Behind “straddling” in Texas Hold’em

Published by:
Posted on: April 22, 2020 7:35 pm EDT

Though not often found in the poker game, straddling is still a term that needs to be understood

Perhaps this is not a common term heard at the poker tables, but it is important to know about it. Straddling basically means, in this or any other card game, that someone is betting twice the big blind before the first cards are dealt. Learning the possibilities that straddling could bring in Texas Hold’em poker also requires considering a few things before it’s seen.

In most cases the big blinds establish the minimum accepted bet, while the small blind is just a third of the big blind. So, when straddling happens, it most likely will come from the player sitting to the left of the big blind, who can call or raise the straddle bet. Most straddles are live and allowed in any poker game that uses blinds; however, straddling out one’s turn typically is not. When a straddle is live, it works similarly to the big blind – when the betting round goes back to the player on the straddle, another raise can be made. When this happens, the dealers are usually obligated to announce that there is a straddle in play.

If allowed, there are certain things to pay attention to when straddling. Fast, effective reactions really pay off when playing poker, which is also important in deciding when to straddle. The only advantage that it gives a player is the ability to act last during the initial betting round, nothing else. More often than not, it is not even worth the risk of moving forward if a blind has been raised.

It could be a good option if the game in play is not seeing bets high enough for what you were expecting since straddling can bring up the pot since the first round. Also, some players believe that straddling takes them out of their comfort zone, making most players fold. As such, it becomes a useful tool in an offensive strategy.