The Squeeze


Disclaimer: I know people have varied opinions regarding 3bet ranges and how to deal with 3bets/squeezes so this I merely

how I see it. I’m not claiming to be all knowing

What is a squeeze?

Squeezing is 3betting an opener while a cold caller has called the initial raise. It’s called a squeeze because you’re essentially forcing the cold caller to become squeezed out of the pot and fold since there’s not a lot of ways he can defend himself.

Why should I squeeze?

It’s quite simple. Because it will show an instant profit. The question should be, why should I not squeeze? For proof just go to your pt/hem database and look through your non premium hands where you squeezed someone and compare the profit you normally get on those hands. I’m pretty sure for most of you, squeezing will show a higher profit. For example I make 24ptbb/100 when I squeeze without TT+ AQ+. However when I normally play this range of hands I lose 4ptbb/100

What hands to squeeze?

In general I would advice to squeeze when it’s possible when you have a decent hand that doesn’t play well multi way, but does play well in a 3bet pot. A typical squeeze range facing open from a regular (who has a fold button) would be:

JJ+, ATo+, A2-A5o, A6s+, K9o+, Q9o+, K2s-K9s, Q8s/Q9s


TT+ ATo+ K9o+ Q9o+ K2s-K9s, Q8s/Q9s

Why this range?

Those of you that have seen mine and Greg’s video about “bluff raising” will already know this. It’s possible to divide all your possible holdings into 3 categories compared to the villain’s range. Low/medium/high. Much like a normal 3bet, squeezing becomes especially profitable against opponents who fold too much too 3bets. It shows an auto profit to squeeze against people who fold to 3bets 75%+. This doesn’t mean you should always squeeze any 2 when you have the opportunity, because you would become super unbalanced. Therefore you have to select the holdings with which you do squeeze. Of course you want to squeeze with your “high” strength holdings because you’re going to get called by a ton of worse hands and/or are happy stacking off. As for your “bluff” squeezes. Why would you turn a medium strength hand into a bluff (which you have to fold when you get 4bet) when you can call and play a multi way pot with big implied odds instead. This includes most medium/low pocket pairs; while it would be ok to 3bet them in a vacuum. Cold calling to set mine in a multi way pot is going to show a bigger profit most of the time. More on this will probably be in Greg’s 3betting COTW.

Who should/shouldn’t I squeeze?

The more a villain folds to 3bets the more profitable your “bluff” squeezes become. If a villain never folds to 3bets there’s no point (generally speaking, if he’s playing fit or fold post flop it will still be profitable) in ever trying to bluff him off a better hand because he’s not folding. Instead you should increase

the value range you squeeze vs those villains. Possible hands you can include are 99/88 a8/a9o KQs KJs. This is especially true against fish who never fold. Since it’s a lot easier to value bet against them. Another point noting is that the wider a villain’s range is the wider their range for folding/defending will become. The more someone folds to 3bets the less inclined you should be to squeeze with value hands because they aren’t going to get called by worse as often. If someone is prone to 4bet shove it’s also better to flat call with the bottom of your value range because your often going to get shoved off your equity.

How do I defend against a squeeze?

Defending against squeezes is a tricky thing to do and not surprisingly a lot of people make mistakes with it. A lot of common mistakes are that people don’t defend enough, they defend with the wrong hands or they defend in the wrong way. Why is defending so tricky? Because the size of the pot means it becomes hard to 4bet as a bluff because you will almost always be priced in to call the shove. Therefore it’s often correct to 4bet shove if you’re going to call the shove anyway if you want extra fold equity.

The best defense against a squeeze is to fold. People aren’t squeezing you often enough at the micro stakes that it becomes something that you will need to defend against. Even if they are capable of squeezing “light”, People aren’t squeezing as bluffs as often as you think.

The second best defense against habitual squeezers is to
open less wide of a range so you set yourself up less to get squeezed. This is especially true when there’s several fish on your left who are prone to cold call you. You have to treat the 3better as if he was a short stacker who’s shoving over your opens lightly.
If you do find someone whose opening super wide and he
has become exploitable I would suggest to either 4bet or fold
if you’re OOP. calling a 3bet while oop puts you in a ton of tricky spots and it becomes very difficult to play your draws aggressive enough to call with low suited connectors or pocket pairs. This becomes less the case if there’s a fish behind you but in general I would either 4bet or fold. If you’re in position you can call with your hands that play well multi way like Suited broadways and shove a pretty wide range of value hands. If you call you should raise a pretty wide range of flops because
it won’t be possible to profit if you play fit or fold in these spot. If you make a small 4bet you are often going to find villains flatting your 4bet in this situation which you don’t really want with TT or JJ.

Is there anything I can do if I cold call and I get squeezed (Back raising)?

No, when you cold call you announce you don’t have a hand strong enough to raise. This is also what makes squeezing so powerfull. That’s why if you back raise you are going to get called by an incredibly wide range. There’s one thing you can do to exploit this though. If you have someone who like to squeeze behind you (Or if you think the original opener isn’t going to call you without kk+), you can cold call JJ+ occasionally and then back raise when you get squeezed. This will often cause you to win stacks

Cliff notes

  • Squeeze a wide range
  • Squeeze hands either as a bluff or for value. Don’t squeeze hands that you’re not sure about.
  • Fold when you get squeezed and be more likely to 4bet shove than to call
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