What are Forced Bets in Poker?

Forced, or mandatory, bets in poker are those that you must make while playing the game. Forced bets are important because they help even the playing field. Think of them as an “entry fee” that everyone has to pay to play. Forced bets also help raise the amount of the pot, and thus the stakes of the game. The two types of forced bets are the ante and the blind.

If you’ve heard the phrase “up the ante,” you may have been wondering what exactly the ante is. The ante is a kind of “tax,” a set amount of chips that each player must contribute to the pot at the start of each hand. The ante is mostly used in Stud poker games, although they occasionally show up in other game versions.

Blinds are more commonly found in Texas Hold’Em poker. There are two types of blinds: small and big. The small blind is usually half the amount of the big blind, and there is only one of each per hand played. Blinds are posted by poker players sitting to the left of the dealer, whose position constantly rotates. Paying a blind forces you to invest, changing your poker strategy.

In poker, forced bets equalize the cost of playing and encourage everyone to participate in the game.


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