Double Squeezes

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Structure

In the ordinary double squeeze, each opponent has the sole guard in one threat suit, while a third threat suit is guarded equally by both opponents. It is not possible for all three threats to lie in one hand (the opponent lying over that hand would have no difficulty discarding), so there will be two threats in one hand and one in the opposite hand (the latter will be called the lone threat). There is one inviolable rule for (ordinary) double squeezes: since all winners in the free suit and in the singly guarded suits must be cashed before the squeeze is complete, there must remain an entry in the doubly guarded suit to provide access to all threat cards.

Since two players are being squeezed, there will not always be a single squeeze card; three classes can be distinguished:

Simultaneous: If all winners in the suits of the single threats are cashed before the last free winner, then both opponents will be squeezed in turn when the last free winner is cashed.

Sequential (usually called "non-simultaneous"): If the last free winner is played when there is at least one winner in one of the single threats remaining (call this the long threat) but none in the other single threat, then only the opponent who guards the long single threat will be squeezed when the last free winner is cashed. The other opponent will subsequently be squeezed when the last winner in the long single threat is cashed.

Reciprocal: If the last free winner is cashed while there are outstanding winners in both singly guarded suits, then each opponent will be squeezed when the last winner in the singly guarded suit held by the other opponent is cashed.

One important general observation with regard to the double squeeze:

One of the hands must contain two threats, which means it contains two losers; one of those losers will be accounted for by the trick developed through the squeeze (either it will become a winner, or it will be discarded on the newly established winner), but the other loser must be discarded on a card which was already a winner before the squeeze, and there are only two possibilities:

Classification

With the simple squeeze, the squeeze card is always the last free winner, and provides a convenient focus for the analysis of the different positions. The concept of squeeze card is a less suitable focus for the analysis of double squeezes, because of the different possibilities just outlined, and most writers have chosen a different way of categorizing double squeezes. For instance, Kelsey divides double squeezes into automatic and positional versions, while Love and Eng both classify them according to which threat is alone [Aside for the confused: Love and Eng both use the scheme of letters R, L, and B (for Right, Left, and Both) to refer to the threats and to the types of squeeze; but they use them with different meanings. For Love, the directions right and left are with reference to the hand containing the lone threat, while for Eng they are with reference to the hand containing the first squeeze card.]

Our classification will be based on the nature of the lone threat.

If the lone threat is one of the single threats, then the single threats lie in opposite hands, and they must both lie behind their corresponding stoppers (otherwise there would be no threat behind the opponent lying behind the double threat). Two classes can be distinguished, according to whether the lone threat is opposite the last free winner (by far the most common configuration), or in the same hand as the last free winner (in this case, the lone threat must be recessed).

If the lone threat is the double threat, so both single threats lie in the same hand, five classes can be distinguished, depending on the structure of the double threat.

This gives the following seven classes of double squeeze:

  1. the positional double squeeze, in which the lone threat is an ordinary single menace (the equivalent of x alone or Ax opposite x)
  2. the recessed double squeeze, in which the lone threat is a recessed single menace (the equivalent of -- opposite Ax or x opposite AKx)
  3. the inverted double squeeze, in which the lone threat is an ordinary double menace (the equivalent of Ax opposite x)
  4. the automatic double squeeze, in which the lone threat is a recessed double menace (the equivalent of x opposite AKx)
  5. the twin-entry double squeeze, in which the lone threat is a twin-entry double menace (the equivalent of Axx opposite Kx)
  6. the blocked double squeeze, in which the lone threat is a blocked double menace (the equivalent of Ax opposite K)
  7. the jettison double squeeze, in which the lone threat is a recessed jettison double menace (the equivalent of KQx opposite A)

Discussion

Love distinguishes four types of double squeeze, Eng eight - the following table translates among the various types (neither Love nor Eng considers blocked or jettison double squeezes):

Squeeze Web
Love
Eng
Positional
R
R
Recessed
R
L1, L2, L3
Automatic
B2
B3, B4
Twin-entry
B1(a)
B2
Inverted
B1(b)
B1

There are many other positions in which both opponents are squeezed, and they are also regularly referred to as double squeezes. When necessary, the squeezes in the current class will be called ordinary double squeezes to distinguish them from the more exotic forms.