Constructing a squeezing range against limps

Say it is a high stakes full ring game and there is a mixture of strongish and semi-decent players. 4 people limp and you make a massive raise from the small blind. If you only raise strong hands, the table will catch-on (since you play the mostly the same players everyday) and only continue with premium. However, if you raise with bluffs, then the table will continue with borderline garbage (suited broadway, suited connectors and gappers, etc). In this case, what hands should you squeeze with?

By default, you have the value hands: AQ+, 99+. Now, we have to consider bluffs/ semi-bluffs.

We could have a merged range and add in hands like AJ, 88, 77, KQ. With these hands, we will still be ahead of most hands that will call us, but it will be hard to get multiple streets of value from top pairs, since the top pairs that will call us will likely either have poor kickers and can’t continue or have us dominated. With hands like 88 and 77, there are too many overcards to dodge and we are out of position.

Also, we could bluff-raise with suited Ace-rag hands like A5s. We can get better aces to fold and reduce the likelihood that our opponent has AA, AK, AQ or AJ. About a fifth of the time, we will catch either a straight or flush draw or both, and can profitably double barrel or triple barrel. However, the times there is an ace on the board, we won’t get value from worse (since it is so likely that we have AK or AQ when we raise), but will likely have to pay out against better aces.

Finally, we can choose to raise with suited connectors. These hands are well disguised and will have implied odds against sets and two pairs. They will give us good board coverage across plenty of flops. It will also give us hands to bluff with on ace high, king high, and queen high flops. However, the downside is that any hand that calls us will likely be better, and suited connectors does not block premium hands. In addition, we are out of position and our pairs will likely have overcards.

If anything doesn’t make sense feel free to ask.


I think before you can construct a squeezing range you have to make a realistic assumption about how often you think the squeeze will get through at what bet sizes to take the pot down outright. Then construct a calling range for the typical villain(s) vs proposed raise sizes. Once you have both of these estimates worked out, then you can reverse engineer your ranges. I would then further tweak the raw equity range to make up for the positional disadvantage you will have when called.

IMO, the problem with squeezing a more balanced range is the reduced fold-equity we typically see. In order to achieve sufficient fold equity, sizings have to increase. The larger the size of the bet, the more frequently it has to work to be profitable. This reduces the number of bluff hands you can incorporate. Its an interesting issue and I look forward to seeing how it develops when others chime in. Listening to players trying to find the proper mix of balance and exploitation is always interesting. Thanks for bringing the topic up.


obviously, the best stratety can be applied when you know the player well.

but the general line imo is to use more merged ranges against worse players and more polarised ranges against better players.
merging usually works best if the opponent has a big calling range, so your weaker value hand range are still best against your opponents calling range.
polarising usually work best against better players since they fold more hands, meaning you don’t need a good hand most of the time, and if they call anyway, it’s usually a hand that beats you (even more likely, a hand that dominates you) so you want to have a hand with blockers (like the suited ace rags) or a hand that avoids being dominated like suited connectors. on top of that, they are easier to fold when you miss, and have good implied odds if you hit. both useful against a good opponent

gl, yiazmat


I really like the way you are thinking, and that kind of thinking puts you at a huge advantage over most players on Replay. But, I have a lot of experience with this type of issue at high stakes here, and I would say that in general you should forget about merging or balancing and just raise big hands. In most of these spots, we are facing multiple limpers and you really don’t have a ton of fold equity. Players will still often flat when they shouldn’t, when you have big hands (and there’s nothing wrong with stealing 5.5bbs uncontested out of position if they fold).

The more confident I get, the more I tend to make this play with a variety of hands (suited Ax, suited connectors, smaller pairs) and generally it is a huge mistake. You will get callers and you will have to fire bluffs from out of position or just give up a lot of the time. The way to win on Replay is just to wait for big hands or just go along with the passive play from in position and wait to hit.


