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SMALL ANTES

The general rule is that as the ante decreases, you must tighten up. But when you are at least as good as or better than your opponents in game with a very low ante, you should not tighten up so much that you never seem to play a hand. As the ante gets to a very low level, there is a limit to how much you should tighten up, because you need to give yourself the chance to outplay weaker opponents in later rounds. As the best player in the games, you want to play as many hands as possible to allow yourself to use your full arsenal of weapons.

Some games have a small ante and also a small initial bet. In such cases you should play loose for the initial bet only, calling with a marginal hand but folding on the next round of betting if your hand has not improved. When you do develop a hand, your small investment will pay big dividends. There is a $3-$6 games in Nevada with a tiny dime ante. Tight players think they have a gold mine in this games, but against decent players they don't. The reason is that the first bet is only 50 cents. It's worth playing a marginal hand to see one card for half a dollar in the hope of making a hand that will win a big pot. While the immediate pot odds may not justify the call, the implied odds you're getting, which are explained in detail in Page Seven, do justify it. You can call that half-dollar 20 times without improving your hand, but if, when you make a hand, you get just one opponent to call you to the end, you stand to win more than twice what you had to pay for those 20 hands that did not improve. Remember, however, to resist any temptation you may have to continue calling when your hand has not improved on fourth street.
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