Up the Ante: How to Use the Useful Idiom “Up the Ante” Correctly?

Last Updated on March 25, 2020

There may be many times during conversation which you have heard the phrase up the ante being used, but what is the meaning of this term? In this article, we are going to take a look at the meaning of this term as well as looking at where it originally came from. We will also study some examples of how the term can be used in order to gain a greater understanding of how it works.

Up the Ante

Up the Ante Meaning

The phrase up the ante means to raise the stakes higher, this can apply in a gambling sense or in any situation which might require such an action.

Origin of the term

The idiom “up the ante” can trace its roots back to the game of poker, the ante was the name for a pot in which any bets were placed before the start of the game. This occurred in the 1800s.

“Up the Ante” Examples

Examples in Sentences

You are likely to see the term up the ante used in numerous different sentences. We are now going to look at some examples of this.

The first sentence is one which is being said by a woman about her ex-boyfriend.

  • He has done nothing but play games since we broke up, I’m going to have to up the ante if I want to win.

This next example is a statement being made in a game of cards.

  • It looks like everyone wants to up the ante, so let’s all bet a little more.

Conversation Examples

If you are interested to see how the term up the ante might look in a conversation, we are now going to look into an example of how this might work.

The conversation is taking place between two friends.

  • Person 1: “Are you applying for that job you talked about?”
  • Person 2: “Yes but I don’t think I’ll get it.”
  • Person 1: “Why not?”
  • Person 2: “Because the employer has really upped the ante making it harder to fit the bill.”

Other examples:

  • The group mind plays Pong so well that Carpenter decides to up the ante.
  • I think it did up the ante quite a bit.
  • Palmer’s contribution was to up the ante.

Other Ways to Say the Idiom

There are, of course, lots of other ways in which you might say the term up the ante.

We will now look at some other things you could say which mean the same thing.

  • Raise your game
  • Up the stakes
  • Raise the stakes
  • Raise the price

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