What is a straddle in poker?

In any poker game, a player can initiate this maneuver, and it is a common occurrence in Texas hold'em.

Before the cards are given, a player who chooses to straddle will wager twice as much as the big blind (BB). This play is typically made by the player to the left of the BB. Following players must either call or raise the wager put once it has been completed.


You must inform the players when the dealer is "in play" in order to maintain good poker manners. It behaves in a similar way as the BB when it's running. It's up to the player straddling if they want to raise if none of the other players have done so. When it's their turn to play, they can do this.

A "dark raise" is one in which the dealer does not make the raise public. A player who is straddling in this situation has no choice but to call if all other players do the same.


If you plan to use straddling to your advantage, make sure you familiarise yourself with the house rules first. Due to the fact that not every poker site allows this, some allow it but limit it to a specific position, and the majority of online poker rooms do not allow it. Consequently, There aren't many uncapped straddles for the $1/$2 and $2/$5 ranges.


  1. UTG Straddle: This is a must-watch classic. Before the cards are dealt, the UTG player places a bet equal to two times their BB. As a result, they serve as the final preflop.

  1. Mississippi If you can't spell, you can't play this game. It gives every player, regardless of position, the chance to go first and straddle the line. They can straddle any amount preflop if the option is taken up. 

They gain the benefit of being the last to act before the flop by making this play (assuming another player does not re-straddle, but this is less common). The button is the most common trigger for this effect. As with the UTG play, this option must be selected prior to card dealing.

  1. Uncapped Straddle: The "twice the BB limit" on the stake amount is removed in this variation, as the name implies.

Should I Straddle In Poker?

If you've ever wondered what a straddle is and how it works, this is the place to start. You might not be familiar with a straddle in poker if you just play poker online. It's a mystery. Additional blind bets are placed before the cards are dealt, often (but not solely) double the big blind's stake amount

What happens to the rest of the hand when you straddle it? There are both mathematical and psychological repercussions to a preflop straddle that go far beyond the additional dead money. In games where a straddle is allowed, it also provides a player with another option: No, I don't think so.

To begin, we'll go over what a straddle is and whether or not it's a smart move. You may also check out this video summary of the main points if you like.


In poker, a straddle functions as a third, larger blind, which is placed before the cards are dealt. In the same way that the huge blind is "live," a straddle allows the straddler to raise the callers if one or more other players call their blind bet. Straddling is not the same as raising blindly, which does not provide the player the opportunity to raise when their raise is being called.

In online poker, the straddle is virtually non-existent, but it is a common feature in live games. Because poker players are so diverse, there are many different kinds of straddles, each with its own set of rules governing how they affect preflop play. We'll focus on the most typical ones that you'll discover in a casino.


It's called a "UTG straddle" when a player to the left of the big blind (the under-the-gun (UTG) player) puts out two times the big blind before the cards are dealt. From that point on, betting goes clockwise around the table until the straddler is last in line to place an orderly wager.


The Mississippi straddle is another prevalent straddle, especially in higher stakes no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha. In this case, if the button chooses not to straddle, the player on their right is given the option to straddle for 2x the large blind. Once someone decides to straddle, the process continues unless UTG declines and the hand proceeds as usual. When a Mississippi straddle is used, the player on the other side of the straddle has the first opportunity to act.

A Mississippi straddle would have the small blind acting first, followed by the big blind and the other players at the table in a regular order. We'll get to one probable exception in a moment.) Similar to the UTG Straddle, the straddler can choose to check or raise if the action reaches them without anyone raising.

The Mississippi straddle on the button is a totally different beast from the UTG variation, assuming you understand the significance of position in no-limit hold'em. A Mississippi straddle on the button instead of UTG straddling gives you the best pre-and post-flop position at the table.

To be honest, if you've ever participated in a game of live poker, you've probably noticed that the Mississippi straddle has one major flaw. It stifles the flow of the game. Many thanks. 

The Mississippi straddle can easily take a whole minute to inquire sequentially if anyone is watching the game and another getting a drink poured on them by an unskilled cocktail server. Many low-stakes casino games have an easier solution because of this.


Mississippi straddle is a misnomer for the button-straddle. A Mississippi straddle is often taken up by the button in games with a lot of gambling, thus this may represent that. Many casinos have determined that a UTG straddle and a button straddle are sufficient additional features for their no-limit hold 'em games, rather than asking each player in turn if they want to straddle, which may take a long time.

This does not mean that different procedural rules cannot be used. As an example, following a button straddle, there are two ways in which the activity may proceed.

Players in the small blind are expected to act first. If you're looking for the simplest strategy, this is the one for you. A Mississippi straddle button is exactly the same as a Mississippi straddle button. This option, on the other hand, places both blinds in extremely precarious positions, necessitating extremely tight play. Acting after the other players eliminates the preflop advantage while maintaining the post-flop disadvantage.

Some casinos employ a "skip blinds" straddle rule in an effort to alleviate this issue. Confusion is almost often the result for new players. These are the steps:

Both blinds are skipped instead of the action beginning with the small blind. As a result, UTG is the first to take action. Isn't this the tricky part? If a player raises the straddle before the button, the action continues around the table as normal until it hits the button. A fold, call, or raise can be made by the button, and then the action moves on to the small blind.

This can be avoided, though, by calling out "straddle" instead of "button," or by folding your arms around a button and pressing it. Instead of making a move, the straddler sits back and watches as the small and big blinds make their choices. The "final action" button doesn't get to perform anything until that point. There is an option to check or raise the blinds if they call, as in the prior cases.

