3-betting in No Limit Hold Em
Part 3 – The Squeeze Play
What is a squeeze play in poker?
The Squeeze is a special form of the 3-bet strategy
, it happens when one player raises, and gets one or more cold callers. A player in late position or the blinds can then make the squeeze play by 3-betting.
Raising the stakes
The squeeze enjoys a huge degree of success because the original raiser, who’s dilemma is compounded by the fact that he has the worst possible position, should he decide to call. He has to give credit that the caller has at least a reasonable hand and the ‘squeezer’ is representing a top hand, which he may or may not have, this in effect means even if his original raise was with a genuinely good hand such as TT, AQs, he will usually need a very good hand such as AKs, QQ+ to justify calling in this tough spot. The caller is normally even in a tougher spot with, since their hand wasn’t good enough to re-raise the original raiser, it would seem that their hand is almost definitely not good enough to call yet another much bigger re-raise.
Got to be a big squeeze to work
The squeeze as can be seen is a very effective play, the downside of it is that you have to re-raise big for it to be effective. The squeeze play is most effective when the original raiser is loose aggressive and the other callers are weak passive players. When a player is considering making a squeeze play, they must factor in that there is already a big pot containing the original raisers bet, any callers and the blinds, so for a squeeze to work it needs to be a big raise.
Pick a juicy spot to squeeze
For example, say a late position player is considering making a squeeze move. In a hand where the original raiser raises pot size i.e. 3.5 big blinds and he gets two callers the pot size is 3.5*3 + 1.5(the blinds) = 12 big blinds. A pot size bet here would be 18 big blinds, but seeing as these players are loose, often a little bit more is needed to get the desired fold. So we’re talking a raise of 20 and upwards to take down the pot. It’s certainly a valuable and indeed profitable move to have in your arsenal but seeing as it’s a costly investment you do need to be pretty sure that you can execute the move with a high degree of success if you don’t actually have the big hand you represent.
Be selective with your squeeze
It’s certainly not a move you should overdo, in fact if you have been making many 3-bets already, if none of them have been called, whether they were genuine or not, making a squeeze play is not recommended.