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Old 11-07-2007, 07:59 PM
jjflash jjflash is offline
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Default Preflop Raises With A Straddle On The Table

I have a question that I am hoping to get some help with. I am currently rereading "No Limit Holdem Theory and Practice". In his book Sklansky writes about how to size your preflop raises differently in relation to the size of the pot if the game includes and ante.

I was wondering what the thoughts are on how a straddle or even restraddle (in very loose games) should affect the size of the preflop raise in relation to the size of the pot, or even the straddle itself.

I understand that stack sizes, number of players, etc. factor in. I am just wondering in general terms.

Also, I am hoping to avoid the whole "is a straddle a good idea" debate. There is already a heated discussion about that on this site. Good idea or not, it shows up from time to time in games. I am trying to find the best way to take advantage of it and this question popped into my mind.

Thanks in advance for all of your help.

jj
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:16 PM
RustyBrooks RustyBrooks is offline
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Default Re: Preflop Raises With A Straddle On The Table

When there is a straddle I make preflop raises depending on the size of the pot, not on the size of the blinds. Put this way... say the game is 1/2 with no straddle. Say preflop there is $3 in the pot to start and a standard raise is $6 - twice the pot (this REALLY varies with the game. In some 1/2 games $8 is an overbet preflop, and in others, $10 is a minimum raise preflop). If there is a straddle, now the pot is $6 before any action occurs. So I'd consider opening for $12. I might make it 10, I might make it 15, depends on the table. Most people don't adjust to the straddle, and will fold to a $10 raise what they would call for $6 in normal circumstances. In other cases, people fall all over themselves to get into a straddled pot and you need to raise more than normal to get the same effect.

Note that a lot depends on the characteristics of the straddler. MANY straddlers are going to raise no matter what. In this situation you are basically never going to want to limp after the straddler unless you plan to re-raise after he comes in and drive out the other players.

The biggest problem that many players have with straddling players is that they don't treat it as a blind hand, which it is. I play limit games but I raise way lighter in straddled pots if I'm first in, because I can make people call "2 bets" and they don't consider the additional money in the pot.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:34 PM
jjflash jjflash is offline
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Default Re: Preflop Raises With A Straddle On The Table

Thank you for your reply. What you wrote makes a lot of sense and will give me some things to think about.

I play mostly NLHE (only because I don't live very close to a casino...and NLHE is the only game anyone seems to want to play). But, I will give some thought to what you said about how the straddle affects limit games as well.

Again, thanks.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:15 PM
RustyBrooks RustyBrooks is offline
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Default Re: Preflop Raises With A Straddle On The Table

The same, by the way, applies to kill games, because not only is there an additional double-blind (the kill guy posts a double blind) but the stakes double, and people who are bad at poker tend to think "This is a $5 hand, not a $15 hand" instead of "with this hand I should call if I'm getting 2:1 or better" or what have you. I haven't read the no limit theory book, but I am guessing that if you tear apart his recommendations, they scale with pot size.

Also, the more money is in the pot preflop, the looser you should play for the initial bet - this is standard Theory of Poker stuff. Also, it becomes much more profitable to steal the pot outright before the flop / before 4th / before the draw, etc. This is super important in stud games because the ante size affects how you should play.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:57 PM
jjflash jjflash is offline
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Default Re: Preflop Raises With A Straddle On The Table

Yeah, I had thought about the kill pot scenario.

One other thought that I had was; what about late position raises. Since people love to limp into staddled pots and kill pots, my raises would have to be quite a bit larger than standard. I quess that this would also present a lot of steal opportunities.

Quite a lot to think about, huh?

Thanks again for your input.
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2007, 11:47 PM
RustyBrooks RustyBrooks is offline
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Default Re: Preflop Raises With A Straddle On The Table

With a lot of limpers you're going to have to play it by ear. It's really hard to generalize about that kind of situation in NL.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2007, 02:25 PM
Albert Moulton Albert Moulton is offline
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Default Re: Preflop Raises With A Straddle On The Table

With a straddle on the table, you should raise more to avoid giving the straddler excellent odds to call preflop with speculative hands, especially if you are raising from one of the blinds.

So, if you usually open raise 3-5xbb, then with a straddle, you should probably open raise 6-8xbb when in position vs the straddler, and maybe 10 or more x bb (depending on how many others limped) when raising from the blinds.

In short, the answer is that your raise size should be bigger. Basically, the game is playing with effective stacks that are half of their usual size for that round and you should treat your preflop and post-flop play accordingly. In a 100bb effective stack game, the hand with a straddle becomes a "50bb" effective stack game. In general, big pairs go up in value, and implied odds associated with hands like suited connectors go down in value. Implied odds to flop a low-to-medium sized set in a raised pot also go way down.

In some cases, if you are the BB, you might try to make a big raise to steal the limper's dead money before the straddler has a chance to do it. You should occasionally try that with the worst of the hands you might otherwise call with (like K9s), as well as with all your very good hands (like AQs+/JJ-AA).

In very rare cases, you will want to deep limp in a straddled pot with aces if you have a straddler who habitually raises and/or pushes with a very wide range of preflop hands (any pair, Ax, any broadway, etc.).
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