What is a poker straddle? and should you ever straddle?

What is a poker straddle? and should you ever straddle?

A poker straddle is a bet placed by a player voluntarily before cards are dealt, also referred to as a blind bet. When a player straddles he/she is buying the big blind and raising the stakes.

What is a poker straddle? and should you ever straddle?

A textbook straddle is twice the value of the big blind, but can be higher if the poker room rules allow it. This is done in order to increase the stakes.


When a player straddles, their overall  expected value(EV) in that hand goes down. This is bad simply because being a good poker player is a having the ability to make plays that breed profit and do so consistently.

The expected value reduces simply because you’re placing a blind bet and that goes against the laws of every winning poker strategy. Knowing what’s in ones hand is very crucial in poker. On a riskier note, the under the gun position requires the tightest hand to win.


When Can Straddling Be a Good Idea?

The straddle is a bad generally. It’s a play of chance and is very risky. A poker player can go their entire life without initiating a single straddle although there are instances where a straddle is a good idea based on profitability. Those instances are stated below:

  1. If you’re sitting at a loose and passive table: Straddling could be a good idea l if the other players on your table are susceptible to calling loose preflop then folding due to aggression postflop. In cases like this, you could use straddling as a trick to build big preflop pot, then take advantage of your passive opponents with aggressively placed postflop bets.

This strategy is not for the weak at heart as it is quite risky but a worthy trade off if materialized.

  1. If everyone is straddling: If you are playing at a table and everyone is straddling each after the other, it’s recommended to straddle when the ball falls in your court.

The pro is that you’re playing at a table with action and plenty of opportunities to win money. The con however, is that a game full of straddling might throw you off balance if you aren’t familiar with the method.

  1. If everyone is a nit: In a table where tensions are high and everyone is tight fisted, your straddle might be the right tool to set the ball rolling. For what it’s worth, you may seem confident and throw other players off balance.

It’s worth noting that never straddling is better than straddling too much in the long run as it is quite a risky move.


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