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Chopping the Blinds

17th April, 2006
As I was browsing the Internet for poker information recently, I ran across a page about chopping the blinds. I don't chop, even when the room where I am playing allows it, but there is nothing wrong with it, as long as you keep it consistent.

If you aren't familiar with the term, you have come to the right place. Here is an explanation and a few tips about chopping the blinds.

Chopping the blinds means that when everyone folds around to the blinds, the two players both take their bet back without contesting the hand. Some poker rooms allow players to chop, while others do not, and in the ones that do allow it, both players must agree to the chop. I am not aware of any online poker rooms where you can do this, but there may be a few smaller rooms that have this software feature.

As I mentioned above, there is nothing wrong with agreeing to chop your blinds, but there are a few etiquette guidelines that I recommend you follow. If you agree to chop your blinds with the person to your right, you should also agree to do it with the person to your left. Also, when you chop the blinds, it should be for the entire playing session whenever it is possible.

If you don't look at your hole cards until it is your turn to act, like you are supposed to, then you won't be tempted to say no to a chop when you have a strong hand. Only chopping when you have a poor hand is considered very poor form and will not lead to being labeled the most popular player at the table.

One thing to consider when deciding if you will chop blinds or not is the long-term effect it will have on your profitability. When you are a weaker player than your opponents it will improve your profit, or at least minimize your losses. If you are about the same skill wise, then your profit will likely be the same and if you are much better, you will be giving up a small amount of long-term profit.

When you do a good job of table selection, finding tables with overall play that is weaker than yours, you would not want to chop. This is why I don't do it, but you will need to decide which way is best for you.

The best plan is to decide before you are sitting at a table. When a player asks if I want to chop the blinds, I simply say, "I apologize, but I never chop." This is a very clear and exact statement that shows I have thought about it and am not interested.

Until next week, good luck at the tables!

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