players, you would only ante 500 for each orbit of the deal. In a one-player ante scenario you would ante 800 every orbit even if there are only 5 players. Additionally, if you are at a table with 5 players, then you are getting ante-penalized more that other tables which might have 6 or 7 players.

My thought is that the individual ante is the best option.

The next best would be the dealer ante, who would at least have position when forced to ante. And if there is no dealer, then there's no ante. Same thing happens when there's no small blind.

Thoughts?
 
Poker_Mike

Poker_Mike

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Total posts
3,800
Awards
2
The first time I played a hold 'em tournament, I was really more of a 7-card stud player. Fortunately, most of the other players were also less savvy than those who play today. There were only about 40 entrants and I managed to get to the final table, but I was running low on chips. I was able to squeak past the blinds a couple times while the medium stacks were getting eliminated and I ended up in 5th place which got me a few dollars back.

Then the tournaments started introducing blinds at the later levels. This made sense since it forced the small stacks to take more chances because they couldn't get "free" hands to wait for better cards.

The next phase that I ran across was dealer antes. This wasn't bad since the dealer (player) at least had position when having to pay the ante and it makes it easier for the dealer (card distributor) who would not have to bug each player for their ante. The one drawback, if you want to call it that, is there isn't always a player in the dealer's spot. i.e., when the small blind from the previous hand gets knocked out.

Now, they are moving to Big Blind antes.

I see two problems with this....

It defeats the original purpose of the ante. The short stacks go back to saying, "If I can survive the blinds, I get a bunch of free hands."

The other problem with this, and all single-player ante schemes, is that the single-player ante is static and tends to be equal to the big blind. This hurts even more when the table is not full. When anteing individually, if the ante is 100, if you have 8 players at the table, you would toss in 800 every time the deal goes around. if you are down to 5 players, you would only ante 500 for each orbit of the deal. In a one-player ante scenario you would ante 800 every orbit even if there are only 5 players. Additionally, if you are at a table with 5 players, then you are getting ante-penalized more that other tables which might have 6 or 7 players.

My thought is that the individual ante is the best option.

The next best would be the dealer ante, who would at least have position when forced to ante. And if there is no dealer, then there's no ante. Same thing happens when there's no small blind.

Thoughts?


I hate paying the antes with my BB.

The big blind is typically paying 2 big blinds with the antes.

But I do enjoy how much quicker live tournament play proceeds with one player paying all the antes.

I also try to abuse the big blind when they overdefend their blind.

But your proposal makes 30% of the table invested in the hand preflop. The dynamics of the dealer, sb and bb would be amplified?

But no button - no antes doesn't seem right. If it is an ante tournament then I want to see antes in the pot every hand.

The current BB Ante tournament seems to punish the big blind.

I will keep thinking about this.
 
Debi

Debi

Forum Admin
Administrator
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Total posts
70,718
Awards
20
I think you misunderstood the original purpose - it was to speed up the game. So in live poker it makes a lot of sense to have a BB ante because it speeds the game up even more.

I didn't like it at first but I do now - although it is brutal on a small stack late in tournaments. But at least you are not losing chips on every hand - so you have some chances to make a play before your stack gets hit.
 
F

fundiver199

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Total posts
10,316
Awards
1
I dont see, how it makes any difference, which position at the table is paying the ante. This is only a psycological matter at most. The real difference is, that when the ante is a fixed amount per player, then it will tend to matter less, as the game gets short handed. This makes sense, since players nitting up and letting others collide for ICM reasons is mainly an issue on tables with many players. When its down to 2-4 players, people not playing hands will get blinded away very quickly anyway, so the ante has less purpose. But I can understand, why it was changed in live poker to make the process of paying the ante faster. Online this is not an issue, since posting of blinds and antes is done automatically by the software.
 
C

capnkev

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 11, 2021
Total posts
6
I think you misunderstood the original purpose - it was to speed up the game. So in live poker it makes a lot of sense to have a BB ante because it speeds the game up even more.

I didn't like it at first but I do now - although it is brutal on a small stack late in tournaments. But at least you are not losing chips on every hand - so you have some chances to make a play before your stack gets hit.


If the only intent was to speed up the game, all you'd have to do is raise the blinds sooner or by larger increments, so there must have been a different reason for instituting antes in the first place.

I still think it was to force players, particularly short stacks, to be more aggressive. When everyone antes individually, it's more like a tax which invests each player in each hand and builds the pot, but does nothing as far as actually getting you into the hand.
 
Poker_Mike

Poker_Mike

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Total posts
3,800
Awards
2
If the only intent was to speed up the game, all you'd have to do is raise the blinds sooner or by larger increments, so there must have been a different reason for instituting antes in the first place.

I still think it was to force players, particularly short stacks, to be more aggressive. When everyone antes individually, it's more like a tax which invests each player in each hand and builds the pot, but does nothing as far as actually getting you into the hand.


It doesn't increase the speed of the game - it increases the speed of the "play of the game".

No matter what the structure of the BB ante tournament - one player paying all the antes lets the table see more hands regardless if the game is a turbo or has 1-hr blind levels.

The question is does that player need to be the BB? The BB is already screwed with poor position. Why punish him more?

Forget the button - I think making UTG pay the antes would be really interesting!

Heck - the dealer should roll some dice on the table every hand to determine which random seat will pay all the antes!
 
Last edited:
NWPatriot

NWPatriot

Rock Star
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Total posts
480
The BB ante for live play really does help speed up the play of the game. There is always one guy at your table that can't seem to pay enough attention to put up his ante Every Single Hand. This removes the burden of the dealer constantly hounding this guy Every Single Hand.

It is unfortunate that the BB has to pay, but in the end the blind and the antes are simply a tax that we all have to play once per orbit. It evens out, no matter who pays it. Unlike the blind discount that the SB and BB get for calling a bet, the antes have no discount, so they really are neutral. It feels like a big deal to pay, but after 9 hands (at a full table), everything is even.

The fact that online play still uses the "per person ante", tells us that this really is the best method to handle the antes. It is fair and evenly distributed. If we could only force live players to pay attention, maybe we could get live play to do this. Nah, what was I thinking?

Good luck and God bless.
 
fishfood80

fishfood80

Rock Star
Joined
Mar 17, 2015
Total posts
357
I like the way it speeds up the game. It makes no difference if every spot pays an ante every hand or if only the bb does. Your still paying the same every orbit. It’s mostly a mental thing making you believe it’s hurting more. I believe it’s doing a good job for what it was intended for.
 
fishfood80

fishfood80

Rock Star
Joined
Mar 17, 2015
Total posts
357
The BB ante for live play really does help speed up the play of the game. There is always one guy at your table that can't seem to pay enough attention to put up his ante Every Single Hand. This removes the burden of the dealer constantly hounding this guy Every Single Hand.

It is unfortunate that the BB has to pay, but in the end the blind and the antes are simply a tax that we all have to play once per orbit. It evens out, no matter who pays it. Unlike the blind discount that the SB and BB get for calling a bet, the antes have no discount, so they really are neutral. It feels like a big deal to pay, but after 9 hands (at a full table), everything is even.

The fact that online play still uses the "per person ante", tells us that this really is the best method to handle the antes. It is fair and evenly distributed. If we could only force live players to pay attention, maybe we could get live play to do this. Nah, what was I thinking?

Good luck and God bless.

Agree that online paying individual antes is best because they just automatically get taken out. No time consumption there. Live bb ante is optimal to speed up the game.
 
Top