I've been watching some episodes of Poker After Dark (the tournament episodes) and heard the dealer say that if the players try to straddle, it will be considered a "dead raise". But what exactly is that? I can't seem to find this term defined anywhere.
When you straddle in the traditional sense in a poker room that allows them, it's considered a "live" straddle. Several popular variations of straddling exist, but one common element is that they're "live." This means that the straddler is paying for the privilege of acting last in the pre-flop round of betting. If the dealer in your example is saying that it's a "dead" raise, that simply means that the bet is not a live straddle but rather just a bet placed blindly that doesn't confer any additional benefits.