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Straddle in Tournament Play


Hey all,

I have always thought you could not straddle in tournament play.  I know in general its a bad play but I have someone who is trying to tell me differently in my poker league.  I cannot find anything anywhere that actually states if you can or cannot straddle in tournament play.  Does anyone know for sure on this rule and is there anywhere that lists this rule so I could provide it to the league?

Thanks in advance.


Stuart Murray:
The Straddle is an option which is (as you are familiar with) primarily used in Cash Game/Ring Game Poker, rather as Tournament Poker, however there is no rule which prevents a straddle in Tournament Poker.  Generally the Format of your game dictates that there is a pre set of blinds rising continually and a starting set of chips with optional extra chips (add-ons, re-buys, re-entries.)  In my humble opinion straddling in Tournament Poker is not compatible with the set format, however as you can see from the attached link, it is very much open to interpretation and could be allowed should you wish.

My colleagues and I have seen several enquiries from time to time regarding straddles and our answer has always been the same; "A straddle in Tournament poker is just a raise of the big blind amount" whether you take this line in your own games or not is your own decision.



Thank you very much for the reply.  The more I searched and looked, I kinda felt that there would not actually be a set rule anywhere other than a house rule.

I can see us putting a rule in our league rules that state straddles are not allowed at all in tournament play just to cut off the idea anyone may have on doing so. 


If there's a benefit of straddling in a cash game is that you assume the option to check or raise like the big blind if nobody raises the straddle ... although most hands an advanced player will stick a raise in there looking at all that involuntary money that's out there before a card is seen ...


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