Tournament Poker Strategy – How to Execute the Perfect Squeeze Play

The squeeze play is one of the most effective moves in tournament remipoker. It can be an effective way to build your chip stack and see you progress to an in the money finish in poker tournaments. However because the squeeze play operates under the assumption that your hand is already the best, it can be risky–you can lose your chips in the process.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that you need to consider when you try and execute your squeeze play and when it could actually be a profitable move.

  1. Example

You have pocket J-9. The blinds are 100-200. You have seen everyone around the table and at the end, you are heads up with one other player. You have between 8-10 left. Here’s what could happen:

  • The player in the big blind calls. Although technically a squeeze play, this is probably not the best move for you.
  • The player in the small blind calls. Although less obvious, this too may not be the best squeeze play. Due to the tightness of the table, a squeeze play here is less likely to work.
  • The player in the middle position raises. Although a squeeze play in this case may be a good move, it still needs to be factored in as a factor in your decision about whether to call or not.
  1. Squeeze Play Range

The squeeze play has a sliding scale of effectiveness. Squeeze plays that work best will have a higher payout. The higher the rank of hand you have, the more likely your opponent will be unable to put you on the hand and the less valuable your squeeze play is.

Rank of hands to play squeeze from includes:

  1. Hole Cards (the rank of the card you have)
  2. Top Cards (the top card you need to have a strong hand)
  3. Middle Cards (the middle card you need to have a strong hand)
  4. Low Cards (the bottom card you need to have a strong hand)
  5. Top Cards (the top card you need to have a weak hand)
  6. Middle Cards (the middle card you need to have a weak hand)
  7. Low Cards (the bottom card you need to have a weak hand)

The closer a card is to an Ace, the better. The reason for this is that if there are many cards between the Ace and the flop, then you have a better chance of being the first to act, which will give you more information on the cards that follow. The later your position at the table, the better. Behind a player one position after you, there is less information.

The purpose of the squeeze play is to try and force your opponent to fold. Using this play in the middle of a Multi Table Tournament is frowned upon, as it is more likely that you will be called by the players in later positions, even if you do make your hand.

So squeeze play, how do you actually pull it off?

A common method is to mark your pre-flop hole cards with a black or red marker. Practice doing this, it helps to keep track of your cards, just so you don’t keep making the same mistakes. Once you have a color or a card at the end of the rainbow, start working out what your target is for the whole hand. That is the Affleck Play.

Basically, you will be looking to pull off a hand where you have at least two of the community cards on the flop. A hand where you have three of the community cards by the turn is sometimes also counted. But, the Affleck Play is more of a rule of thumb and is probably more appropriate for special situations that you only face one or two players at the most.

Pulling off the squeeze play can be made relatively cheaply. To test this out, play a standard 52 card deck for a couple of rounds. Back off two or three times if it starts to seem like you are making the mistake. A standard blind structure would be 5/10 or 2/4, but the blinds will increase as the tournament progresses. Maybe the most effective way to do it is to pick a level blind and a small stack to follow.

This entry was posted in gambling. Bookmark the permalink.