What Does Ante Up Mean?

Ante Up Meaning

Definition: To provide payment or compensation for something; to do one’s share of something.

The phrase ante up means to pay one’s share or do one’s part. The standalone noun ante refers to the bet or stakes that are made before the cards are dealt in a game of poker. This phrase should not be confused with up the ante, although both phrases have related meanings.

Origin of Ante Up

ante up or anty upThis expression comes from the game of poker. In betting games such as these, to ante signifies making a bet and contributing your share to the pot before the cars are dealt. By the mid-1800s, its use began being used outside of this context alone. 

It should be noted that ante up is a phrasal verb in English. Phrasal verbs are two-part verbs–typically comprised of a verb and a preposition – that have different meanings than the main verb itself.

Up the ante is a similar phrase that has a related meaning. If Terry tells Ryan to up the ante, Terry wants him to increase the stakes of the bet. The stakes may or may not be monetary.

Examples of Ante Up

ante up pokerThis example exchange between two roommates shows how this phrase refers to doing one’s part.

Ethan: I’m getting tired of doing all the cleaning by myself. You need to ante up or find somewhere else to live

Connor: Okay, I’ll start doing more of the cleaning. I’m sorry.

More Examples

  • And they had better ante up. More money means one less excuse in their back pocket. – NY Post
  • But if the Chiefs don’t pay Berry next year, someone will ante up for a player who plays an increasingly valuable position so effectively. – USA Today


The English verb phrase ante up means to pay one’s share toward something or to do one’s part.