Straddle in poker is a bet made by a player that he has to make without seeing his cards, and it’s optional. Straddle is 2x the amount of big blind but can be different in various poker rooms.
Players are using straddle to increase the stakes. It happens often in live poker when higher stakes are not running or when a player wants to “gamble it up.”
Poker rooms usually allow straddles from UTG positions, but you can find some that will allow straddles from BTN or other positions.
Some poker rooms will allow even double or triple straddles that can make a game “gambly” and raise the stakes rapidly.
Why straddling is a bad idea in general?
If a player decides to straddle, he is putting money in the pot with a random hand, which means he is ignoring theory and ranges.
Considering all this, straddling in poker is -EV play.
Also, when a player decides to straddle, he buys the big blind and changes the structure of the whole game because he doubled the big blind, which halves the stack dept.
This action can change how the hand should be played, especially if there are double or triple straddles where you can go from 100 big blinds to 12.5 big blinds in seconds.
Changing the depth of the stack in that way and playing against three random hands with all dead money in the pot may force you to play very loose and make or lose a lot of money, but for sure, it is an excellent opportunity to make +EV plays.
When to straddle?
If players at your table like to call to see a lot of flops and then fold post-flop.
If we play against tight players, we can push away from their comfort zone.
What is Mississippi straddle?
The Mississippi Straddle can be used from any position on the table except the blinds. When a player puts down the Mississippi straddle, the player left from him is first to act. When a player on BTN puts down a Mississippi Straddle, the small blind is the first to act.
It is best never to use the straddle, but it is valuable to know how the straddle works as it is a common thing used in live poker.