Big Blind Ante

For those not familiar with the format, it works as follows:

In variants with an ante, instead of each player posting an ante each hand, the player in the big blind will post an amount equal to the big blind.

For example, with blinds at 500/1,000, the player in the big blind will post 1,000, followed by 1,000 for the ante. Their total contribution to that pot is 2,000. The ante (1,000) is dead and is immediately brought into the pot. The big blind (the other 1,000) is live and is part of the pre-flop betting.

No matter how many chips a player starts with they can always win the entire ante. For example: the blinds are 4k/8k and the big blind also antes 8k. A participant who is not in the blinds who starts the hand with only 1k gets involved in a three-way pot against the blinds. If that participant wins, they win 11k (their own 1k wager, plus 1k from each opponent, plus the 8k ante). In this scenario, 1 chip can win 11 chips!

When you're running a tournament with a Big Blind Ante (BBA), there are a few of options to consider:

  1. What should the amount of the BBA be?

    • Typically the amount is equal the the big blind amount, but see #2 below.

  2. Should the BBA amount be reduced (or cut in half) when the table is short-handed (down to 5 or 6 players)?

  3. If the big blind player is short stacked, which should be paid first, the big blind or the ante?

    • For reference, the WSOP requires the big blind to be paid first, then the ante.

Solution 1, for the case where the BBA does not reduce: Just edit the ante amount for each blind level.

This is the simplest, but most time consuming solution. This solution also does not require the use of the Timer Customization feature.

1. Create the blinds structure like you normally would. For example, you can tap the wand in the Blinds screen:

2. Then update Expected Players and other settings. You can either turn on the Antes option, or leave it turned off, either way will require some level editing later.

3. When you're ready, tap Save in the upper right corner:

And, now you have a blinds structure to work with: