Ante Over

Ante Over (also known as Eenie Einie, Auntie Over, Andy Over, Anti-Over, Annie I Over, Ante-I-over, Annie Annie Over, Annie Over the Shanty, and other regional variants) is a children's game played in the United States and Canada, dating back to at least the late nineteenth century. The game requires a ball or any other small object and a barrier (usually a small gabled building) between the two teams over which the ball is thrown.

Basic play

There are two teams, one on each side of the barrier. A player on the team that starts with the ball throws the ball over the roof to the other team, yelling some version of "Ante Over" to warn them that it has been thrown. If the other team fails to catch the ball before it hits the ground, then they will yell "Ante Over" and throw it back. If the team that is thrown to catches the ball, then the player holding the ball runs around the building and tries to hit one of the members of the opposing team with the ball. Players are "safe" if they succeed in running around the building without being hit. If a player is hit, they then join the team of the player who hit them with the ball. Gameplay continues until one team has all of the players [1][2] or there is just one is left.


In some areas, if the ball bounces off the wall or rolls back without going over the roof, the thrower will yell "Pig's tail", "pigtails", "Back, ball", or "Uncle" to let the other team know the ball has been thrown but did not go over. They then yell "Ante Over" again and make another attempt to throw the ball over the roof.[1][3][4]

An indoor version of the game uses a curtain instead of a building.[1] Any tall obstacle that obscures the other team works for the game, although a gabled roof is part of traditional play.

When a building is used instead of a fence or some other narrow object, in some variations the ball must touch the other side of the roof. Having the ball bounce this way can make it tougher for the other side to catch. Some players even learn to finesse the ball rolling it up and over the roof.

When it is fence, or a similar obstacle that can be seen through, it is more difficult for the players to cheat as the other side can see if the ball does or does not hit the ground. When it is a building, or other opaque barrier, players can sometimes stealth to the other side, catching the other team by surprise.

One rule has it that the opposing player can only be hit below the waste as a safety precaution like in dodge ball.

In most versions players only have to run to the other side of the building to be "safe", while other versions require them to run all the way around the building.


  1. 1 2 3 Kathryn Grover. "Ante Over." Hard at Play: Leisure in America, 1840-1940. University of Massachusetts Press, 1992. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  2. Joy Forbes. "Typical Games Played In & Outside One-Room School Houses." The One Room Schoolhouse. Web. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  3. Cynthia MacGregor. "Annnie Annie Over". Fun Stuff for Kids...For September. Web. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  4. Federal Writers' Project (1937). "Children's Games". Nebraska Folklore Pamphlets. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
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