There are so many aspects to a game of poker that can be tweaked and added to in order to make the game more interesting, from a gambling perspective, and ‘straddling’ is one of them.
It is important to note that straddling in poker only occurs during poker cash games. Players cannot straddle during a tournament.
What is a Straddle?
Similarly to the small and big blind, a straddle is when a player opts to put chips into the pot before any action has unfolded.
However, the major difference between the two is that the blinds are mandatory and a straddle is totally optional.
The straddled amount can only be double the big blind. For example, if the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2 then the straddle would have to be $4, thus over doubling the pot’s size before a card is dealt.
What are the Different Types of Straddle in Poker?
Every player will have the option to straddle during a game of poker but there are a few variations when it comes to the type of straddle.
- The Under-the-Gun (UTG) Straddle: This is the most common straddle in poker. The player seated UTG (one to the left of the big blind) has the option to straddle before the dealer deals the cards.
- The Mississippi Straddle: Any player can straddle, regardless of position — as long as they do so prior to the cards being dealt. Whichever player is the last to straddle or re-straddle (yes, that is allowed), is the player who is last to act pre-flop.
- The Un-Capped Straddle: This variation of straddling is only applicable in no-limit poker games. The idea of the straddle being double the previous amount is removed and allows players to straddle any amount. Should their amount be the most, they will be rewarded with being the last to act pre-flop.