After a few hands-on runs like this, you'll find it easier to do. The problem is that this rule variation in low-stakes games with recreational players generally raises more issues than it solves. In theory, the ability to straddle is supposed to make the game more entertaining. Complicated regulations rarely lead to good times, because no one likes to struggle with them.


In cash games, straddling is a unique betting tactic. In games with a prize pool, such as tournaments or sit-and-gos, you cannot straddle the line. Before the cards are dealt, the player must place a stake equal to double the big blind. Although there are a few exceptions, in most circumstances, you must seat to the left of the large blind in order to have the ability to straddle.

When playing games like Texas Hold'em or Omaha, the "traditional" straddle is the sort of straddle employed. If no one has glanced at their cards, a straddle can be made after the dealer has dealt the cards, as long as no one has placed a bet. Because someone could accuse another of cheating, this is not always the case.

Straddle Sizing

A straddle's highest stake, usually the big blind, must always be twice as much as a straddle. If a straddler is sitting directly to the left of him, the person sitting directly across from him can do a double straddle, raising the stakes even further.

Let's imagine you're in a $1/$2 game where the underdog has a bet of $4, for example. You can double straddle for $8 with the next player. In some games, this can go on indefinitely. Triple straddling to $16 is an option for the next player, although it's quite rare.

Most games, however, will include a cap on the amount to prevent it from rising uncontrollably.

General Straddling Rules

  1. To play a straddle, you can either put out a bet with poker chips or proclaim your strategy to the table.

  2. Because a straddle twice the large blind, the amount wagered by other players is also doubled as well.

  3. A straddle gives you a further opportunity to act after you've checked, folded, or raised.

  4. No one seems to have noticed that anyone straddled the table, so play proceeds as normal.

Some poker games have a limit on the amount of money you can straddle. Other players, on the other hand, opt not to set a cap on the amount of money they can win. Both alternatives have the potential to provide variety to the game.

The Purpose of The Straddle

Due to extensive research on the straddle's math, it is now widely accepted as a losing strategy. However, in certain circumstances, it may be a +EV (profitable) metagame move to use this strategy. Players often try to loosen the game up by straddling in order to increase the amount of action in the game.

Straddling should be avoided if you're just starting out or don't want to take too much of a risk. There is no harm in learning about straddling in case you need to use it in the future or desire to do so yourself. Straddles are a common occurrence at tables where I've played live.

Types of Straddles

Under-the-Gun Straddle

The Under-the-Gun straddle, often known as a UTG straddle, is the most common. Here, you have to place your wager before the dealer deals the cards. This straddle can only be played from the large blind's left side.

Button Straddle

The Button Straddle can occur in some games. Like the Mississippi Straddle, you don't need to be sitting in a precise position to place a bet. The Button Straddle, on the other hand, is available to the player sitting in the dealer's position.

Using the Button Straddle will cancel out other straddles, like the UTG, so long as you play it. You would return the stake to the UTG player in this situation. Button Straddles aren't that common, so don't worry about seeing them all the time in poker.

Un-Capped Straddle

While the conventional straddle has a minimum of double the big blind, it also has a maximum of double the large blind, which is the case here. The Un-Capped Straddle, on the other hand, allows you to step things up a notch. There is no maximum amount that can be wagered in this straddle.

Uncapped straddling allows you to wager as much or all of your chips if you so wish, and you can even risk your entire stack. Un-capped Straddle bets are good if you're looking to go large. However, this isn't always the best course of action.

Ignoring your opponent's cards and playing in the second-worst position at the table blind is a surefire way to lose money. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't figure out why making un-capped straddles would be a smart idea.

Double and Triple Straddling

All players can straddle, which means other players can "restraddle" themselves. This means that the straddle can be repeated as many times as desired. It's possible to double or re-strangle to $8 in this situation, for example. A triple straddle to $16 is also an option for the next trader, albeit it is uncommon.

Double and triple straddling, like straddling, is mainly only a way for players to show off their machismo. There's no good strategic reason to become involved in this. Often, nasty (and maybe rich) players use this tactic to exert their will on other players by having them effectively play bigger stakes than they actually do.


Regardless of whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, it's critical to know what a straddle is and how to deal with it when it occurs. Straddling oneself can be counterproductive, but it is possible to gain an edge by playing in an environment where several players are doing just that. I strongly recommend that you master a solid short stacking approach.

FAQ: What is a straddle in poker

1. What is a straddle bet in Texas Holdem?

A straddle in poker is a blind bet made before the flop, similar to small blind or big blind. In all cases, the straddle must be bigger than the big blind. Who is allowed to post a straddle and how much they must post depends on the game you are playing in.

2. What is a Mississippi straddle?

A Mississippi straddle is a unique type of straddle bet allowed in some games. Mississippi straddle can be posted by any player at the table, except the blinds. The player who posts the Mississippi straddle will act last before the flop but in his own turn after the flop.

3. When can I straddle in poker?

Whether or not you are allowed to straddle in any given hand depends on the game you are in. In some games, any player can post the Mississippi straddle. In others, only the UTG player is allowed to straddle. Some games allow Mississippi straddle to be posted by the player on the dealer button.

4. Is posting a straddle a good decision?

A straddle is a blind bet, but unlike the SB and BB, it is optional. This means you don’t have to post it, and there is no valid reason you should put money into the pot before looking at your cards if you don’t have to. Straddling is basically gambling, and there is seldom a good reason to do it. I recommend not straddling unless the plan is to fire up the other players and get them to put in way more than you do.

5. Is straddle a raise at a poker table?

While a poker straddle does increase the effective bet, it is not considered a raise. A straddle is rather considered a third blind, so the player in the straddle can take action even if all other players only called their bet. This is a privilege that a raiser does not get.