A straddle in poker is when the player bets twice the big blind before the cards are shown. Blinds are required bets made before the player even looks at the cards.
The big blind is the smallest bet possible, and the small blind is usually half of that. The small blind is usually made by the person sitting to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is put by the next player on the left.
The player that has the option to straddle is the one to the left of the big blind. He would bet twice the big blind, and then all the other players must call or raise the amount of the straddle bet.
So when the straddle is “activated”, it now becomes the big blind. If some players call and the turn of the “straddler” comes again, he has the option to either call or raise.
But for this to happen, the dealer must announce that the straddle is on. Otherwise it would just be a normal raise and the one who started it will not get the chance to raise.
There are various types of straddles, and they are allowed in most poker games. A “Mississippi straddle” allows the dealer to do this, while other games are allowing any position to straddle and for any amount, creating really wild games.
In most real casinos straddling is only allowed from the “under the gun” position (the left of the big blind) and for only a certain amount. So in case you’re planning to do this, make sure to study the casino rules first.
There are pros and cons of straddling, so it’s really up to you if you decide to apply this technique or not. Most of the times it turns out to be a waste of money.
You might get to act last during the first round of betting indeed, but if you get raised, you need to have a pretty good hand in order to eventually win. Straddling might be a good idea when you’re playing a lower limit than you would like and you want to double the betting right from the start.
It also works with weak and fearful players that are not comfortable on betting double the big blind. A Mississippi straddle might also be a good idea if you are in the button position.
This gives you a big advantage because you will have the last position in that round and if the big blind has weak cards he will eventually fold.
Another time when straddling is ok, is when all the players at the table agree to do it “just for fun”. This creates a more interesting game and you can just go with the flow.
So now you know how to play straddle poker games. Use this technique occasionally but definitely don’t overdo it.All news