Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Poker is a deceptively simple game. At first glance, it seems like the game is all about luck. You just wait until you have the best hand, and you win. That is an incredibly flawed view of poker. Poker is a game with lots of depth to it. Poker strategy can take many forms, from quick betting math to in-depth analysis of your opponents. This poker guide will look at one of the core skills in poker: Proper betting. Betting is how players interact with each other, so being good at it is essential to your success at poker. This guide will focus on a peculiar kind of bet known as the straddle bet. We will identify what it is and the potential benefits and risks of making one.

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1. What is the straddle bet?

A poker straddle bet is unlike most other poker bets. It is essentially a third blind because it occurs before the hole cards are even dealt. It also has the unique property of being a “live” bet. That means that if players call the straddle, the straddler has the option of raising them again, similarly to the big blind. Straddle bets are uncommon in online poker but often seen in live games.

2. Types of straddle

Straddle bets have many different variations and rules. We will focus on the three most common ones:

To compensate, some casinos created a “skip blinds” rule. The UTG is the first to act since both blinds get skipped. If someone before the button raises, the action proceeds around the table as usual until it reaches the button. The button can fold, call or raise, and the action moves to the small blind. However, if the straddle gets called or folded, the action skips the button and goes to the blinds. The button only acts at the very end, allowing them to choose to check or raise if the blinds call.

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3. Benefits of straddling

This unusual kind of bet has many effects both mathematically and psychologically. The most noticeable impact is increasing the game’s stakes and effectively decreasing stack sizes. Straddling can significantly affect everyone’s strategy with the sudden increase in stakes. Straddling as the button also gives you a positional advantage pre-flop, which you usually would not have. It also forces the blinds to act before you, which can be good if they are a threat and you want to put pressure on them.

4. Consequences of straddling

While straddling does have some potential advantages, it is generally seen as a gamble and not a viable play. That is because straddling affects everyone equally, so the straddler does not get any meaningful advantage besides position if they are the button. Straddling is a large bet without knowing your cards, which will rarely be profitable. You lower your EV (expected value), the amount you believe you will make over time, by committing to a random hand and ignoring proper hand selection. Straddling is essentially a gamble and is often just used by more casual poker players to make the game more fun.

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Where to play poker

Straddling is a niche, a situational bet that can be fun at lower stakes every once in a while. We hope this guide gave you an insight into how to play poker casually with a straddle bet. If you want to play more serious poker, sign up at GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. Online poker is excellent for learners since they can play many games simultaneously and access irreplaceable tools like poker heads-up displays and trackers.