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Ante Stealing

Third Street

Stealing an ante is also important on third-street. The low-limit games such as $1-$4 range generally don't have an ante. You won't get an ante until you get to about the $3-$6 limit and above. But when you play in a poker game with an ante, you must think about ante-stealing.

You would think, "What is ante stealing and what is the purpose of doing it?" First, ante stealing is any time you raise on third-street trying to win the antes and low-card bet without rivals while you necessarily don't hold a poker hand of value. You are just trying to steal the antes.

And now what is the purpose of doing it? Naturally if you done correctly, it will give you profit. If you don't replace the antes you put in on every hand, they will outdraw you. It is a $10-$20 game with a one-dollar ante. Assume it is played thirty or forty hands per hour. It is not difficult to figure that if you were to just sit and not play a hand, your stack would reduce by $30-$40 every hour. That's a lot to overcome. You overcome it by ante stealing.

One advantage of ante-stealing is that you will be raising more at third-street, giving you the image of being a solid, aggressive player, while you will be playing "selectively aggressive" poker. We shall this as a chapter later on.

How ante-stealing is done? Ante stealing is almost always done from a late position after all or most other players have acted. If everyone has folded when the action gets to you, and if there is only the forced-bet low card in the pot, it would be a mistake of you to fold and surrender all that money laying out there to what is probably a nothing hand. Therefore you should raise. He will fold. And in this way you will profit.

If there are still one or two players to act after you and everyone has folded when the action gets to you, raise if your upcard is higher that either of theirs. If not, fold if you have no value.

If you raise as an ante steal holding a hand of no real value and then someone re-raises then just fold. Don't be throwing good money after bad. You will be bluffed a time or two but in the long run you will make money playing.

When another player has already voluntarily entered the pot before the action gets to you, stop thinking of stealing the ante. He limped in with something in his hand and if you don't have anything good, fold and wait for the better hand to play.

Steal many antes as possible as you can

When you finally get "caught," back off for a while. Keep in mind when you are stealing antes you are always stealing from the same player to your left. Your rival won't like that and finally he will play back at you with a raise of his own to put a stop to it. You should do the same thing if and when the player to your right wants to continually steal your antes. Many of the players will play back at you.

Every poker game will be different as to how much ante-stealing you can away with. It depends on the aggressiveness of your rivals. Always be careful so that you are not caught into any traps. If they are tight non-callers, steal more. If they are loose aggressive who play back, steal less. But steal you should or see your stack reduce your dollar John Zagurasky

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