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Poker Rule #96 The Chop

Chopping in poker, for those who don’t know, is when everyone in a hand folds and it is just the big blind and small blind in the hand. They both just take their money back and move on to the next hand. This is a courteous move but it is not always expected. It is primarily used in raked games and not time games. There are two reasons for chopping the blinds. The first is that most of the time the house takes the largest rake out on every flop, if there is no betting or only one bet and a fold in the hand then the house takes a big percentage of the pot. The lower the limit the larger the percentage. The second reason is that because neither of you looked at your hands you will most likely have bad hands and are happy to just move on to the next hand.

Etiquette of Chopping says that you decide in advance if you are either going to chop all the time (even if you have Aces) or never chop and play or fold every hand. Many people say why cant I just look at my cards and chop when I have a bad hand and play with my good hands? Here is my problem with that, it is a really good idea. You would get to raise and win big pots every time you have a big hand and if you had garbage you could just take your small blind back right. And the other person you are chopping with that will be more then willing to do that, right? Well if someone asks me to accept that deal I take it as an insult. That’s like saying I am so stupid that I will let you take advantage of me and only play against me when you have good cards. I find that very insulting. I relate it to two men going through a pair of doors. The first man opens the 1st door for the second man, who walks through. Would you open the second door for the first man or would you open the door for your self and walk through?

Now I in no way find it offensive to say that you don’t want to chop the blinds and want to play out every hand. I can respect that because we did come to play, especially in time games or when the blinds are large enough where the rake really does not matter anyway. I actually think that this is how everyone should play. It gives the largest advantage to the better player. But I am usually willing to just chop the blinds to remain friendly with everyone.

As a side note, if there is ever a player who chops his blinds and then suddenly does not want to chop and raises you, DON’T RE-RAISE HIM. Unless you have AK, AA, KK, QQ just fold. The reason for this is because most likely he has one of those hands. Show him your hand and say fine then you can just have it. They will usually show you their great hand and you will be happy that you saved a bunch of money with your AQ. Remember don’t take it personally, when you do it always costs you money. The right play is to make the read for extreme strength and just fold before it costs you anything.


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Comments (2)

I actually hate chopping and have never done it. Call me crazy or a jerk, but I'm there to play. If the guy asks me to chop, I usually say, "Sorry, I raise." If he wants to give up his hand, let him give it to me preflop. If he likes his hand he should've played it.

Also, I never really noticed whether or not the guy requesting the chop has looked at his cards. I never even realized that choppers were not supposed to look. I always took it as a weak request by a player who didn't like his cards. I figure that if they don't like their cards then the proper move is for them to fold, and it gains me nothing, literally, to accept their chop. I also never offer to chop. I'd rather give up my SB than look like a puss requesting a chop. But I guess that's just me.

1st rule:

I in no way think that people who don’t chop are jerks. Not at all. Like you said I am more then happy to play every hand out. Its just the people who look at their hand and then pick what they want to do, that bugs me. I would be careful about thinking that all chop requests are weak. I know I will ask people sometimes hoping they say no, especially when I have AA or KK. I usually do what ever the other person wants to do, but I usually ask before the opportunity comes up. In larger games most people wont chop so we play it out. In the middle games most people like to chop.

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