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Squeeze Play

Squeeze Play

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Squeeze Play - What is It?

A “squeeze-play” is a special type of bluff mainly used in poker tournaments that revolves around your table position and your image at the table.

A squeeze play happens when you have a loose open-raiser and caller at the table in front of you. In order to bluff these two guys off the pot you make a large re-raise (i.e. 3-4x initial raise) which they can’t afford to call.

Why Can’t These Players Afford to Call my Re-raise?

The reason why these two players can’t afford (or are unlikely) to call your re-raise is because of their table position, behaviour and weak hand strength.

If you have two players who have been open-raising and limping to see the flop for a while than you know that their starting hand range is going to be rather weak. They’re probably both playing 20-30% of their hands as opposed to 10% or less, which would constitute a tight, TAG poker player.

The initial player who opened the raising from EP was probably on a decent hand such as Ax or low pocket pairs. Good enough to raise or 3bet light with, but not good enough to call a re-raise with from out of position.

The second player, who made the call from EP+1 or MP, probably also had a decent, marginal hand such as low pocket pairs, broadway cards or suited connectors such as 67s.

When you re-raise both of these players however, you represent a premium hand such as AJ+ or JJ+. Neither of these players can afford to call your 3bet because of their relative table position and hand strength.

The “unknown” factor also makes it very hard for these players to call your re-raise. Why? Because the initial player who opened the raising doesn’t know if the player behind him is going to re-raise him. He’s better off folding and letting the others play the hand out. And the caller is unlikely to call a 3bet since his initial call tells us that he was probably “limping” with a low strength hand.

Conditions for Squeeze Play

There are a few factors that you’ll need to take in to account before trying this in a cash game or tournament. First of all, you need to be certain that the initial raise and caller are loose enough to be open-raising and calling with weak hands. If you’re going to bluff them off the pot pre-flop, you need to know that they’re not going to call or even 4bet you back. It helps if you’re using a tournament HUD to check their recent VPIP% and RFI%.

It will help you in the long run if you have a big enough chip stack. If you only have a remaining stack of 10BBs than this probably won’t work since you’re giving good enough pot-odds for your opponents to call you. For example, if the blinds are 10/20 than it will cost each of your opponents just 10BBs extra to call a 120BB pot and see the river. This represents extremely favourably pot-odds of 12:1.

Finally, it’s best to have “outs” in case you get called, and that there are no other opponents in the pot. Like any bluff, the more opponents left to act behind you, the less likely you’re bluff is going to work.

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