What is straddle in poker?
A straddle can be considered as a third blind in poker. Speaking about preflop, the player after the button will post the small blind, and the player after him the big blind. At the table with the option to straddle, the player after the big blind has the right to post a third blind (equals two big blinds), "buying" with this a preflop position: the straddler will act at last right after the BB player before the flop.
A straddle also modifies the effective stacks at the tables, because the limp-in now costs 2 big blinds instead of 1.
Why do Chinese fans love playing with straddle?
The straddle is very popular among Chinese poker players; actually, in Asian poker apps like PokerMaster, the straddle is automatic. A straddle at the table brings more action (an NL600 table became an NL1200 table preflop) and that's why Chinese love it: just because is more fun. The straddle is also the reason for seeing the largest stacks at the tables (up to 200bb).
Where can I find online poker games with straddle?
All Chinese apps have straddle tables and the Asian focused network GG also have the straddle option:
- In Asian apps like PokerMaster the straddle option is automatic (always the player after the BB post the straddle).
- GG Network straddle is optional, and players from any position at the table can straddle.
There are scammers out there, we recommend you to carefully chose your affiliate before joining Asian poker apps.
Pros and cons of playing games with straddle
The first thing you must be aware of, is that straddle is a reality at the Chinese tables, so if you want to join the boom, you must master straddle games. Nevertheless, we can identify some benefits and cons of playing with straddle.
Pros of straddle games
- More action at the tables: the straddle tends to make the games looser and the aggressive players will love the preflop situation.
- Tilt and bad play became more common in tables with a straddle.
Cons of straddle games
- You need to adapt your strategy to games with straddle. Just to mention a few, the positions at the table and the size of the effective stack changes preflop, a different strategy must be developed for it.
- As long as there more money at stake preflop, less information will be available.
Straddle games tips
Mastering straddle games is a must for poker players in Asian apps. Here are some tips from the professional player Tadas Peckaitis, but if you want to crush straddle games, we encourage you to get the Straddle Master Class and study it further.
- You should adjust your preflop ranges: steal a bit less in later positions and tighten that up because you will have more players behind you when there is a straddle.
- You should play almost your entire range if it gets folded to you on the big blind because of dead money and your odds.
- You should be aware of stack depth because straddle essentially makes the stakes higher and decreases stack to pot ratio — which makes high Broadway hands more valuable than suited connectors or pocket pairs because it has less implied odds.
- You should learn how to play multiway pots — most of the time straddle makes games looser, that is especially true in Chinese app games, so you need to adjust your strategy when playing against multiple opponents, otherwise, you risk of overplaying your hands.
- Practice limp pots and analyze — there are way more limp pots in these games compared to normal ones, so you should spend some time to understand when to attack these spots, how to incorporate effective donk-betting strategy and even how to structure your ISO and over-limping ranges preflop not to leave money at the table.
The Asian boom changed online poker forever. It didn't only change the way poker clubs work, but also made the straddle a norm, making monster pots before the flop a norm. Learning the basics of games with straddle and studying it further is an EV+ decision as it will boost your profits from Chinese sites.
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