#WINNING: Action accelerator – the Straddle

#WINNING poker strategy is not just about the finer nuances of river value bet bluffs and such like. Some of it is very basic and involves basic verbal stimulus/response triggers (NLP) that combined with a poker strategy can lead to a much greater action at your live cash table – all for your ROI benefit.

One of the most unused but highly profitable #WINNING poker strategy for live cash games is the action accelerator – the Straddle.

The Straddle has a number of poker strategies and benefits for you arising from it – including surprising effects on the Rocks at your table.

In a recent cash game a lady sat down to play and pulled out a load of poker chips from her hand bag. Her girl friend double act said “You are going to play? Are they your own chips? Be careful”. The lady poker asked the table “Do YOU DO live Straddles?” with the emphasis on the YOU DO.

As she was a lady and males still seem to think of them as fish everyone was keen to help answer and then discuss double Straddles etc. During the Straddle conversation but not at the end – when it had been confirmed we do Straddle this game – she stated “I am just curious as I never Straddle but wondering if YOU DO Straddle this game?”.

We had been doing some Straddles but not many. After this Straddles were far more frequent and so were the numbers of callers. Which she benefited from greatly as she also was on a hot streak. After amassing a load of chips she started to Straddle every other round.

#WINNING poker strategy - Action accelerator - the Straddle means buying the button live straddle
Action accelerator - the Straddle means buying the button and has a number of #WINNING poker strategies

Live cash games – the Straddle

For those who have not experienced the live Straddle in a cash game it is a bet made blind by the UTG (Under The Gun or first to act pre flop) before the Dealer deals out everyone’s hole cards. The Straddle is double the Big Blind and if anyone else wants to just call they have to call this double Big Blind bet.

If the players just call the Straddle bet then the Big Blind is not the last person to act or has the option – the UTG player who posted the live Straddle is now the last to act. This means that the Straddle player has the option to check or can raise the now much larger pot.

The basic action accelerator of the Straddle is that the pot has to be a minimum double it would have been normally. Any raises start to make the pot very juicy indeed. It really increase pot sizes and the number of players limping into a hand (depending on the players at your table of course).

#WINNING: We Will, We Will Rock You

The Straddle in a live cash game has a fantastic knock on effect on Rocks at the table. You may even be able to tempt a tight player to play with – for them – a sub standard starting hand due to the VALUE VALUE VALUE. The Rock may also get trapped into playing a lesser hand than they normally would – if they hit some part of the flop and ‘have’ to continue due to pot odds.

Another benefit is that it can stop some Rocks from playing the smaller or lesser hands that they may normally limp in with and may hit a hand and surprise you as you only expect them to be playing high starting cards only. Especially if they are the ultra Rocks that will never even call the Small Blind no matter how many players are in.

#WINNING poker strategy: buying the Button

straddle poker strategy live cash games winning tactics
#WINNING with the action accelerator - the live cash game Straddle

One of the most unused poker strategies for players new to live Straddles is using your option after buying the Button. If the hand gets round to you without any raises then you now have the options to check or raise.

Depending on the cash game you are playing in this can give you a huge ROI from a simple play. If a few people have limped in – as there is VALUE in the pot and not just because they have a great hand – then a decent raise from the Straddle position can easily take down the large pot there and then.

If you do get 1 or 2 callers you still have great value and pot odds from all the spare money in the middle, that others put in but have folded. Obviously they also have good pot odds but they have to have hit the hand, drawing or thinking of floating one on you.

If you can size the pre flop Straddle raise just right then as long as it succeeds every 2 or 3 attempts you can guarantee yourself to be #WINNING long term.

#WINNING poker strategy: Straddle them

If players have limped in you don’t need to be the Straddle to re raise. If you are late to act and you feel that no one else has a hand then by doing the re raise you can take down the pot. Sometimes you will also get the Straddle to defend their double Big Blind with a sub standard hand. if you actually have a semi decent hand then long term you should be #WINNING.


Zak ‘PenFold’ Vella – Our expert of all things Maltese and Italian. One of the main people responsible for opening up the Italian market and bringing the joys of Enetpoker Network to the rest of the world. For which one day Zak will be knighted. Also known in the Content writing business as ‘Mr Google Translate’ as he can speak and write in more languages than it can.