Live straddle a good play?

Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 03:17 am
In my home game people often do a live straddle. They all do it to "make some action" and realistically are just having fun. But I am curious, when (if ever) is it a smart move to do a live straddle?

I understand that at a tight table, it may cause more people to call, or raises to be bigger. But do you want that? Having not seen your cards, does it make sense to try and build a big pot? I can think of countless situations where it would pay off, but far more where it wouldn't. So is it ever a good move?
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Robert Gentel
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Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 03:25 am
@Nick Ashley,
It can induce bad play from others at the table, but isn't a winning strategy even in the short term unless that happens to work out for you.

In the long run, it's a losing strategy as long as you face any legitimate competition because good players won't move off their cards just because someone figured out what a straddle is.

What it boils down to is: If you don't play off your cards, you end up wasting money on a bunch of pre-flop folds. If you play off your cards you need to outplay people or get lucky to make money.

So when someone straddles, if nobody else guns for it (which is often dumb) the straddler is at a huge disadvantage for investing blindly without getting anyone to loosen up. Only at very bad tables have I seen straddles successfully loosen up enough players to start generating bigger pots. When enough good players are involved the straddle is just a big dumb blind bet.
Nick Ashley
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 03:48 am
@Robert Gentel,
Makes sense, pretty much what I suspected, but I wanted to validate my thoughts with someone with more experience. I love when its done in my home game, because I have no problems folding to a straddle, and when I have good cards, I can raise more then normal. At my game the guy who straddles feels the need to "protect his investment" and will call some pretty big raises with some pretty bad cards.
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