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Poker Strategy | Holdem Poker Strategy

What is a squeeze play? No Limit Hold’em Strategy

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The squeeze play has become one of the most common plays in No Limit Hold’em tournament poker. While the concept was in play and use before this time frame, it was brought to the lime light by Dan Harrington and his excellent series of books in addition to the squeeze play he pulled off at the final table of the Main Event in 2004.

On that hand, Josh Arieh opened the pot for a raise with K-9 off suit and was called by eventual champion Greg Raymer who was holding {a-Clubs}{2-Clubs}. Harrington was on the button with {6-}{2-} and made a large re-raise. Harrington had been playing conservatively up to that point and his raise was given a lot of credit. So much so that David Williams folded A-Q in the big blind. Arieh and Raymer followed suit and Harrington picked up a large pot.

The squeeze play is an effective play for several reasons. First, it shows extreme strength. There are already two (or more) people in a raised pot. In order to raise in this situation, a player usually is going to need a very good hand. Second, it is effective because the initial raiser has to worry about the player who called their initial raise. If they have a marginal hand like A-J or K-Q, they are going to toss their hand thinking they are well behind. The raise in effect has squeezed your opponents out, thus the name squeeze play.

However, there has been a proliferation of literature on the squeeze play and accordingly the play has become over used and it is given less respect than it might have been given in the past.

In fact, you could make the argument that most players automatically assume a player is making a move when they raise after there has been a raise and a call of that raise. This doesn't mean, however, that it is a useless play and in fact if you have shown the ability to make a squeeze play with a legitimate hand and your opponents have seen it, the opportunity is likely there for you to do it on a bluff. This is why it's important that if you are going to squeeze play with a marginal hand that you also be able to do it with a legitimate hand.

Without any information on your play, most opponents will base their belief of what you are doing on what they perceive the average player to do.

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