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What is a Straddle In Poker? A Complete Explanation

Introduction

Are you a poker enthusiast wondering about what is straddling in poker? A straddle in poker is a blind bet placed voluntarily by the players before the dealer deals out the cards for the poker gaming session. The gambler who straddles effectively buys the big blind bet before the cards are dealt out in an attempt to double the stakes. However, straddle poker can be a confusing move for many players, especially for beginners who are venturing into live poker gambling for the first time. If you are a poker enthusiast willing to take the risk, then read on to gain a deeper insight into what is straddle in poker.

How does straddling work?

The player straddles by placing a big blind bet before the cards are dealt out and thereby without checking out the hole cards (major players don’t know about what is straddle poker). The straddle bet occurs after the big blind and is often referred to as the 3rd blind. One of the reasons why players choose to straddle is to initiate a pre-flop. While some players consider straddle bet risky, others often regard the pre-flop strategy as an opportunity to make substantial gains.

There are different ways of straddling in poker, some of which are mentioned below:

1. UTG (Under The Gun) Straddle

The UTG straddling poker move is made by the gambler who stands at the UTG position. During the UTG straddle, the action commences with the straddle player to the left of the UTG. The player who becomes UTG instead of becoming the big blind is the last one who acts pre-flop during the poker game. Under this straddling strategy, the player can place a bet that is double the big blind during the gambling session before seeing the hole cards.

2. Button Straddle

When a player straddles from the button position, another player who will act last pre-flop first shall occupy the UTG position. It is structurally chaotic, and most casinos have certain rules for players in the button position. The most common move players make is to let the action begin at the UTG, proceed clockwise, take a skip at the button, and proceed to the blinds before making a return to the button where straddling stops.

3. Mississippi Straddle

When players can straddle from any position, it is known as the Mississippi straddle (Mississippi straddle is not a traditional straddle, with a typical live straddle the player who puts out the blind bet has the last alternative to raise preflop). Here, the gambler has to place a bet of double the left of the big blind or more after indicating his intention to straddle before the dealer deals out the cards. The straddling player gets the opportunity to make the last move in a hand while the gaming session begins with the gambler who occupies the position at the left of the straddling player.

4. Classic Double Straddle

At the classic double straddle game, the straddle player at the UTG position of poker makes the classic straddle move, and then the player at the left of the big UTG gambler makes a larger straddle move.

How to straddle Bet and win more hands?

If you are still willing to risk it at the poker gambling session, then try out the tips below to place a straddle bet during the game:

  1. Fold the marginal strength hands to make a winning move. Shift the comparatively weaker hands to play into the folding range. Don’t forget that the straddle cuts the stack by half, which decreases the implied odds and makes the hands of cards playable.
  2. Put forth a blind raise if you find that two players are limping at the poker table. The gambler can enjoy a steady hourly win-rate by making either a call or raise. Either call or raise contributes to pushing the opponents out of the game and clearing the route to winning.
  3. Check the size of the stack and keep an eye on your pocket bankroll. If there are less than 100 blinds in the stack, then gamble at short-stacked poker and be sure to consider pre-flop moves as a viable option. You can also try topping up your stack to ensure chips’ availability to stay safe through every turn, flop, and river betting during the poker gaming session.

Is straddling worth it?

When the gambler straddles, his overall EV (Expected Value) in that specific hand takes a plunge. The EV goes down because the straddle player places a blind bet without being acquainted with the hand. The overall Expected Value is bound to dip as the very strategy to straddle in poker is against winning that involves careful selection of the hand before making the calls and placing bets. Hand selection plays a critical role in poker gambling, especially at the early positions such as under the gun (UTG). Most casinos only permit straddling from under the gun. It is a position that requires the tightest of hand selections for making a win. Experts say that blind bets are not recommended for poker titles like No-Limit Hold’em as most of the hands in No-Limit Hold’em are folded pre-flop, which implies that straddling may result in losses in the long run. Straddle in poker also tends to cut the stack in half in terms of the count of big blinds. Besides, gambling with fifty big blind stacks can especially lead the straddling player into difficulties. Some of the reasons why straddling at poker is not a good idea are enlisted below:

1. The odds of incurring a loss are too high

The probability of losing money increases when the player places a bet without seeing the cards to make the straddling move. The EV dips due to which the third blind suffers the same positional disadvantage as the first and second blinds, thereby leading to losses. It is highly risky to straddle from the UTG position.

2. Takes the post-flop edge of the player

Straddling shrinks the stack. The shrinking of the stack’s size affects the game, especially if the player has a post-flop edge over the rest of the players at the table. However, if the stack’s size is bigger, then there can be a possibility to win the blind bet, but the chance of raking in such a win is too little.

3. The pressure of performing at the game can get too high

If every player at the table starts to straddle, the gambling session will turn into a melting pot of chaos. The stakes will soar, creating immense pressure on every player to make a cut above the rest and win. It can lead to errors and would require extremely strategic gameplay for winning the round. The pressure of live straddle betting at the poker game is one reason why experts advise newcomers to avoid it while gambling. Now that you know what straddling is and are aware of the risks, then it is time to choose and raise the excitement quotient at the poker table. However, do not blow up your savings while straddling. Gamble safely and have fun too.

A few important FAQs

How does a straddle work?

The straddle betting works by placing a blind bet before seeing the hole cards at the game.

When should you straddle in poker?

The player should straddle if he occupies the position at the big blinds’ left before the dealer deals out the cards.

Is straddling considered to be a raise?

The straddle is considered a minimum raise equal to the difference between the straddle and the big blind.

John Scott

John Scott joined the Times of Casino’s team as a news writer. He previously worked with foremost publications as an intern. He holds bachelor of journalism degree and more than three years of experience of writing. In his free time, he enjoys travelling different places.

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