Squeeze Play in Poker Tournaments
What is a Squeeze Play?
There are numerous types of bluffs that you can make in poker - but none of them are as advanced or as difficult to pull off as the squeeze play. This is NOT a move for beginners.
Squeeze play is a type of bluff that is relies on your table position and the style of poker players at the table.
A squeeze play happens when a loose player (LAG) makes a raise in early position and then he gets called by another player before you with a marginal hand. When it’s your turn to act, you make a huge overbet (or shove all-in) making your opponents sense that you have a very strong hand and force them both to fold. You then pick up the remaining blinds and dead money from the opening raise and call.
The squeeze play works because essentially the player that opened the raising knows he cannot afford to call your re-raise with 2 players behind him left to act unless his has a premium hand (AA/KK/QQ/AK). The caller will also likely fold because his flat-call to the opening raise shows that he doesn’t have a strong enough hand to call a 3bet with. Thus, you are “squeezing” both of the players out of the hand because of their table position and relative hand strength.
How to Pull Off a Squeeze Play Successfully
Most pro poker players and advanced poker tournament (MTT) players will admonish you from attempting the squeeze play yourself because it is such as difficult move to master. A successful squeeze play requires an excellent read on both your opponents in addition to you having the right table image and enough chips behind you in a tournament.
That being said, if you want to learn how to pull off a squeeze play than you need the following conditions:
1) You need to make sure that the player who initially opened the raising has a loose enough table image to be raising recklessly with hands that he will happily fold to a 3bet (e.g. 67o, 72, 22).
2) The player who calls the opening raise also needs to have a loose enough table image so that you know there is a good chance that he will fold to your 3bet. It also helps to know that he has also sensed weakness in the opening raiser’s holding cards since this will improve the likelihood
3) In order to make both players fold when you re-raise them from LP you need to have a tight enough table image, otherwise they’ll call you down anyway and the squeeze play won’t work.
4) There can’t be more than two players in the pot otherwise it will decrease the chances of everyone folding around the table to your re-raise.
5) In order to force both opponents to fold, you realistically need to re-raise no less than 4x the opening raise or even shove all-in. Be aware however that pulling off a squeeze play in the early stages of a tournament isn’t profitable (since the blinds are only worth 1% of your stack) and if you are short-stacked (less than 10BBs) than it also won’t work very well.