For those who are wondering, 'What's the difference between ante and blinds,' here's a quick guide to answer your query.
Ante is a small amount placed in the pot by all the players before they enter a hand. This is a requisite in some games so that the hand has a minimum amount of payout no matter what. This encourages players to play the hand instead of folding, as the value of the hand increases.
Ante's amount is usually very small. For example, if the small bet in a 5-card stud game is $5, then the Ante is $1.
After the Ante is placed, the game begins and it requires players to place blinds, bring-in bets, or small & large bets, as per the rules of the games.
Blinds are placed by the first two players sitting to the left of the dealer. These are forced bets that the first two players have to place.
The dealer button moves to the next players, clockwise, after every hand. This ensures that everybody on the table gets a chance to be the dealer, and the burden of placing the blinds keeps shifting clockwise after every hand.
The amounts of the small and big bets are decided beforehand. Here are some Basics of Blinds and Betting in Poker.
Small blind: The first player sitting next to the dealer button places a small blind.
Big blind: The Second player to the left of the dealer button places the big blind. The big blind amount is usually twice the amount of the small blind. For example, if the small blind is $5, then the big blind is $10.
The betting rounds start with the player on the left of the big blind. The starting player must call or raise the big blind or fold.
Big blind gets to act last in the pre-flop round, and hence it is a very advantageous position, as one gets to see how all the players act before playing themselves.
Larger Starting Pot in Ante than in Blinds
Blinds bring less money in the pot than Ante, but they bring in enough money to keep some player motivated to bet. Especially, the players who place the Blinds stay in the game, as they have already put some money in.
Effects on Bet Sizes
The amount of Ante DOES NOT AFFECT the size of the following bets. Hence, it is a dead amount put to increase the size of the pot. If Ante is $1, the bet amounts are not affected and are based on the blinds or the small and big bets, as per the game rules.
Blinds, on the other hand, affect the size of the bet. If the small bet is $5 and the big bet is $10, then the next player has to either call and bet the same amount of $10 or raise to bet $20.
Types of Games that Use Ante and Blinds
Ante is generally used in Stud Games. It is sometimes even used in No-limit Hold'em tournaments.
Stud games often also have a bring-in bet. This is a compulsory 1st round bet. The amount of a bring-in bet is higher than Ante but lower than a small bet. For example, if the small bet is $5 and Ante is $1, a bring-in bet can be $2. You can read about bring-in bets in our article on Five Card Stud Poker Rules under the heading 'First Betting Round'.
Blinds are generally used in games like Hold'em and Omaha