How to Play Against a Habitual Straddler in Small Stakes
© 2017 by M. Mitch Freeland
Straddlers need action and lots of it. In many situations they are playing in a game that they wish was bigger. Most habitual straddlers are sick players—many could be compulsive gamblers. Many straddlers play too many hands and raise a high frequency of hands indiscriminately. They won't chase down pots until they get beat a couple of times and begin steaming. They will bet middle pair on the flop as well as drawing hands: flushes and straights.
Many if not all, habitual straddlers are known to be drunk or drinking at the table. They are loose and sometimes maniacal players. In most cases, if you raise they will put on the brakes. The best strategy is call their bets and raise on the river if you still believe you have the best hand, otherwise call. If the river is checked to you, bet for value.
Raise with any playable hand against a habitual straddler preflop. Stealing from straddlers is also a regular play you should be making. Make the raise four times the straddle amount and add in any other players who entered before you. For instance, in a $1-$2 game the straddler put out $4. If there are two callers before you enter ($8 more in the pot), you should raise to $24 or a little more to punish them.
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