Source: Inspired Cardplay

To get you into the right of mind for this chapter, let’s start with a technical hand that involves several common preparatory moves leading to a squeeze

Dealer East Neither Vul

Q J 8
A 7 4
A 7 6 3
A 6 2
9 6 4 3

J 10 9 4
Q 9 7 5 4
K Q J 9 8 5 3
8 2
J 10 8
A K 10 5 2
10 6 2
K Q 5
K 3
West North East South
3 3
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 5 Pass 6
Pass Pass Pass

You win the J lead in the South hand, already visualising that dummy’s diamonds may provide a threat in some squeeze ending. You draw trumps in four rounds, discarding a heart from dummy. East, meanwhile, throw three hearts. What next?

To make a small slam on a squeeze it is generally necessary to surrender a trick first, to “rectify the count”, as it si called. This removes a spare card from the defenders hand, tightening the eventual end position.

Here You can afford to duck a heart. You win East’s club return with the king and these cards remain:

A 6

Q 9


10 8


The moment has come to play the last spade. Werst has to throw a club to keep his diamond guard. You release the 7 from dummy and East has to throw a club to retain his heart guard. You then score two club tricks in dummy to rack up the slam.

An experienced squeeze practitioner would visualise the three-card end position as early as trick 1. East has shown long hearts by his bid and West has suggested long diamonds by his lead.

All the other cards in the pack (in particular the A and the A-Q) are nere clutter that must be removed before the squeeze can operate.

TOP TIP: All squeezes need a one card threat and a two card threat containing an entry. Suppose in one suit you have the Ax in dummy and Qx in your hand. If this is your intended two card threat, you must play the squeeze card shile the ace in still in position. If instead you have a two card threat elsewhere and intend to use the queen as the one card threat, it will usually be right to cash the ace that lies opposite. This will prevent the suit becoming blocked.