Usually I make a big raise to like 7.5bb. Usually there is around maybe 2 nitty players and 3 calling station. Here are the proposed ranges for these players.
Nit limp (right click => open in new tab to see the image more clearly)
Nit limp call
Station limp
Station call

Assuming these ranges, we get 9% preflop fold equity with a small suited connector.
23% of the time, we get one station to call.
7% of the time, we get one nit to call.
That means 30%, we are heads-up and generate auto-profit by cbetting any dry board with A, K, or Q, or any draw.

With A5s, which has a blocker, we get a whooping 20% preflop fold equity.
23% of the time, we get one station to call.
6% of the time, we get one nit call.
We are actually ahead of the calling station, and 40-60 dog to the nit. When the ace hits on a dry flop, we are about 3 to 1 against the station. and 1.5 to 1 against the nit. Again, it is a auto-profit to bet on dry king high or queen high flops since they will hit the board only 50-60% of the time.

The problem with squeezing are the multiway pots. We can’t auto profit by cbetting any two cards, and we are actually behind against 2 stations. Still, we have many draws and occasional top pairs. Most of the time when we get top pair, we are good. We could peel one bet and fold to a second bet since players rarely double barrel bluff. Another, a big merit of the play is the outright fold equity. We only have to win postflop a small percentage of the time to be profitable.

I think that suited A-rags hands are clearly profitable to squeeze with. The question remains is if a merged range or suited connectors are better.


OK, I’m going to have to print this and look more closely at everything before I have any substantive comments. The thing that pops out at me off the bat is that you included AQ+, QQ+ in both player types’ limp/call ranges. Even here I think that may be a bit passive.

Just to be clear, you are still talking about a scenario with 4 limpers and you in the SB, correct? That gets you to the 7.5BB bet size for your squeeze (3.5x + 1 per limp)? I’ll think about this a for a bit and about actually increasing the 7.5x sizing.

I look forward to going through this and to continuing the discussion. In terms of practical applications for here, I’m not the guy who will be able to give you the best advice. I’d look to @JoeDirk, @unranked, @Idi0tpLaYer and @NoBluf for solid advice since they all have extensive and successful histories here. Not sure if some will be posting here again or not but if they did, this would be their type of thread.

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Have to agree with Joe Dirk here- wait for the big hands as 7 out of 10 players will limp call you even in tourneys with baseless cards such as q8,j7,85 and many such odd ball cards with the blinds being small…As most times than not most of the ring players dont like to sit idle for beyond 2 hands and a few who sit for hours waiting for monsters to arrive…its not a tourney where you they will fold 10 hands in a row…the rush is there to play…so you will get many donkey hands in play…a raise is going to invite hands 910 offsuit upwards.if you do have a premium hand you will be way ahead and a raise will atleast invite 4 to 6 players and atleast 2 of them holding pure crap.
Based on the calling stations-they will most definitely hit the flop 40% of the time and they will call you with the lowest pair on the flop way down to the river in many cases.Most are married to thier hand.
you will get paid off but there is one thing on replay which works against a good hand -the river…something twisted about the rivers here…Warlock and rest can expand on this aspect.

If your table is regularly seeing four limps, you are mistaken to think that anyone is going to observe that you are playing for pure value in the SB. Screw balance and make it 12x or more with your premiums and mine the nuts with everything else in this exact spot. It is easy to forget that overlimping or completing is often the most profitable line once the mistake of the first limp has occurred, even though raising is +EV too.

Suppose you really wanted to raise though. To the extent that your characterisations of nits and stations are correct, merge against stations and use suited connectors against nits.


smart point,
however i like to add that it isn’t always right and more variables needed to be considered first. for example: i would never mine the nuts with 63o after 2 limpers with an aggressive raiser after you. here some points to consider first: first of all. the amount of limps, the more there are, the more hands you can limp with as well. second is there an agressive player present, if so, how aggressive. even with a whole table of limpers and you holding something like K2s (which would be fine to limp when teh whole table does). but you know the BB likes to squeeze about 80% of the time, now the K2s doesn’t look as good anymore to limp along. third is the obvious one, which hand do you hold? if you gonna limp along with the rest, i would rather do it with something like 67o then 29o. but like i mentioned in the first point, the more limpers teh wider the range i could limp with as well.

