Poker has a lot of depth to it. Many people do not realize this and think poker is simply gambling with extra steps. Poker is a skill-based game, so much so that it is considered a sport. There are many ways skill gives you an advantage. The best poker players use math to determine if they will make a profit over time, identify their opponents’ habits and playstyles to find weaknesses, and even guess which cards their opponents have. This poker guide will cover a crucial part of poker strategy: Proper betting. It will focus on a technique known as the squeeze bet, telling you everything from how a squeeze bet works to how to play against it.
What is a squeeze bet?
A squeeze bet is when a player raises pre-flop, one or more players call this raise, and then a player re-raises. It is known as a squeeze bet because the player who called is getting “squeezed” out of the pot. It is a powerful technique representing a strong hand, like all 3-bets.
Benefits of squeezing
Squeezing has numerous advantages because most of the possible outcomes greatly benefit the person who made the bet. If everyone folds, the squeezer gets a decently sized pot without seeing the flop. The squeezer also has a range advantage over all the players who call the squeeze bet. That is because the squeezer represents a strong hand with the bet, and the other players presumably do not have premium hands since they called. The only outcome which would put the squeezer in a tough spot is if a player re-raises the squeeze bet. Despite this, if the squeezer has the absolute best hand, it may not even be detrimental since they could go on to win the large pot.
When to squeeze
The squeeze bet is highly effective if the raiser is loose. A big re-raise would be perfect for taking down the pot in this scenario. That is because you are not only calling out the loose player’s potential bluff but also putting pressure on the player that called. They likely called with a weaker hand since they noticed the player before them was loose and wanted to see the flop. It takes practice to recognize scenarios like this while playing, but squeezing becomes a powerful tool once you get it down.
Squeeze bets also have use as bluffs if you notice your opponents fold to them often. You can use poker heads-up displays to see your opponents’ “folded to squeeze when raiser” and “folded to squeeze when caller” percentages. Squeeze bets are also helpful for building a pot with a strong hand.
Squeeze betting tips:
The squeeze bet is sound but requires proper execution to succeed. Here are a few tips for squeezing correctly:
Dealing with squeezing
As the original pre-flop raiser, you have the advantage of an “uncapped range,” unlike the caller. A capped range means they are unlikely to have the absolute strongest hands because if they did, the caller would have presumably re-raised instead of calling. You must analyze how your opponent uses their squeeze bets, which is much easier with a poker heads-up display. If they have a high squeeze bet percentage, like 15 or more, they will likely use their squeeze bets as bluffs, and you should react accordingly by re-raising. Likewise, you should fold more often if their squeeze bet percentage is low, like four or less.
As the caller, it is much harder to deal with a squeeze bet. You need to understand why you called the original raise. It is usually best to cut your losses and fold since your hand is probably not strong enough to deal with a squeeze bet. You can’t 4-bet the opponent because you capped your range by calling the initial raise instead of 3-betting. Your opponent now knows you do not have a premium hand and is using that against you. The best way to deal with squeeze bets is to avoid the situation in the first place. If you notice that your opponents squeeze bet you often, it is best to fold whenever you consider calling the original raise, so you do not commit money to the pot.
Where to practice squeezing
We hope this guide taught you much about the squeeze bet. Squeezing is one of many betting techniques, and proper betting is vital to learning how to play poker. For those who want to practice their skills, playing online poker on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room, is a great idea. This article mentions the use of poker heads-up displays many times, and GGPoker offers a free poker tracker and heads-up display to every user! Sign up today!