What is a poker straddle?

Next, it is worth answering the question, what is straddling in poker. It is the procedure of “buying” the big blind and doubling your bet. A typical straddle is 2 times the amount of the big blind, but can be larger if the poker room allows it.

How do straddles work in poker?

Before the cards are dealt, mandatory bets are taken from the small blind and the big blind. When the deck is shuffled, the next player after the blinds can say the word “Straddle” and place a double bet in the pot. Other participants can re-straddle, i.e. re-do double straddle in poker. And the first player can once again increase the bet by 2 times.

Who can Straddle in Poker?

A straddle is made by the person who is positioned after the big blind. If you are in this position, it is important to understand whether this bet will bring an advantage and why you should take it. Straddle is chosen by poker players who want to take the lead in a hand by securing the last seat in preflop bidding. This is a gesture designed for luck. If the player gets nats pocket cards, he can take a solid pot. However, such luck is rare.

What if both the player under the gun and the player on the button want to change positions?

The player who will act first, being in Under the Gun (UTG) position, misses. The player (to the left of the big blind) may make a straddle bet. The player in the position to the right of the straddler moves after the closed cards are dealt. The player in UTG position has changed his position from the most disadvantageous to the most advantageous. He moves last. After the flop, players act in the standard way. Straddle affects only the order of action on the preflop.

Why use a straddle in poker: pros and cons

It is believed that straddle in pokeris not of great benefit to the player who made it. More often than not, such an action puts the poker player at a disadvantage. The player puts money into the pot without knowing what cards he will get. The opponents can check their hand and then decide whether to call or fold. This gives the opponents an advantage.


Some of the advantages of the straddle include:

  • The opportunity to increase the bank at the preflop stage.
  • If you get good cards, it is profitable to make an all-in on the flop and get a big pot.
  • There is a chance that several opponents will leave the hand, leaving 1 or 2 people. The probability of success increases.

In general, a straddle is positive if your opponent makes it. The other person has invested in the pot, it remains to be decided whether to participate in the round further or to discard cards.


The main disadvantage of straddle in poker is the lack of data before making a bet. If a player gets weak cards, he will lose a double bet. The advantage goes to the opponents.

When should and should not straddle in poker?

Straddle should be used carefully, and it is wise to refrain from it. However, there are situations when this action can be beneficial.

The positive value of straddle in pokercan be at a table with passive players. If opponents frequently call bets pre-flop and then give up under pressure post-flop. A straddle helps you build a large pot and then exploit your opponents by being aggressive postflop.

If all players are making straddles, perhaps you should follow suit. The excitement and dynamics increase the chances of success. However, such a game may cause discomfort for those who are not used to high intensity.

If all players at the table are cautious and conservative, a straddle will make the hand more active. Cautious players will play even looser than they are used to. Explaining the need for a poker straddle must be reasonable. Sometimes such bets have the opposite effect – your opponents start to play taut.

Rare cases when straddle is also appropriate:

  • Decreasing effective stacks. If a poker player finds it difficult to make decisions with a large number of chips on the flop. In this situation it is possible to act in another way – to play according to the strategy of medium stacks.
  • Counter bluffing on the postflop. Strong opponents often bluff on initial stacks. When the ratio of stack size to pot size is reduced, its effectiveness decreases – poker players play “by hand”.
  • Disguise. A strong poker player occasionally acts like a phish. This pretense is well hidden behind blind betting.
  • Exploitation of mistakes. If the majority of players make gross errors, the strategy of increasing the pot is advantageous.

In general, not betting straddles at all is smarter and more practical than doing it often.

Can you take a straddle in a poker tournament?

A straddle bet is made to add excitement, adrenaline, and emotion to the game. Sometimes this action has the opposite effect. Straddle takes players out of their comfort zone. It is rare in online poker tournaments, although it is allowed in the World Series of Poker. The straddle button is common in live No-Limit Hold’em games, especially where the stakes are high. Since straddle is not common in online venues, players can become confused and lose concentration. Betting can be profitable, straddle encourages you to discard good hands.

About the Author

Beckett Emerson Casino Expert
Beckett Emerson

Beckett Emerson, born in Toronto, Canada, on July 27, 1989, is a reputable casino review specialist now living in Las Vegas. 2011 saw him graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Toronto, then fast entered the gambling sector working as a game analyzer. Beckett is well-known for his thorough casino reviews and pieces, which guide players across the convoluted realm of internet gaming.