Poker straddle and types of straddles

Straddles are a type of blind betting that takes place preflop. Straddles greatly encourage more action in the game, causing players to play a more aggressive strategy. However, they also interfere with the number of stacks available and the way hands work, reversing the order of the blinds - in the case of a Mississippi Straddle - as the blinds will have to decide whether or not to enter the bet without knowing what the other players will do, unlike what usually happens in a normal hand. Don't worry! We know this concept can be complex, so in this article we're going to explain everything you need to know.

Below, we look at what a poker straddle is, what the different types of poker straddles are and when it's advisable to make a straddle. Read on for more information.

What is straddle in poker

The first thing to be clear about is that poker straddle, meaning and concept varies from the definition used in the investment world. In the latter case, straddle consists of long-term investments that are made as a way of acquiring money with simultaneous call and put options on the stock exchange - usually with the same strike and with the same expiry date and form. Now, leaving aside this concept, since it has nothing to do with poker, and having made this clarification, we can begin to define what a straddle is in poker and what its function is.

Well, when talking about straddle poker, meaning and concept, what you should know is that it consists of a blind bet that is made before looking at the private cards. Even before they are dealt. The straddle usually takes place in Texas Hold'em games, usually in No-Limit games and with high buy-ins (amount of money to enter a poker table) that exceed 200 BB or even more - as this prevents the stack from being smaller than the apparent stack as the streets develop. The straddle is an optional bet that is made before seeing the dealer's hole cards, and must be agreed upon by the dealer and the players before it can take place. Another thing you should know about straddles is that there are several types of straddles, the most popular of which are the UTG Straddle and the Mississippi Straddle - as we will see in the next section.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that every player has the option to object to making this bet, as it is a voluntary bet - as we have already mentioned.

Types of poker straddle

There are several formats of straddle, as we mentioned in the previous point about straddle, meaning and concept. These can be UTG Straddle and Mississippi Straddle. The most popular of these is the UTG Straddle. We explain how each of them works.

What is straddle in poker? UTG Straddle

UTG Straddle, or Under The Gun Straddle, is the bet made by the first player to speak - position just to the left of the blinds, the most complicated. This player can place a bet between double and 250% of the BB bet - or Big Blind. The bet is made blind, before the cards are revealed, even before the dealer deals the cards. Once the straddle has been made, the UTG +1 player may redouble the straddle - also blind - and so on. If this player or successive players do not wish to redouble, they may look at their cards and decide whether they wish to call or fold. Likewise, when the UGT player's turn comes around, he can look at his cards and decide whether to fold, check or raise. In addition, once the straddle is over, the remaining preflop streets, flop, flop, turn and river will be played as normal, with the blinds having the option to check, raise or fold after the other players have finished.

What is a straddle in poker? Mississippi Straddle

The Mississippi Straddle is an action that alternates the order of betting in reverse. In this case, the dealer - or button - is responsible for deciding whether to straddle or not. If he decides not to straddle, the hand takes place as usual. However, if he does, then the preflop turn starts with the Small Blind SB, then the Big Blind BB, then the UTB, then the rest of the players, and finally the button, who can decide whether to call, raise or fold before the flop. In other words, the big and small blinds will have to decide whether to enter the hands or not without knowing what all the players between them and the button will do. The button, on the other hand, will have the advantage of talking later in the postflop and preflop.

When to straddle in poker

In general, it is not very appropriate to use this strategy because we play without knowing our cards. However, if you are playing against weaker opponents, you may want to consider this strategy in the long run. In general, the straddle in poker is usually allowed in high stakes or live nosebleed games. We explain what they are:
  • High Stakes: High stakes are the highest levels in a cash game in which the chips at the table represent their cash value, both online and live.
  • Nosebleed: Nosebleed is an anglicism used to refer to the strongest games on the network. That is, those in which the buy-in is usually $5,000 or more, and in which there are pots of thousands of euros.

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