A straddle is a blind raise in brick-and-mortar hold 'em by the under the gun player with the defining characteristic that the straddler may then reraise his own straddle after the big blind (to the player's right) acts in the preflop betting round, even if no one else reraises. This makes the straddle act as though it were a third (larger) blind, and gives the straddler a marginal advantage of last action preflop, although such advantage is not generally sufficient to offset the negative expected value of a blind raise. In no-limit hold 'em a straddle is a minimum blind raise to twice the big blind. In some card rooms, straddles are permitted from any position (not merely the player who is under the gun). Some cardrooms that restrict the initiation of straddling to the UTG position allow the position(s) to his left to re-straddle, with each re-straddle being for a minimum of twice the previous straddle.

In some areas, a straddle is more commonly called a "live number" where the number is the amount of the straddle. For example, at a 2/4 game with blinds of 1 and 2, the straddle would be called a live 4. This form both announces the amount of the straddle and reminds players that the bet is live (can be raised by the player when it is their turn to act).

Psychology of straddling Edit

Straddling is not generally considered to be sound strategy, thus straddlers are generally gamblers who simply relish the idea of automatically doubling the stakes preflop. However, a strong player might choose to straddle to give an image of being loose and wild or to encourage the rest of the table to fall into a gambling mentality.

Some players are annoyed or perhaps even intimidated by being straddled whie in the big blind.

Locales without straddling Edit

Some cardrooms or jurisdictions prohibit straddling. Would-be straddlers may raise blind, but are denied last action if there is no reraise behind them.

  • Atlantic City rooms are prohibited from allowing straddles by New Jersey law.

Mississippi straddles Edit

Some cardrooms, primarily in the Southern United States, allow a straddle from the button known as Mississippi straddles. These straddles are a much more tempting option because they confer the benefit of last action preflop at a smaller cost of posting extra money in position.

Discussion threads Edit

  • blind straddle in no-limit (2+2, April 2006) - regarding a certain player's desire to straddle for more than twice the blind in no-limit
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