In the past year, something new has been taking the tournament world by storm - the Button Ante. Playground Poker Club is no exception - we used this format in a few major tournaments during the 2017 World Cup of Cards, and the response from customers was overwhelmingly positive.
The concept is simple: instead of asking every player at a tournament table to contribute an ante each hand, the player on the button pays a larger ante once per table orbit. To keep it simple, the amount of the Button Ante is the equivalent of the big blind - as the big blind grows, so does the Button Ante amount. This Button Ante is pulled into the pot before the deal, and the small and big blinds are added as usual by the two players to the left of the button.
There are several benefits to the Button Ante format, but by far the most important is that it speeds up the game. The Button Ante allows players see more hands per hour in the tournament. One of the most time consuming things, on a hand-by-hand basis, is collecting the ante from each player - the Button Ante removes that problem entirely.
Considering the success of the Button Ante during the World Cup of Cards and in other poker rooms around the world, Playground Poker Club is going to move all daily tournaments to this new format beginning on October 1st.
Q: I heard that sometimes the ante amount is the small blind, not the big blind. Is that true?
A: Yes, but very rarely. When the entire tournament is short-handed and there are 3 players fewer than there should be per table, the Tournament Director will temporarily make the Button Ante be the amount of the small blind.
Q: What about early in a tournament before everyone has arrived? Aren’t tables sometimes short-handed then as well?
A: Tables may be temporarily short-handed in that situation, but the smaller button ante possibility doesn’t take effect before registration closes.
Q: What happens when the player who would be the next ante is eliminated?
A: In the case of a "dead button", there will be no ante for that one hand.
Q: What about a 6-Max tournament, is there any change?
A: Yes, in a 6-Max tournament the Button Ante is always the amount of the small blind.