RecPoker Forums

Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our community!

  • Straddles

    Posted by jim on July 13, 2020 at 6:26 am

    Preflop ranges are easier to construct when you’re the one opening the pot and the blinds and antes are in a conventional structure. But what about when UTG straddles? How does that affect your ranges and sizing? What about the less-common Button straddle? How many Super-Straddles are too many for you to play?

    jim replied 3 years, 8 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • raisy_daisy

    July 13, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Raisy Daisy loves a straddle by opponents but I’m a “ non-straddler” as an offensive play because it is negative EV….I play in a loose $1/$2 NL game , and 2-3 players regularly straddle the button , plus often times when the Bourbon flows , there are re-straddles . Our game allows straddles from any position.

    My strategy is to first select a seat at least 2 positions away from the known straddlers so my blind is not attacked all night . Second, I usually wait for premium holdings and then re-raise the Straddler 3x plus a bet for callers before me. Usually takes down the pot or gets heads up with the straddler or 1 other opponent. If I’m in late position , I may call with a wider range “ suited connectors” if most players ahead of me simply call the straddle. However , that play is rare For me because the Straddler May re-raise large to bluff the pot.

    Overall, I bring out the Raising Hammer since the straddle bet lowers the effective stack sizes of all players .

    What other “straddle strategy” plays are used by our RecPoker cash gamers?

    Raisy Daisy

    “Play every hand…you can’t miss ‘em all ! “

    • jim

      July 13, 2020 at 10:39 am

      I love this strategy of seat selection when you know who the straddlers and aggressive players are – Seat selection is under-repped as a strategy in any setting, and it is extremely important – but this is a particularly good time to be aware of it. Great note! Also love the reference to how having a straddle lowers the effective stacks and results in lower SPR for the postflop play. The player in the straddle typically informs my preflop action, similarly to how the BB would otherwise, and of course the pots are bigger preflop and more worth trying to take down, so there’s an additional incentive to size up a bit against more passive foes imo.

  • yamel

    July 13, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Great idea to pick seats relative to known straddlers. I also think that the pre-flop range is impacted since your stack is cut in half…so if i’m sitting with 100BB, I imagine I have 50BB and would enter the pot with more face cards (even offsuit) and fewer lower suited connectors. I like to raise big and go with it with a big one pair type of hand, but of course we take it down most of the time since our range is stronger than the random hand putting money in blind.

    I haven’t played too many games with a button straddle, but I’ve heard they are bad for the game b/c it kills the blinds…often times the button gets “ultimate last” and puts the blinds at even a bigger disadvantage since the button acts after them pre-flop.

    I do love UTG straddlers since most at 1/2 are not comfortable when pots get bigger and you have more leverage with a decent stack. The typical profile of the player is loose and aggressive and I think they call raises 90% of the time since they didn’t put money in blind to just fold. I just wish for decent cards when someone does me the favor of putting money in the pot blind.

    Final thought is that some tables encourage the straddle for entire table…this usually seems like a move for a player that wants to play a bigger game and leverage their skill advantage…this type of situation isn’t as ideal unless I can add on and make sure I have a deep enough stack for the game we are now playing.

  • jim

    August 1, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Ya if people want to straddle UTG in my game that’s fine with me, but I’d rather not myself, it’s a losing play on paper so I won’t choose it unless it’s something the whole table will cycle through an orbit for or something like that.

    On the other hand, part of poker is putting yourself in spots where you are “less uncomfortable” than your foes. Some theory work on how to play straddles will give you an edge OVER THE FIELD – even if you are playing your B game while they are playing their C game you are still advantaged by playing a table-straddle.

Log in to reply.