Playing vs Straddles

Blog Single

A straddle bet is an optional blind bet placed by a player before cards are dealt. Players who straddle are doubling their bets and buying the big blind. The most apparent reason for straddling preflop is to induce action.

Note the following vital points if you want to win against straddling players.

Increase raising frequency

It would be best if you aimed to raise between 2.2 and 3.5 large blinds in a typical cash game. Raising these amounts allows you to receive a fair price for your raise. When a straddle is active, it serves as the new big blind. Therefore, the best method is to center our sizing on the straddle amount, as we did with the big blind previously.

Hence, instead of raising to 3 big blinds, we should raise to 6 big blinds or three straddles if we have a straddle. For instance, you might raise to $15 if you had $200 in a $1/$2 game and your opponent posted a $5 straddle.

If higher raise amounts (4 or more big blinds) are usually in the game, we might only raise to the exact size of straddles when we're playing deep stacked.

Study your opponent

Be aware of the solutions to these questions. Some straddlers call nearly all preflop raises because they are highly defensive of their straddle.

Other straddlers will raise anytime their straddle is limping. Conversely, many will treat it as a pot. Keep an eye out for situations where you might entice the straddler into making significant raises by limping in with premium hands. It doesn't happen very often, but it may be profitable.

Monitor your stack sizes

Preflop shoves can become possible if your stack is shorter than 100 big blinds, enabling you to opt for a short-stacked strategy on the straddle hands.

For instance, with a small stack size, you won't be capable of playing suited connectors or small pairs. While you may attempt to make a good play with them, it becomes substantially more difficult.

Remember that other players with small stacks can also decide to go all-in rather than increase their raises as usual. Optionally, add more chips to your stack to ensure you are ready to navigate the flop, turn, and river betting anytime you decide to get involved.

Be on the lookout for instances where multiple players collude to force every player to straddle. If you're not into that sort of game, there's no blame in taking a breather or looking for a table that fits you better.

Fold marginal hands

Although folding is generally a good strategy, it is even better when playing against straddling players. Adjust your folding range to include your weaker hands. Keep in mind that the straddle decreases your stack-to-pot ratio by half, lowering the implied odds that make these hands winnable.


In straddling pots, several of your opponents will make unintentional or exploitable plays. Keep a close eye on the button straddler and the other players, and make rational, lucrative counter-adjustments to improve your win rate.