More Poker: Poker Omaha Poker Poker Rooms Poker Tournaments

Holdem School

Other Great Sites

The Squeeze Play

Bluffing Tactics: The Squeeze Play
By Loki Luchs of

One of the most sophisticated moves in no-limit hold'em is known as the Squeeze-Play. It is a rare move, but can make a huge difference in tournament placement when you are playing in a high stakes tournament. The reason why it is such an unusual play is that many circumstances must be present in order for it to work properly! If the circumstances (or your reads on the other players) are incorrect, you are likely to cripple yourself and not your opponents!

The squeeze-play is a move that works best when you are absolutely certain that you have the second best hand. (It is important to understand that, because if you have third best, you should think twice before considering this particular maneuver!) You must find yourself sitting between two opponents: in front of you is a maniac whose hand you can beat, while behind you is a rock whose hand you can't. When the loose player bets, (as he will almost always do) your play is to raise with the second best hand. Now it is possible that the loose player will have you beat, but it is unlikely. He's only going to have a premium hand once in a while, so you can beat him in most showdowns. The rock is likely to fold anything under top pair/top kicker, because he is going to feel that with a bet and a raise, he's probably facing two pair or a set. Obviously, the tighter the rock, the better this play works.

Here's an example from a recent single table sit and go I played in:

With Blinds of 200/400...

Maniac 5,0000 Call
Loki- 4,000 Ad/9c Raise to 1,000
Button- 6,000 Fold
Small Blind- 5,000 Fold
Rock- 6,000 Call
Maniac- Call

I read the rock flat calling the flop to mean that he has no less than A/10 suited, A/J unsuited. I've seen him make big lay-downs out of fear before. The Maniac probably had two cards dealt to him.

The Pot was now 3,200. The flop came Ac 8s 3d

The Maniac bets 1500. Loki raises to 3,000. The rock pauses and relctantly folds his hand. The maniac calls and shows 8/J of clubs. The turn is a 7s and the river was a 2h.

Judging by the frustration that the rock showed afterward, my squeeze forced him to lay down the best hand. It wasn't A/K or A/Q, but it was probably A/J or A/10. While in my situation he did call, in many cases you won't be called by the maniac here. (The pot odds had been too high for him to fold, so it was a correct call on his part even though he lost.) Keep in mind that this play can be just as dangerous as it is lucrative! If the Rock had A/K or had flopped two pair, I could have easily been out of the tournament; when the players and the situation warrant it, however, this tactic has a very good success rate! If you're going to move to the higher levels of tournament poker, the squeeze-play is a final table essential weapon!

Play Online

Play for real money using your credit card at Bovada


Bovada Poker - Get credited with a 10% bonus instantly. Get 100% more with a max. up to $500 as you earn poker points!


How to Calculate Pot Odds - One of the most important concepts in the game which is often times overlooked.