Chopping the Pot

There are some instances in live poker where ‘chopping the pot’ occurs. Let’s take a look at them.

When a hand folds round to the blinds (no one has put money in the pot), the small blind will often say to the big blind, “wanna chop?” This means that the blinds would simply take back their money from the pot and both muck their hand. But beware; not all players agree to this, so you could find yourself asking someone from the small blind if he, the big blind, wants to chop, only to find a stony faced ‘no’ reply and an aggressive raise pre-flop, him knowing full well that you are weak.

For those of you more used to Fruit Machines than poker, Chopping the pot is seen as a sign of ‘nice play’. If you are at a jovial table, populated by lubricated players, it is very likely that a chop will not be a problem. Just don’t try chopping into a serious (usually older) player who might dismiss your question with derision!

Chopping can occur later on in a hand and only depends on all players involved agreeing to the chop and the house (casino) agreeing to it. In cash games it should rarely be a problem. At the end of big tournaments, the final few players will often chop, or split, the pot to reach a quicker conclusion. This can be a big help if it’s 5am and the tourney’s been going on for 13 hours!


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