STRADDLE AND RE-STRADDLE
A straddle is when a player decides to bet twice the Big Blind (BB) before the cards are dealt. If a player decides to straddle then all the remaining players on the table must either call or re-raise the bet. Straddle is an optional blind bet which is mostly used in Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
The option to straddle is made available to the left immediate player of the Big Blind. If the said player wants to straddle, then he/she must make this decision and make it aware to the other players on the table before any of the cards are dealt/ seen.
Re-straddling is when the player just next to the left of the straddle decides to bet double times the original straddle. In order to play straddle and re-straddle, you must be totally aware of the other players on the table. You might also want to avoid straddling if you are a novice player since the other professional players might take advantage of your play.
It is also of prior importance for the player to keep in mind not to make the mistake of ‘limping’ after realizing that you haven’t been favored with very suitable cards. The main thing you should realize if you want to ‘straddle’ in a game is that, sometimes your stack will fall hard and sometimes your stack will rise. Whether or not the straddle is a profitable play and it depends on how well you understand and utilize it.
The ‘straddle’ option is usually used in games with at least one forced blind, like Hold’em and Omaha. Note that it is the player to the left of the blinds who can straddle and not the players on the blinds.
The option to straddle can also prove to be of an advantage in some games, especially if you want to take the players out of their comfort zone. The advantage of straddling and re-straddling is that, you are increasing the stake by doubling it for the rest of the players too. And in most cases, the players on the table might not be aware of the straddling and play poorly as of which you can use it for your advantage.
After the player chose to straddle, he will put his money in the pot without having seen his cards, because of which he is given another chance to act after having looked at the cards, just as the two players in the blinds get. His options will be the same as that of the big blind where there is no straddle, check, fold, or raise, depending on what action has gone before.
After the flop, the game proceeds in the usual and normal way. Straddling before the pre-flop will not effect on how the hand is played. If you decide to straddle then remember not to play ‘too tight’ or ‘too loose’ because the other players will eventually get the idea that you are ‘tilting’ by trying to protect your straddle and thus you will only end up losing the game. The key to winning in poker is by playing rationally and not emotionally.