An ante is a forced bet you need to place to participate in the game. In gambling terms, it’s the initial wager you place before receiving your cards and is often the smallest betting unit in the game. This feature is most common in poker, where all players chip into the pot before the game begins.
For example, in a $5/10 poker game, ante is often set at $1 or $2. Before the cards are dealt, every single player must put this amount in the pot. After that, blinds are posted and cards are dealt.