The BB and/or button ante debate flares up again

The revolutions that have turned most poker rules upside down, particularly in the past few years, have generally related to any part of poker that needed one rationalization of the game in favor of a contraction of the times of the same.

The introduction of the antes

Up until a few years ago, every participating player had a mandatory obligation to play in a tournament at some point in the tournament additional mail after the first levels, generally from 3 to 5, with the aim of generating interest in the pots being played.

The goal was fully achieved as the size of the pre-flop pot became significant and especially interesting for the players who would have had to strategize with it more aggressive.

It goes without saying that the rule introduced a few years ago has helped transform the game from a slow and painful agony where pre-flop ranges practically never opened to a far more aggressive riot twisted the way of play of those who aimed to use the toy as a source of livelihood.

So the goal was perfectly achieved, but like all specialties, not just games, of this country subject to improvement, after a few years the payment of this mini tax it’s not enough anymore.

The BB/Ante or the Button/Ante

In search of an even more frenetic action and an effective time saver, a few years ago, just before the pandemic surprised us in our more or less peaceful existence, some devices capable of charging a single player were introduced the full amount of the ante.

The decision was by no means far-fetched in the most bizarre sense of the word, as awkward situations arose on more than one occasion where the stakes were split among all players, such as: discussions between those who made the bet or not, distracted players who forgot their move while playing on their mobile phones, others who disappeared at the peak etc. etc.

These operations you will understand very well, they slowed down the action of the game excessive, which is more than a hindrance to table operators and players themselves who have had to endure this type of harassment without being able to do anything about it.

This gave rise to the idea of ​​having a single element of the table pay the fee specified in the object, with only one player taking on the burden of the money bet for all other players.

Initial confusion

The initial problem was understanding at which station this donation should be debitedas there was a kind of initial short circuit that arose out of fear of punishing them Big Blind (Big Blind Ante)or charge three times in a row button (button ante), the SB and the BB.

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In fact, there was a moment of confusion that was not short, which, by the way, has not yet been completely resolved even in our time, when I fans of one or the other stream is practically halved, resulting in very different tournaments.

The sparked a debate which also concerned the need to halve this type of tax if the maximum number of players was not higher than 5/6 players at a full ring table, but most disputes involved players based on the strategy to be used.

The situation led to the consideration that the specific weight of one position or another in relation to the one-time payment of the ante was changing, so that one was tempted to play with much more aggressiveness from the button or up to an even more, depending on the case exhausting defense of the big blind in order not to lose higher stack percentages without a fight.


In reality, this type of reasoning has been refuted by several players who wanted to point this out nothing changes at all nothing in the game economy.

In a way, if we’re going to be honest, in this case yes, mathematically, Nothing changes when you think about the flow of the tournament as for every losing button ante or BB ante there is one available in the next hand to conquer and there is no need to sword drawn with bizarre and meaningless ones to defend ranks. just because we post an extra blind.

This means that the inconsistencies should definitely be looked for on other shores, and above all there subjective related to the style of each player and, most importantly, what dynamics have emerged in our game.

The problem, if anything, is that we must do it ourselves to try to reclaim what has just been taken from us. other places which are not as lucrative as the button, bringing everything back into play and leading to endless discussions that are difficult to get out of.

It is precisely the lack of understanding of a game reality, which mathematically speaking does not change anything in the long run, that leads to greater action by those who pay the most, and thus creates mechanics that have little to do with a poker game and much more with the fear of being stolen two blinds instead of one.

But the debate is open. What do you think about it?

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