up the ante


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up the ante

1. To raise the stakes in a betting game. I didn't planning on betting so much until Jason upped the ante on us.
2. To increase something in pursuit of a better result, often one related to money. I'm just going to threaten them a little and up the ante so that they finally pay up. Sellers have raised the ante in this area so much that first-time buyers can no longer afford it.
See also: ante, up

up the ante

 and raise the ante 
1. Fig. to raise the opening stakes in a betting game. Pete upped the ante on that the poker game to $100 per hand. Don't up the ante any more. You're betting far too much money already.
2. Fig. to increase a price. (Fig. on {2}.) Sensing how keen the people looking at the house were, Jerry upped the ante another $5,000. "Don't try to up the ante on us," said the man, "We know what the asking price is."
See also: ante, up

up the ante

COMMON
1. In an argument or contest, if you up the ante, you increase the demands that you are making or the risks that you are taking. Note: In card games such as poker, the ante is the amount of money which each player must place on the table before the game begins. The secretary of state last night upped the ante by refusing to accept the election results. Whenever they reached their goal, they upped the ante, setting increasingly complex challenges for themselves. Note: You can also say that you raise the ante. These judges have raised the ante by challenging the authority of the Chief Justice.
2. If you are gambling or investing money in something and you up the ante, you increase the amount of money you are offering. Note: In card games such as poker, the ante is the amount of money which each player must place on the table before the game begins. Its network television division upped the ante by paying an estimated $2 million a year for an overall deal. Note: You can also say that you raise the ante. My defeat came when I was unable to persuade my backer to raise the ante.
See also: ante, up