Chop Poker Meaning

Chop the Pot - Chopped

by Jesse Knight


Chop the Pot
Chop -
1. To split a pot.
2. To divide the remaining tournament prize pool money, usually calculated by chip count.

In the poker world, to chop something means to split it among two or more players. In a ring game chopping commonly refers to splitting the pot. In a high only game or a Lowball game, pots are generally chopped because two or more players have made identical winning hands. For instance, if player “A” holds Ad Qh and player “B” holds Qd Jh, and the board reads Jc 10h 9c 8d 3d, both players have made a Queen high straight, and the result is a chopped pot. Similarly, if two players showed down the same winning hand in a Lowball game (6-4-3-2-A for example), a chopped pot would result. Sometimes more than two players will show down the same winning hand. In this case the pot will be chopped as evenly as possible between all winning players. If there are extra chips that do not divide evenly after the chop, they will be awarded based on betting position. The first winning player to the left of the button will be awarded the first extra chip, with the remaining extra chips awarded similarly, in a clockwise manner.

In a high-low or other type of split pot game, chopped pots are very frequent. The chopping procedure is a little more complicated in high-low games, because players are showing down both high and low hands prior to the chop. The important thing to remember is that if there is no qualifying low hand, the high hand will win the entire pot. If there is at least one qualifying low hand, the pot is first split in half, into the high side and the low side. If there is an extra chip left over after splitting the pot evenly, it is included in the high side. If there is only one winner for either side of the pot, that player will be awarded either the high or low side of the pot in its entirety. If there are two or more winning players for either side of the pot, that side of the pot must be chopped evenly between the winners. For example, if two players show down the same winning high hand, and three players show down the same qualifying low hand, the pot will first be chopped in half into the high side and the low side. Then each side of the pot is split evenly between the winners, with two players sharing the high side and three players sharing the low side. Any extra chips that do not divide evenly into these subdivisions are distributed clockwise, from the left of the dealer button. Chops are more common on the low side than they are on the high side, and it is not uncommon for a player to receive a quarter or a sixth of the pot and lose money.

Pots are also chopped in this manner in tournament play. A “chop” in a tournament, however, may also refer to the chopping of the prize pool. Most casinos will allow tournament players to end a tournament early, and chop the remaining prize money, so long as all the active players agree to do so. Most commonly, the amount each player receives in a chop is based upon chip counts. This means that each player will receive a percentage of the remaining prize pool roughly equivalent to their percentage of the total chips in play. Chopping is a common practice at the end of high buy in tournaments, because players are able to lock up huge wins. Sometimes, after the players have chopped the tournament will simply end early, and other times it will be played to its conclusion, especially if there is a trophy, prize or nominal sum left for the winner.

Usage: Chopped the Tournament, Chopped Pot, Chop the High, Chop the Low

Previous Poker Term: Chip Leader
Next Poker Term: Chop the Blinds


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