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Chop the Blinds

Chopping the Blind Bets

by Jesse Knight
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Chop the Blinds
Chop the Blinds - When only the blinds remain preflop, they can elect to chop (take their postings back), and go on to the next hand.


In games where blinds are present, if there is no action and only the blinds remain, the players posting blinds may be permitted to “chop the blinds.” This means that the players who have posted blinds take them back, the button is moved forward, and the next hand is dealt. In other words, the hand can be ended early if there is no action by the time the button acts. However, there are a few conditions which must be met.

First, the card room must allow the practice of chopping [the blinds] Most card rooms do, but a few do not. Generally, when there is no flop the house takes a reduced rake or no rake at all. Management may disallow chopping as club policy, because they view it as a form of collusion designed to circumvent paying rake. Many card rooms that do allow chopping will take a reduced rake if the blinds chop (usually $1 taken from the small blind).

The second condition is that all players with blinds posted must agree to chop, otherwise there can be no chop. Most players will chop the blinds when afforded the opportunity. Some players take a negative view of chopping and prefer to play in their blinds, even if it means the maximum rake is taken. Both positions are completely acceptable so long as they are consistent. “Selective chopping” is considered discourteous. This means that you should not consider the content of your hand when deciding when to chop, but instead you should consistently either always chop or never chop.

Sometimes players who usually chop the blinds will agree to stop the practice if the game becomes short handed. Mainly, this is because a short handed game has a lot of heads up and blind on blind action. Consistently chopping the blinds in this type of game can result in far too many chops and deaden the action. Additionally, most card rooms automatically adjust the rake downward when the game becomes short handed, so there is little or no economic advantage to chopping the blinds, from the player’s perspective.

Although chopping the blind is widely perceived as legitimate, you may encounter some ethically dubious chopping procedures. Some players may even overtly conspire to avoid a flop after action has already occurred, by raising and then returning bets to the other cooperating players after they muck. Other players may attempt to make an illegitimate profit on a chop, by keeping dead money rather than returning it to its rightful owner. Do not hesitate to ask for a ruling from the floorstaff if you feel a chop scenario is illegitimate. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Chopping of the blinds is typically allowed in brick and mortar cash games, but is never allowed in tournaments or in any type of online play.

Usage: Do You Chop [The Blinds], Chop Or Play, We Chop

Previous Poker Term: Chop
Next Poker Term: Cold Deck

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