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Blinds and Antes: Forced Bets to Stimulate Action

games with community cards, like hold'em and Omaha, require forced "blind bets" to start each hand. One or two players are required to make a bet - or portion of a bet - before the hand is dealt. Because this requirement rotates around the table, each player pays his share of "blinds".

"Board" games, like seven-card stud and 7-stud/8, in which players have only their own cards and no community cards, use antes instead of blinds. Antes are token bets required of each player before the hand is dealt. Antes and blinds serve the same purpose; they stimulate action by seeding pots with money.

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