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Poker School

The 'Squeeze' Play & How To Use It To Your Advantage

In this section we’ll cover:

Fancy a squeeze?

‘Fancy Play Syndrome’ is spreading like wildfire. Players are trying harder to look clever and deceive the rest of the table than they are to win money. Sometimes, though, a fancy play can have a devastatingly good effect. The squeeze play is one of the best.

The aim of the game is to ‘squeeze’ another player out of the pot after they’ve committed their chips. Raise and re-raise big and early with a weak hand to force everyone else to fold.

When to use the squeeze

  • When the risk is worth it and you’re confident it will work. You’re putting a lot of chips on the table with a terrible hand
  • When you have a tight image. The move won’t work if you can’t bluff a strong hand
  • Late stages of a multi-table tournament. This is the best time to use the squeeze as the risks are too high in cash games and the early stages of a tourney
  • When your opponents are neither experts nor beginners
  • When the first player is open-raising with lots of hands

When not to use the squeeze

  • When your opener is very tight. They probably have a strong hand and you’ll end up in trouble if they call
  • If your second player re-raises. They probably have a strong hand too
  • When you’ve made a similar move recently, even with a strong had the first time

Your raise must be big enough to scare the second player away from calling. The squeeze play is a powerful technique when used correctly and it can completely baffle your opponents. It's an excellent way to loosen up your game if you have a tight reputation. But use it carefully, or it could be you losing all your chips instead of your opponents.