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Triple Squeeze is an advanced declarer play where one of the defenders hold all the key cards in three suits that required by the declarer to make the contract. So, because of the limitation of the number of the card in one hand, sooner or later declarer will get advantages. The reason is that the declarer commandeers 2 hands (declarer’s hand and the dummy) compare to just one defender hand.

However, executing a triple squeeze is quite difficult. Not only the skill to foreseen it first at the start of the play, but the condition of all the cards also has to be right. So, it is not surprising it is quite rare to be found in the “wild”.

This Double Helps The Declarer

In one of those Covid-19 induced-online Bridge sessions on BBO, one soon-to-be declarer sitting West see the auction as follows:

West North East South
1 P 1 P
3NT* P 4 P
5 P 6 DBL
6NT DBL All Pass
* 3NT= long solid

Well, West thought that the 3NT rebid will give a nice leisurely 10- tricks walk-in-the-park 3NT. However, the partner is very eager to achieve their full Bridge potential and push the hand to a small slam that gets doubled by both opponents. And boom, Ace of Heart as a lead. So, no more losing trick then. Let see the dummy:

97   AQJ32
K87   96
J   AQ962
AKQ8753   9
Declarer   Dummy

OK, with Ace of Heart as the opening lead, declarer has 7 Clubs tricks, and one in each suit for a total of 10 tricks. Thus, since RHO (South) has double the 6, there is no doubt that the King of Spade is with South. And the King of Diamond. Also perhaps the Queen of Heart.

So, yes, for sure this Double by South is helping Declarer execute the beautiful triple squeeze.

The Triple Squeeze unfolded

For you who never see a squeeze, especially a triple squeeze, you will not believe at first that what the declarer do next will make the declarer win the rest of 12 tricks! Watch, do not blink! This is one of the magic of Bridge.

First of all, the first step in any squeeze is what so-called “rectify the count”. It is a fancy world for “give first the trick for defender.” In other words, the first step is to make sure you already lose all the trick you have to lose.

So, the idea of a squeeze play is that declarer has a big advantage to be able to have 2 hands to play. So, if all the high card all located in one hand, at one point there will be not enough room and defender have to throw the winning card.

Therefore, the first step is to make sure that there is no “idle card.” In other words, let the defender get their trick. So, if you want to make 3NT, let the defender have their 4 tricks. If you want to make 12 tricks, let the defender have 1 trick first.

In this case, North opening lead has done this. The defender has taken their tricks, so now it is the declarer turns.

Squeeze time

Therefore, after winning the Ace of Heart, North continues with the small and declarer put the Ace of . After that, the declarer runs all 7 tricks of Clubs. And at the last Club tricks, South has to choose only 4 (four) cards to keep. To make it clearer, see the squeeze time illustration below:

Squeeze Time - Triple Squeeze
Which card to throw, South ? — A triple squeeze

So, South has a tough choice to make, which card to play? Actually, it doesn’t matter what South choose, South has been triple-squeezed :

  • If South throw a Diamond, declarer immediately plays Diamond to the Ace dropping the King and cash Queen of Diamond. At this time South has to choose to throw a Heart of the King of Spade. The declarer will just play whatever South throw and collect the rest of the trick.
  • What if South plays ditch the Jack of H? In this case, the declarer will just cash King of Heart dropping the Queen. Then declarer plays the 8 of Heart and throws Queen of Spade on the dummy. Now South again have to choose whether to throw the King of Spade or throw the small Diamond which guarded the King. If South throw the Spade, declarer plays the now-top 9 of Spade throw the Q of Diamond on the table. and claim the rest of the trick.
  • Of course if South throw the King of Spade, the Queen of Spade on the dummy become top and again South have to sacrifice for the next trick.

As a summary, here is a trick by trick play if you want to study more meticulously:

Characteristic of a Triple Squeeze

In general , some of the characteristic of triple squeeze:

  • Communication between hand and dummy is still intact until the end
  • One running suit is in one hand and enough idle cards are on the dummy (or vice versa)
  • One potential winner from one suit is sided with the running suit, the other two are on the dummy (or vice versa)

And of course as already mentioned above, the count need to be rectify first. Lose the trick needed before run the long suit.

Triple Squeeze Play