Although squeezes have been analyzed in greatest depth and variety in contract bridge, they were discovered and first described in whist.
Squeezes operate on the principle that declarer's hand and dummy's hand can together hold more cards with the potential to take extra tricks than a single defender's hand can protect against (or cover). Less frequently, two defenders can cooperate to squeeze declarer or dummy on the same principle.
Most of the common types of squeeze require all the following conditions:
These concepts are illustrated in the following example of a simple squeeze:
South leads the A, and West is squeezed in hearts and spades. If he discards the A, North's K becomes a winner. If he discards either spade, North's J becomes a winner.
Note the following features of this position:
This is a positional squeeze, because if West's cards are transferred to East, the squeeze fails. Now one of the menaces must be discarded before it is East's turn to play. If the K is discarded, East can safely discard the A (provided West still has a heart higher than South's 6). If the J is discarded, East can safely discard a spade.
Squeezes often require declarer to know the location of specific high cards or the number of cards a defender holds in a particular suit, in order to know what cards the squeezee will be forced to play. The following example illustrates this:
The presence of the diamond loser means that when South cashes the A, West is not squeezed as in the previous example. He can safely discard his idle 7. However, when South next plays the 3, West is squeezed again. East wins the Q, but must lead to dummy's winners.
In this case declarer must know East's club length. If East's 32 are replaced by the 32, then when he wins the Q he will take the rest of the tricks. In that case, the right play is to lose the Q immediately, before taking the A, in order to rectify the count. Now East is forced to lead a club, and West is squeezed as before.
But with East's hand as shown in the diagram, losing the Q first does not work. East can return a spade, and declarer will score only the A. Not only does the squeeze position disappear, but there is no entry to cash the A.
There are several ways to classify squeezes:
Most of the common types of squeezes (and some of the rare ones) have names:
|Type of Squeeze||Positional/Automatic||Opponents||Suits||Material||Count Rectified|
(aka Triple squeeze)