Ante Stealing Strategy

A good way to increase your profits is by stealing the antes. In a regular game, you generally get enough pot odds to show a profit if your steal success is around 40%.

However, your chances do not actually have to be that good because there are times when you will win the pot even though you got played with. An example of this would be catching a scare card (usually an Ace or a King, which happens about 12% of the time) on Fourth Street, enabling you to win the pot by betting and representing a big pair. Often times your opponent will fold a small pair on Fourth Street if you have been the aggressor and you have higher board cards than his pair.
Another reason to steal the antes is because it adds deception to your overall game. If you only raise with legitimate raising hands, you will never get any action and, thus, will not win as much as you could. Any time you are on a steal, it is important that you consider your opponents’ upcards. In general, consider stealing when you hold the highest or second highest upcard. A good time to steal is when you have the second highest upcard and the highest upcard has yet to act. This creates the illusion that you have a legitimate hand since you raised into a higher card. When trying this move you must always consider what type of player is holding the highest upcard. If that player is a good, aggressive player, be more cautious about stealing. Occasionally, if you suspect another player might be stealing, you should attempt to re-steal. A good time to do this is when you hold a bigger upcard than your opponent and your hand has some additional value, like when it is a three-straight or a three-flush. Since you were planning to call regardless, you may as well try for a re-raise if it seems likely that your opponent is on a steal.

If you are playing in a tight game, you can steal when you are sitting up front holding an Ace or King as your upcard. This is usually a mistake in a loose game because the chance for a successful steal is much smaller. In general, you should not try to steal when your upcard is duplicated in any of your opponents’ hands. Your opponents will know you are less likely to hold the hand you are trying to represent and that you will most likely not improve to that hand if you get played with..