Most poker players have heard about the squeeze play but some of them do not know what it exactly means, in which situations they can use it. This time I will introduce this tricky play where your analytical skills play the most important role.
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Squeeze play happens when someone raises, another player calls and you reraise (with other words you 3bet). The original raiser is squeezed because he might have a good hand and wants to play with you however he does not know what the player will do behind him so he folds his hand. A typical example of such a situation is when the original raiser has a low pocket pair. With a pair of fours he wants to make the call and get the right odds against you but he is scared of the player behind him who might 4bet. He would have to throw away his hand and in this case lose even more money. For this reason the original raiser, in other words the “squeezed” player, throws away his hand. The second player who called can still decide what he prefers to do. Most of the times he throws away his hand because of the lack of the right odds against one player or he is unsure if his hand is good enough to call a reraise (for example AJ, AT or KQ).
With what kind of hands should you try the squeeze play? The best hands for squeeze play are strong but not monster holdings such as: JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77 or AQ. These hands are strong holdings however they can make you feel uncomfortable against many opponents. Therefore you are happy to take the pot right away or reduce the field and play heads up. Squeeze play is also efficient when the table has many loose players and you have AA, KK, QQ or AK but you do not want to play against 4-5 opponents. With your reraise there will not be many opponents calling you.
In which situation is the squeeze play a great opportunity? When you have a great read on your opponent, you suppose he only wants to steal the blinds and it seems like he will fold his hand against a call and a 3bet. A squeeze play is also a great tool if the second player is a weak and loose type of player who is likely to call. In this case with the help of the squeeze play you can make the better player fold his hand and play heads up with the weaker one. I suggest you use the squeeze play in sessions when you have a tight reputation so the other players will give you respect and fold their hands (except the monsters).
Against which players should you not use the squeeze play? If the original raiser has a small stack and you do not really have a great hand. Short stack players will make the call or even reraise all-in very often so these opportunities are not profitable for squeeze plays. You should also proceed with caution if you know that the original raiser is a very tight player. In this case your 3bet can face a 4bet and you might be uncomfortable with the new circumstances. Do not use this play very often. If you use it once in every one or two rounds then players will not respect you and you will face many 4bets.