Texas Hold’em poker is the most popular card game in the world today and its most common format is tournaments.
They are held around the world, in attractive locations, with prize funds in the millions, and offer the best ratio of investment to potential profit. Of course, in order to achieve a significant gain, you need to stay in the tournament as long as possible and take the best possible position. In tournaments, where the number of players is measured in hundreds and thousands, such an undertaking is not easy and requires maximum concentration and physical endurance.
In addition to tournaments, there is another format of this game, which is called the cash game. This poker variant is in many ways different from the tournament for several reasons so we will pay a little more attention to the cash game, and the specific position called the straddle.
But first, let’s see what is the difference between the tournament and the cash game…
A cash game does not offer the same potential winnings as participating in a tournament because the game only takes place on one table, and the winnings that can be made are the amount of money the players have available. The advantages of the cash game compared to the tournament, or to say the differences, are manifold. Among the first are that you will join the online poker table when it suits you and when you are in the best mood, which can be a key factor when playing cash. Because the blinds are fixed and never change, it doesn’t have that pressure that is present in a tournament where the blinds increase at certain time intervals and thus force you to simply have to play some hands. Even if you lose all your chips, you can simply catch up and stay in the game.
At the same time, you can take a break without any risk that would affect the final outcome, because you will not receive cards until you are at the table, while in the tournament that break could very well have an effect because you would miss a hand that could be a turning point for your tournament life. For more reasons why you should play, go to poker-place.com .
In a live cash game, perhaps even more so than in a tournament, there are verbal cues that you must pay attention to and that can help you make decisions. One of those cues is when you hear the word straddle.
Here’s how it may happen. You’ve joined an online table, and as you move towards the button, you’re four seats left of it, to be precise, you think you’ll be the second to act. But then, something happens. The guy to your right places some chips without even picking up his cards. The dealer says straddle and points at you. What do you do? If you straddle, it means you’re placing a blind bet.
For those who are new to the game, the strategy is quite confusing to explain, and there are a couple of variations. However, if you intend to play, all you can do is do your best to understand it.
It happens for a reason, and that reason is to increase the stakes of the game. Depending on your positions, and where you play, you can straddle either from the under the gun, the button, or other positions.
Here you may be thinking it has to be a good idea since the stakes of the game are increased? Well, different players have different opinions about it. Generally, it is considered to be super risky, and it should be avoided. Aggressive players are in most cases in favor of it, because the game dynamics also change, leading to a blind all-in. While conservative players are against it because they think the whole game becomes a lottery.
There are various body movements, facial expressions, and certain statements that you must notice if you play with unknown players. If you watch the players carefully, within the first hour you should have an almost clear picture of what types of players you are playing with and which ones you can exploit during the game, who may decide to straddle, as well as which ones you must avoid if at all possible. The ones you don’t want to be in the game with are the aggressive players who will often 3bet and more and will almost always have a position against you. Being out of position with an aggressive player in hand is something you have to avoid as much as possible, and that means he will always have a turn to decide after you. On the other hand, being in a hand with a weak player is something that you should aim for and focus on, and if you have a position against him, so much the better.
The cash game has a special dynamic, because almost all players have a large stack of over 100 big blinds (bb) and more, and the amount of investment (bet sizing) plays a big role, unlike in tournaments where in most cases you are at a maximum of 30-50 bb. Adding to the game enhancement is the optional Live Straddle (LS) bet, which is placed by the first player in position after the Big Blind (BB) in such a way as to double the amount of the BB and thereby provide himself with the option of a final decision in case everyone ties his LS.
A live Straddle is an option that in most cases increases the game and is quite common in live cash games. All these options, type of player, geographical origin, some hands you have played with some players, and thus you have gained additional information, you must take into account when you sit down at the cash table so that at the end of the game you leave satisfied and with a profit.
Although tournaments have their charm and a lot of players participate in them, it is still a certain challenge to approach the cash game and also show your skills there. Even the best tournament player in the world in terms of earnings from online tournaments said that he gives great credit to cash players, because of their way of thinking during the hand, and their approach to the game.