Squeeze will require a little courage and judgment from you. This is a bluff (or semi-bluff) made against not one, but several opponents. Someone bets, one or more players call, and you raise. When it works, you feel like a champion and take a big pot. When it doesn't work ... "Oops".
A rough example of a squeeze:
You are playing NL1000 Hold'em with full stacks. A loose aggressive player raises to $30. The two middle players call. You are in the big blind with Q6 and raise to $150. Everyone folds and you take the pot.
The squeeze is an awesome weapon and should be used by every NL player. At first glance, this seems dangerous because you are trying to bluff against several players at the same time, and if one of them calls, you will be in a bad situation. But, oddly enough, such a risk is often justified. That's why:
1. Since you are bluffing after betting and calling a few times, the pot is bigger than a "regular" bluff. In the example above, there is already 105$ in the pot when it comes to your action. Your bluff is 140$ to win 105$, so it must be successful about 58% times to be profitable.
2. After you fold the raiser, those who have called will often fold easily. Calling players tend to put the upper end of their range on hand strength. For example, a loose-aggressive raiser might have pocket aces (although he does raise a lot of hands). The first caller could also have aces, but this is less likely. And it's even less likely that the second caller will have them, since very few people will flat-call with aces after raising and calling. So, if you're lucky and the raiser folds, the callers will often give up easily.
3. The raiser turns out to be "jammed" ie along with the fact that callers usually fold, sometimes they will have a monster (or they will simply be stubborn) and if they did not exist, then the raiser could call with position, closing the action. But since they do exist, the raiser could only have called if he was rearranged. This danger could have prompted him to fold his marginal called (or reraised) hand.
The added benefit of being squeezed from time to time is that it balances your play. With a lot of hands, will you make a "fair" big reraise from the big blind if someone raises preflop and two players call? No, only with the best. If you never try to reraise from the big blind, you are giving too much information about your hand.
When no-limit games became widespread again in Las Vegas (in 2004), many "good" players had this problem. If they reraised big from the big blind, they had pocket aces or kings every time. You cannot play the same way! You have to obfuscate your game, and an occasional squeeze is a great way to do it.
You can squeeze on any street, not just preflop. this kind of play is equally useful after the flop. I remember the hand seen on TV in which Gavin Griffin performed a wonderful squeeze. I don't remember all the details of the hand, but the gist of it was this: A WSOP final table was played and everyone had deep stacks. Gavin raised 8-7 from middle position and was called by the button and the big blind. The flop came 6-6-5, giving Gavin an open-ended straight draw. Both of his opponents were excellent players. The big blind made a bet and Gavin called. The button raised, which was equalized by the big blind, and Gavin made a big reraise-squeeze! Both players thought about it and ultimately folded.
Gavin's play was based on the fact that his opponents were strong players with excellent hand analysis. Gavin opened the game with a raise and the flop came 6-6-5. In Gavin's view, the big blind could have a wide range that included many bluffs. After all, how many hands are there to raise on the 6-6-5 flop? His opponent might be bluffing, trying to just steal the pot. Gavin had a strong draw, so he called, then the button raised. Could it be a squeeze? This was possible because he had position, and so far no player has shown much strength on the 6-6-5 flop. He might try to squeeze or raise with a weak hand to identify his hand.
When the big blind calls
oval, this defined his hand more eloquently. Obviously he had something, otherwise he would have folded. But with trips or a full house, he most likely would have reraised. Thus, his call indicated a hand of medium strength, with a low probability of a monster, which led to Gavin making a big reraise.
He knew that his opponents couldn't confuse his reraise with anything other than a slow-cast monster. the call-raise line on the 6-6-5 flop suggests a very strong hand: a full house or maybe A6 and his opponents also needed a very strong hand to call the reraise. This action, coupled with a large pot size, had a good risk / reward ratio. This gave Gavin a good chance of being successful and winning a big pot. And if he was called with a set, he would have a chance to improve to a straight.
This squeeze was based on excellent hand reading and good knowledge of opponents. Most of the squeezes are not so impressive. There are two main conditions for the possible triggering of a squeeze:
1. The player who bets or raises is marked with a wide range, including bluffs and other weak hands. Don't try to squeeze someone who will only bet the flop with a set! Many aggressive players will bet with a lot of hands. They are your goals.
2. Calling players not stupid enough to call the raise with what they called the original raise. They should know that reraising usually means a serious hand. Most of the players are like that.
Once these conditions are met, try squeezing. This will confuse your game and allow you to experience the unique poker satisfaction of bluffing on time.
Author: Ed Miller
Translation: Sergey "FreakStyle" Panfilov