Whether you’re new to online poker or an experienced player, there’s always something to learn. The practice of re-raising callers is known as a “squeeze,” and it’s an extremely useful tactic for picking up chips. Discover how it works, as well as the best spots to use it, with this guide.
What Is a Squeeze in Poker?
Unlike many other online casino games, you play poker against real human opponents. Although luck is a factor, it is primarily a game of skill and deception. An essential part of your strategy is bluffing, earning pots when you don’t necessarily have a strong hand.
Squeezing is a great way to do this. It’s when you 3-bet after a call with the intention of punishing the player who flatted. In most cases, it’s a preflop move in any big bet game of Texas Hold’em. But it’s also possible to use this strategy postflop.
Imagine you’re in the cutoff position. The player UTG+1 makes it 2.5x BB to play, and the player immediately behind calls. You’ve seen them limping and folding to any sort of pressure. So you elect to raise, making it 8x BB to go.
The initial raiser must now think about two players behind, putting them in an awkward spot. In addition, the player who initially called has to realize their hand probably isn’t strong enough to call another, much bigger bet. They aren’t sure what to do, so they probably fold to be safe.
Ultimately, the goal of a squeeze-play poker strategy is to put pressure on the other players at the table. The squeeze forces them to either call your raise or fold. Generally, you use this tactic when bluffing, making it somewhat risky. So it’s important to know precisely when to use it.
When To Squeeze
All the best online poker sites offer No-Limit Hold’em games, allowing you to try this strategy. But before you do, here are some things to consider.
There are many variations of poker, but whichever you’re playing, position is always important. The best time to squeeze is when you’re in the last position. That way, you’ve already picked up all the information you need on the players in front of you. Not only can you see the moves made by everyone else preflop, but you’ll remain in position after it.
Squeezing is a great bluffing move, but it’s even better when you actually have strong hands, such as pocket aces, kings, or ace-king. The range of hands you can use with this strategy depends on the raiser’s range. If they’re playing tight, you must be much tighter, too. If you’re bluffing, ensure you still have plenty of equity if your raise is called.
The primary purpose of squeezing is to force your opponents to fold. You want to specifically target tighter players who play fewer hands, especially if you’re bluffing. The better you are at reading your opponents, the more chance you have of making a successful play. This strategy is also more likely to be effective if there are many callers before you re-raise.
Your squeeze probably won’t work if you have a table image that suggests you’re an overly aggressive and loose player. If you often re-raise when in position, the other players at the table may call your bluff. You need your opponents to believe you have a strong hand if you want them to fold. So, tighter play dramatically improves your chances.
Benefits of Squeezing
Whether you’re bluffing or just making the most of a strong hand, there are a lot of benefits to using this strategy effectively.
Pressuring the Preflop Raiser
Squeezing puts pressure on the preflop raiser. It works so well because they’re in a difficult situation if they call. As a result, most preflop raisers will fold to the pressure, meaning you steal the pot. In some cases, other callers may still play their hand, but this only helps to increase pressure on the initial raiser.
Targeting Weak Players
Spotting and targeting weaker players is the key to doing well in online poker tournaments. An opponent that calls a preflop raise and a squeeze will likely be a recreational player. In most cases, they’re attached to their hand and want to see the flop, no matter the cost. If you have a weak player at your table, you should squeeze with a wider range and target them.
Punishing Loose Play
If an opponent at the table plays more hands than they should, you should punish them by applying the squeeze. Loose play is especially common in low-stakes online games where ranges are wide. Re-raising before the flop forces these loose opponents to reevaluate their hand and likely fold. This means you’ll win a decent pot without seeing the flop.
Playing Against the Squeeze
To succeed in poker games online, you need to know how to squeeze other players at your table. However, you’re also likely to come up against other opponents using this strategy.
Your poker mindset matters. Don’t panic or change your tactics if you see other players squeezing. Simply be more patient and pick your spots better.
As a Preflop Raiser
If you raise preflop and an opponent squeezes behind you, here are some things to consider:
- The stronger your hand, the more you should 4-bet.
- If the squeezer plays tight, you should fold.
- If the squeezer plays loose, you should 4-bet.
- Consider folding if in an early position.
- If the squeeze is a small size, you should call.
As a Preflop Caller
If you call preflop and encounter a squeeze, your action should depend on the other players in the hand. Here’s what to consider:
- You should call for value if multiple players have called before you.
- If the squeezer plays loose, you should call.
- You should call if the preflop raiser plays loose.
- You should fold if your hand is weak compared to their raising range.
- If the preflop raiser is in a late position, you should call.
Putting the Squeeze Into Practice
Squeezing is an excellent strategy. It’s highly effective for picking up chips, whether you’re bluffing or holding a strong hand. Register with BetMGM online casino today and start applying the squeeze to your opponents.