Poker Basics

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Let us summarize this discussion of games with large antes before moving on to small-ante games.

1. As the ante increases, you loosen up your starting-hand requirements. There are four reasons for you to loosen up. First, you are getting better pot odds. Second, it costs too much money in antes to wait for big hands. Third, your opponents are playing weaker hands. And finally, when you play too tight against observant opponents, they will give you no action when you do get a big hand.

2. As the ante increases, you loosen up on later rounds, too, because the initial weaker requirements carry over into later rounds. However, in multi-way pots, hands like mediocre pairs decrease in value while drawing hands increase in value.

3. As the ante increases, you try to steal antes, especially against tight players, because the play has good positive expectation.

4. As the ante increases, you raise with a good hand rather than try to slowplay it because a large ante makes it likely your opponents are getting their proper odds when you do not raise and let them in cheaply. Furthermore, when the ante is large, opponents may even call your raise when they are not getting proper odds, which, according to the Fundamental Theorem, is exactly what you want. They are even more likely to call your raise if they suspect you have been stealing antes with your raises on previous hands.
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