Limping and FTOP are the mathematically correct way of playing poker, but it will reduce the game to any other card game.

If they are not observant of our raises, why not raise big with the nuts and raise smallish with suited ace rag just to milk the 20% fold equity? They probably have inelastic ranges and won’t change their calling range too much by the raise size.

I am wondering about your assumptions about fold equity. I have tried similar approaches (like raising a wide range from the button over multiple limpers), and I do not think the fold equity makes this approach +EV. I think you get too many callers (often 3-4) and they are sticky with any top pair, so you either have to give up or end up bluffing off. At least raising from IP gives you flexibility, from the SB, I do not think you have fold equity to make this play profitable with a wide range. Again, I like the way you are thinking, and you will figure out how to beat the game, but limping behind and waiting to hit seems to be a much lower risk approach. You can have enough of a postflop edge to make this play profitable.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t open a wider range, just that attacking multiple limpers from OOP on Replay is not going to get you many folds, so you might as well wait til you have big hands to get value from them.

You also assume that boards with A, K, or Q on it will create folds, but against limpers on Replay I have gotten so many weird calls that put you in bad spots on all board types. A3o will call down three streets with an ace on board or someone will show up with a limped AK in the same spot, so you have no idea where you are with you A5s. Or you will flop a flush draw and barrel 3 streets just to see that 66 called you with 3rd pair. There are lots of creative spots to find a bluff or semi-bluff against thinking players, but you have to be really selective because nits and calling stations don’t really like to fold preflop or if they think they have a good hand for the board. They are not thinking about your range advantage, so you have to make sure you actually have a range advantage to crush them in the long run (focus on stronger starting hands and/or getting value when you crush the board). I give this advice because I always fall into the same trap, most of my biggest losses come from bluffs that probably would have worked if the player was actually thinking about my range instead of their exact holding having showdown value.


Your desire to improve is commendable, but I implore you to be much more rigourous and critically examine your assumptions, both in terms of whether they are true and what are the implications if they are true. Forgive me if I am being presumptuous.

The setting you have described is being in the small blind facing four limps. Not only that, we operate under the assumption that these guys limp their premiums, as seen in your card matrices and the “continue with premium” part in your original post. I don’t know about this, but let us take this for granted.

Here is a question I would like to propose, that relates to the latter criticism about implications. Why are you even trying to have so many bluffs in this setting?

Another thing I want to raise is your claim of inelasticity, which came out of nowhere. You are correct in that if ranges are inelastic, you should size up for value and size down for bluffs. Well, if they “probably have inelastic ranges and won’t change their calling range too much by the raise size”, then why aren’t you doing this already? So, to explicitly answer your question of why not, no one is saying no. That is exactly what you should be doing if you truly believe your opponents are inelastic.

But there is a very big problem with this assumption. I agree that inelastic ranges are a real thing. This is a concept that bears out on flops like AA9 or A22 for instance. But preflop? That is literally the street where people are most elastic.

Lastly, there are some realities of NLHE that should be kept in mind. You say you estimate a 32% equity when called. However, by virtue of being OOP, there is no way you are going to realise the entirety of this 32%. This means that you need to generate far more folds than 20% to break even. And I really dislike this notion because, okay. We break even when opponent folds 20%. Cool. But why even bother taking such a line when we know completing is probably +EV from the get go?

Don’t take a line because it is +EV. Take a line because it is the most +EV of all lines. Your attempt at proving that raising is profitable seems to be barking up the wrong tree.

It is heartening to see people want to get better. I hope that one day we can play on 1M. Until then, do think a little harder about how to exploit the tons of fish on this site. Hint: It’s really not difficult.