There are various strategies and approaches in Texas Hold’em geared towards taking advantage of certain situations. With the end goal always being accumulating more chips and improving your win rate. Squeeze play is one of these strategies. It is often under-utilized by less experienced players who fail to see its full potential.
In this article, we’ll give you some squeeze play tips and tricks to help you understand the value and the potential of this move. While you probably shouldn’t go crazy with your squeeze plays in general, adding some aggression to your game is usually a good thing. Especially if you’re more on the passive side, and this is a great way to do it.
What’s a Squeeze Play?
As the name suggests, this is a move geared towards squeezing other players out of the hand. A typical squeeze play happens when there are a raise and a 3-bet in front of you, and you decide to go for a 4-bet. Usually, squeeze play aims to get your opponents to fold and win the pot right there. But you need to keep things balanced by also having some strong hands in your range.
The Power of Squeeze
The reason why squeeze play can be instrumental is because it puts players in a difficult spot. The original raiser doesn’t have you to worry about. They also have the 3-bettor to still act, and they can do whatever they want when the action gets back to them. So, for the original raiser to get involved, they need to have a pretty big hand. If they’re a thinking player, that is).
For the 3-bettor, the situation is somewhat less complicated once the original raiser folds. But, you’re still sending the message you have a pretty big hand yourself. So, if they continue, they know full well their entire stack might be at risk as the hand develops. So, regardless of your holdings, you’ll be putting a lot of pressure on the other players in the hand.
What Hands to Squeeze
Defining your squeeze range can be a bit tricky, and it does depend on the other players in the hand. Against more aggressive opponents, you can be more liberal as they are more likely to fold. Tighter players are tougher to play against in these spots because their general hand ranges are more inside the value spectrum. For further considerations on defining your hand ranges in these spots, you can check out some advanced articles or find some answers in this upswing poker lab review.
In general, though, hands that make good squeeze materials are the ones holding blockers. For example, hands such as small suited Aces, provided stacks are deep enough. These hands reduce the likelihood of other players having a monster. They have some decent playability when you do get called.
Squeeze Play and Stack Size Considerations
When you’re considering a squeeze play, you always need to keep the size of your stack in mind. You don’t want to make a raise that will commit you to the pot when you don’t have a hand you’re comfortable going all the way with.
Additionally, your squeeze plays need to be big enough to make your opponents fold, especially when you’re out of position (in the big blind, for example). So, especially in tournaments, if you have a stack size that is slightly awkward, i.e., around 20 big blind, there is no need to get fancy. Your best bet here is to move all in if you’re going for the squeeze.
By doing this, you’re achieving several things. First of all, you’re maximizing your fold equity and removing any chances of someone deciding they want to see the flop and decide what to do next. Secondly, you’re making things easier on yourself as there are no tough decisions to make if one of the other players jams on you. And, finally, when you do get called, you’ll get to realize your full equity by seeing all five cards.
Check out the other articles in this poker strategy series here:
– Part 1 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #1 | Playing Suited Connectors
– Part 2 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #2 | Check Raising Strategy
– Part 3 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #3 | Slow Playing Do’s and Don’ts
– Part 4 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #4 | Blockers and How to Use Them
– Part 5 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #5 | Limp Pots – When and Why
– Part 7 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #7 | Adjusting Versus Different Opponents