Beer Squeezes for Advanced Players
By Frazer Morgan

Classically bridge squeezes have been limited to the four suits. This is the way the game was intended to be played. However, thanks to the invention of the beer card there is a new trans-table method to squeeze the opponent — through their hearts, clubs, spades, diamonds...and wallets.

Consider the following position:

D7 2
DA 6
D3 led

At first this would appear a simple position with West getting two of the remaining tricks and North the final trick. However, this is a superficial analysis in that it completely fails to take account of the contract and the squeeze.

Assume the contract is 3NT with South having taken eight tricks already. Now consider the quandary West is placed in. Classically, squeezes require a squeeze card, but thankfully the beer squeeze ignores these niceties — possibly because it is drunk.

If West takes the obvious line and rises with the DA in order to cash he HA then the last trick will be won by North's D7, squeezing West's wallet out of the cost of half a beer. If West ducks the diamond lead they are squeezed out of a trick.

The beer squeeze will usually work best at matchpoints where opponents are forced to make a tricky choice between the possible bottom from giving declarer an extra trick and the possible walk home from lack of bus fare.

This position is the most basic for a beer squeeze but there are others. Consider the following — the double beer squeeze position where both opponents are given the choice between tricks and their beer.

SQ J 10
D7 5
SA 2
HQ 3 2
SK 4 3
D6 2
HA K J 10 9

Consider the above position with South to lead, having taken all the previous tricks in 3NT. A club lead by South will lead to a double beer squeeze. West is forced to play spades in order to stop south taking the remainder of the tricks. A small spade will lead to an endplay a tick later so West must cash the Ace and lead a small spade. This leads to East being placed in a squeeze. Play the king and another spade to take four of the six tricks with North winning the beer (underleading his D5 at trick 12 to affect the endplay). Or win the king and return the D6 to only take three out of the six tricks but ensure the beer card cannot be made. In this situation both East and West may avert the beer card at the expense of real tricks, making it a double beer squeeze.

I admit the above position will never, ever come up in a real game of bridge but it's best to remember the basic beer squeeze position, it could earn you a trick or buy you a beer sometime in the future.