Straddle

  • The straddle is a blind bet in flop style games made by a player who is not in the blinds to increase the pot preflop. This is either agreed upon by the table or a free decision of the player to put an optional additional blind bet into the pot to increase action and inflate the pot.
    There are four different types of straddles:

    • The "normal" Straddle with options to restraddle behind
    • The Mississippi Straddle
    • The Sleeper Straddle
    • Straddling to enter the game without having to wait for the big blind
    Normal Straddle:
    The UTG player, the person on the left to the big blind can put out the straddle bet, a blind bet doubling the size of the big blind. If allowed by the room/house there is the option for the next player to act (MP in 6max, UTG+1 in ring games) to put on a re-straddle, also an optional blind bet now three times the big blind in amount. While all other players have to at least call the amount of the highest straddle to be involved onwards in the hand, all straddlers, like the blinds have the option of checking if their bet was not reraised, or reraise or fold if that was the case.
    The betting action preflop always starts to the left of the highest straddle.

    Mississippi Straddle:
    While size and betting options are the same for this type of straddle, this straddle can be placed from any position outside of the blinds. Like the normal straddle, this straddle can again be restraddled behind by players not sitting in the blinds and the betting is always starting to the left of the highest straddle.

    Sleeper Straddle:
    The Sleeper straddle is a blind raise of the blinds placed in middle or late position usually. The difference between the sleeper and a normal, or mississippi straddle is simply that the straddle is only in effect if the action is folded to the Sleeper straddle. Else if a player in front of the Sleeper enters the pot, the Sleeper straddler has the option of removing the straddle back into their chip stack. If a sleeper straddle is made for the next hand, the betting action still starts UTG, left of the blinds.

    Straddling to enter the game without waiting for the big blind:
    This happens a lot in online poker and in live games. Players are able to join a game without waiting to be in the big blind if they are willing to commit a certain amount as a blind bet (usually the missed blinds at least) to directly get back into the action. In some occasions players are allowed to only straddle the big blind in UTG to reenter, without having to pay the small blind too.

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