Straddle in poker
As it is already known, there are two mandatory bets in poker: small blind and big blind. However, don’t miss the voluntary bet that is made even before the start of hand, that is, blindly. We are talking about straddle, namely the bet in the amount of 2 BB that is made by the player sitting behind the big blind. For example, if the blinds are $2/ $4, then the straddle could be $8. In addition, this bet grants participant the right to act the last on postflop.
From the organizers’ point of view, straddle is a convenient technique that allows increasing the amount of action at the tables, thereby entertain the players and increase the amount of collected rake.
However, not all experienced players like straddle, as they rely on mathematical calculations based on the analysis of specific information in their play. Participants who decide to take such actions are guided by the desire to seize the initiative in hand, thereby condemning themselves to the last place in the preflop betting.
Poker straddle meaning
This bet is risky, since the participants make straddle raises without seeing their cards. Different players may have different motives for this:
- The risk associated with hazard. The participant of hand just wants to risk his money (he can get lucky after being dealt good cards). In this case, the opponents will only have to make assumptions concerning the strength of his hand, since they will make decisions after him, and his straddle raise won’t tell them anything about further intentions in the betting rounds. There may be opportunity to win a good pot, but in the case of bad scenario, he will lose two big blinds.
- A wise move in order to get an advantageous position. This bet changes the order in a decision-making process. Since the poker player has made a blind bet, he is also given the opportunity to make a voluntary decision after evaluating his cards. Therefore, even if his opponents called his raise, he makes a decision last (after the big blind). From the early position, he automatically goes to the late position, and this puts him in advantageous position! At the table with a certain contingent (weak or too tight players), an experienced poker player can successfully play a wide range of hands due to advantageous position. In this case, he bets deliberately in order to increase his winnings, rather than for the sake of hazard.
Some poker clubs set limits on straddles and positions from which this bet can be made. Most poker clubs only allow making straddle from UTG, but sometimes this bet can be done from any position. As for online poker rooms, straddle doesn't occur often, however GG Network has already implemented this feature and established special rules for this blind bet.
In some cases, blind bets are not limited to straddle. The next participant can announce his desire to make a re-straddle, thereby increasing the previous bet by two times. The possibility of such an action should be consistent with the casino rules, since this option is not always allowed. In some establishments, such bets are allowed in the infinite numbers, in the other ones – they are limited.
Re-straddle is four times larger than the big blind’s size and it is essentially a blind raise. Re-straddle is also made before the card dealing and it is therefore a more risky decision. Most often, it is used only to heat things up, by forming a large initial pot and motivate the opponents to invest money in it in the future. As a tactical technique, it is less effective, as it requires a lot of money.
- There is a chance to increase the pot already at the preflop stage.
- If you get a good card, it will be convenient to shove on the flop and win a big pot.
- There is a chance to beat a large number of rivals out of the game and play against 1-2 opponents. This increases the likelihood of winning.
- Lack of information before the betting round.
- Odds’ advantage for the opponents.
- If the bad cards are dealt, we lose the double minimum bet in vain.
Those who are wondering why straddle in poker is needed, the answer is following – this technique brings more hazard to the game. But unfortunately, this also leads to avoidable losses, namely the participant can lose a significant part of his bankroll in one hand, because it is difficult for the player who has already invested funds in the pot to blow the luck after being dealt the weak cards on preflop.