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Poker strategy: How does a straddle work in poker?

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Poker strategy: How does a straddle work in poker?

Poker strategy: How does a straddle work in poker?

Tue Aug 02 2022 04:06:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Poker is without a doubt the most popular card game played by numerous punters worldwide. It has spawned top poker players that use different methods and strategies to win, one of which is the straddle bet.

Learn what a poker straddle bet is here at Livecasino.io. Find out below.

What is a poker straddle?

A straddle bet is simply a blind bet twice as large as the big blind placed voluntarily before the cards are dealt. Through this, you can be the last one to act and increase the bet before the flop is dealt. This is mostly done in various games such as Texas Hold’em Poker blinds and Omaha.

Players can always call or raise the straddle bet. Moreover, some poker rooms limit straddling to only one player at a time while others let as many as four players. 

How do you straddle in poker?

Straddling can be done in a variety of contexts, but here is how straddle works in its most basic form in poker:

  1. Once the button is decided and the small and big blinds are placed, you can play a straddle by either announcing to the table or putting out twice the big blind with poker chips. Your bet will then be the new minimum bet.
  2. Players starting from your left must then decide if they will call, raise or fold.
  3. The cards are then distributed and you, together with the blinds, get to glance at your cards before deciding to check, fold or raise.
  4. Afterwards, the flop is laid down and the betting round proceeds as usual.

If no player chooses to straddle, the poker game continues. 

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What are the different types of poker straddle bet?

There are different types of straddles that affect the preflop play. Check them out below:

1. Under the gun (UTG) straddle

The most common straddle type, Under the Gun Straddle (UTG) occurs when the player ‘under the gun’ or seated beside the big blind bets twice the big blind before the cards are dealt. These bets then serve as the final preflop. The UTG straddler will then act last in the pre-flop sequence.

2. Mississippi straddle

Unlike UTG straddles, the Mississippi straddle can be placed by any player outside of the blinds. The player on the straddler's left initiates play when a Mississippi Straddle is in effect. 

In this bet, the player who makes the greatest straddle before the flop decides how the hand will play out.

3. Button straddle

If the player sitting at the Button wishes to place a blind wager before the dealing of cards, they have the option of doing so by making what is known as a 'Button straddle'. Through this, a player can effectively double the stakes by straddling the button. This allows the player to keep their positional advantage while increasing the stakes. 

4. Un-capped straddle

In this type of straddle, there’s no limit to the straddle bet so anyone can bet more than twice the big blind. Whichever amount the straddler wagers will then be the minimum bet.

This lets players determine who has the most money to throw into the pot since there's no limit for the wager. In turn, the player with the largest pre-flop wager has a tiny edge since they get to act last.

5. Double straddle

The double straddle bet is more challenging than a single straddle since it is double the initial bet and involves two separate wagers. To perform this bet, the second straddler player must be located at the initial straddler's left. 

6. Sleeper straddle

When a player who is not ‘under the gun’ makes a blind raise, it is called a ‘sleeper’ straddle. The person making the sleeper bet cannot increase the pot if other players call and cannot purchase the last action, so the bet essentially sets a higher table minimum to call in the initial round. This lets the player skip their turn if no one re-raises the bet.

Why use the straddle bet?

Although poker straddle strategy, like any other strategy, cannot ensure victory, it can significantly increase the quality of the game itself by raising both your chances of winning and the stakes for your opponents. Here are some of the other reasons why you should consider using a straddle bet:

1. Gives pressure on opponents

What’s great about a straddle bet is that it is not necessarily known by many players, so it can be unexpected if you perform such an action on the table. 

Therefore, you can pressure your opponents into folding by placing a high straddle bet. Through this, you can lessen the number of your opponents and increase your chances of winning. 

2. Brings more money to the pot

What’s great about straddling is that it allows you to increase the amount of the pot. Through this, you can also elevate your drive to win. Plus, straddling raises a low-valued pot, which therefore increases the jackpot you may take home.

3. Allows you to act last

What's great about straddle bet is that it allows you to act last before the flop. This is important since it offers you a superior edge over the other players and allows you more time to consider your options before making a choice. 

Plus, it lets you control how big or small the pot will be and determine the minimum bet for the next rounds, giving you more power over the game than other players.

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How to use the poker straddle strategy

Having a few tips and tricks under your belt can further increase your chances of taking home the pot since it gives you an advantage over your opponents. Check out some of the tips you should keep in mind when using a straddle bet:

  1. Know when to straddle

Just like with raising and folding, it is always best to know when to straddle especially since it’s an additional bet you can either lose or win back. 

To know when to straddle, consider your opponents and decide whether they’re solid players or not.For example, if you feel like your opponent could not match a double bet, it is best to perform a straddle. However, if you’re unsure and can’t read them, then it’s a good idea to stay safe and refrain from straddling. 

  1. Study the different types of straddles

Not all casinos allow straddling. Sometimes, some only allow a specific type, while others accept all types of straddling. That’s why you should be familiar with all the different types so you don’t get caught off guard. 

Be attentive to the croupier if you’re playing live and if you’re playing online, check the info page to know which bets are allowed.

  1. Try watching professionals straddle 

If you’re a beginner in poker, it’s always best to watch how professionals play to give you more knowledge on how to play and have a better understanding of poker straddle rules

Observe when they straddle, what their position at the table is and other factors such as their bankroll and the other players. Most importantly, see if they win and whether the bet contributed to it. These can give you an insight into how straddle bets are used professionally. One of the most recommended videos is the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in 2018.

  1. Watch your bankroll

If your opponent straddles, you can call, raise or fold. But before you decide what to do, gauge if your bankroll is enough to keep you in the game.    

A common mistake many novice players make is biting off more than they can chew. You can prevent this by being mindful of the game and your bankroll. If you see that the situation would put you at an advantage, go ahead and call or raise. But if it is unfavourable, it’s best to know your limits and fold.

  1. Know the basics of poker

Although poker may be a simple game, it still has technicalities that make it confusing for beginners and if not studied, can lead to unfavourable situations. So before doing a straddle bet, make sure you know the basics of poker like how the game works, card rankings, payouts and more. 

Once you have an ample understanding of the game, you can now be more technical and apply more sophisticated concepts and strategies to elevate the gameplay, one of which is doing a straddle bet. 

Poker straddle bet FAQs

Why do players use poker straddle?

Most punters use poker straddle to raise a low-valued pot so if they win, they score a huge amount. But others, mostly aggressive players do it just for fun and to add an exciting factor to the gameplay.

Can you straddle in a poker tournament?

The rake in poker tournaments is already predetermined before a game begins, therefore straddling is generally not allowed during poker tournaments, However, you can always apply this strategy to various casinos that allow it and increase your chances of winning the pot. 

Is it profitable to use poker straddle?

Straddling in poker is generally not considered to be profitable since it is only an optional bet, however, it does put you at an advantage since it gives you an upper hand by allowing you to act last. However, it’s always best to know when and how to use it to avoid losses. 

How much can you straddle in poker?

In poker, a straddle bet is often equal to two large blinds. However, some variants let you wager more money.

Is straddle considered a raise?

Although it may seem counterintuitive, the third blind in poker is a straddle and not a raise. Robert's Rules of Poker, authored by poker expert Bob Ciaffone, states that increasing the effective stake does not constitute a raise. 

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Now that you know the answer to ‘how does a straddle work in poker?’ and various strategies to win the pot, it’s high time to play different poker games available on Livecasino.io from the best online providers! Put newfound knowledge to the test and see whether you have what it takes to bring home the jackpot prize.

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Poker strategy: How does a straddle work in poker?