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Cash Games - chopping blinds

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by Shipppp09, Oct 20, 2015.

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  1. Shipppp09

    Shipppp09 Tourist

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    Hi all, an interesting hand came up from my last trip to Vegas so I thought I'd post about it and see some others comments.

    First off, until I came to Vegas I had never even heard of chopping the blinds if it folded around the table to the small blind. The first time this happened I sheepishly just agreed as I didn't want to get out of line.

    So the hand in question came in my final hour of play at the Aria this past September. I'd been pretty card dead throughout the session and had bled my stack down to 250 from 400. It was my final cash game session of my trip so I was looking to get a hand and pretty much go with it.

    Anyway folds round to the small blind, a reg looking type guy who had just sat down and was more interested in his sports betting sheet then playing, he asks for a chop...I look down and see JJ. Obviously I want to play this hand so I politely say 'we can play if you like' to which he mutters something under his breath, says fuck it and instantly raises to $30 (we're playing 1/3 btw). I smile and ponder what to make of his play. He seems pretty pissed that I didn't accept his chop and is being pretty intimatating with his mannerisms. Anyway I pop it up to 100 and he flats... Lol. Flop comes 10 5 2 rainbow and he instantly shoves, I obv call and board runs out turn 6, River 6. I table my JJ and his hand goes into the muck. He then starts berating me to what I can only assume is another reg sitted at another seat on the table.

    I chip up and leave about 30 minutes later to which I could tell he was still pissed off about. The hand itself is pretty standard but I just wonder why do the U.S. Offer chops in these type of situations? Like I said I've played in many a casino in the UK and it's something I certainly have never seen or heard of. I feel like some battles between the sb/bb can be some of the most interesting and challenging hands so to sort of take this option away kind of takes some of the fun away from the game in my opinion.

    The game I mentioned was probably chopping 2/3 hands out of 10 dealt, granted it was a very nitty table but like I said it just seemed to take a lot of the "poker" out of poker...if you see what I mean. Thoughts?
     
  2. sabinomarine

    sabinomarine Tourist

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    Most people want to chop the blinds to avoid a house rake. I see lots of people playing draw heavy hands or set mining who want others in the pot for the flop so taking a flop with one other person doesn't work with some peoples playing style. 20%-30% of the hands being folded around and chopped seems really tight for what I presume was a 2/5NL game, especially at Aria. If I encountered such a tight game I would probably loosen my opening requirements in early and middle position and force the table to react to my plays.

    You are always within your rights to play a hand any way you want. I applaud your play and it's nice to see JJ actually win.
     
  3. mrstealth

    mrstealth High-Roller

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    Chopping blinds is common in all cash games. The reason being, if no flop is put out there is no "house rake", you simply take back your blind and the dealer deals the next hand. Once a flop has been put out, you are now subject to a $1-$2 minimum rake The fact is that if it folds around to the blinds, 9 times out of 10 the bind hands are not going to want to battle each other as they have random hands, so why give the house $1-$2, instead just go tot he next hand.

    common courtesy says you either always chop or never chop. Whether you do or don't is up to you, but you should be consistent in what you do, either always chop, or never chop.
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yeah, you want to avoid games where "chopping" happens frequently because it's going to be a boring and probably more difficult table. But isn't a bad idea when the situation occurs because you can avoid playing a likely small pot HU that may be raked the full 10% if it sees a flop. If you like playing heads up in the blinds and feel you're good at it, then don't chop, but I generally chop myself.

    But with regards to "chopping" there is an unwritten rule really, and that is "always chop" or "never chop". Either way is generally accepted. But deciding to "chop" based on your hand strength gives you an unfair edge and is heavily frowned upon in the US live poker community. So that is clearly why he was pissed, and I wouldn't have been too thrilled about it either. But unfortunately, unless someone clearly informs you of this, how were you supposed to know?
     
  5. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    Chopping the blinds I think is much more common in low-stakes limit games where the rake is much larger compared to the potential pot size. When there are only two people in the pot in small stakes games, the only winner is the house in the long run.

    In a no-limit game it shouldn't be as common, but if both players have weak hands and they play passively they are probably better off chopping. That being said, you are in no way wrong for what you did. That guy was an idiot for both getting angry with you and throwing his money at what was clearly a strong hand. It sounds like you were at a table of grumpy locals who just want to sit around and socialize/drink/earn comps/jackpot hunt. These guys get grumpy when their little club gets disrupted by people who actually want to play the game. They are also easy to exploit.
     
  6. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I agree with the others. Always or never.

    There is no rule that says you have to chop. But being inconsistent will aggravate people, who may have already given up decent hands giving chops to your junk, only to have you suddenly decide to win some money.

    What happened next is all his fault. He straight tilted and tried to teach you a lesson. Still, don't be that guy. Like any number of other plays, it will change how everyone views and reacts to you, and perhaps even the courtesies you can expect from other players. If nothing else, no one is offering you chops anymore, and you won't always have jacks.
     
  7. Shipppp09

    Shipppp09 Tourist

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    Wow some great responses, the main point regarding rake seems sensible and something I actually hadn't given much thought too. Whilst I understand the courtesy of always or never I just don't quiet see it the same as some of you are making out.

    Let's choose acoulple of extreme scenarios - your in the small blind early in the session and it folds round to you, you look down at 74o and ask the bb to chop, he agrees and you chop it up then move on to the next hand. Some time passes and it folds round to you in the sb again, you look down at 105o and again you ask for a chop.. again the bb agrees so you chop it up. Some more time passes and its folded round to you in the sb again, this time you look down at AA...your telling me we are supposed to chop it up here? Whilst I agree with the ethics of the game surely this is a mistake to fold this and doing anything other then playing this hand is going to be extremely -EV for you? The number one reason for being in the game I would assume is to make money and I would guess we are potentially throwing the chance at winning (and of course losing) by just dumping this hand pre flop.

    I don't no, it's an interesting senario, if it is as big an issue as some of you have braught up then I will certainly keep this in mind for the future playing in the U.S.

    Would the above senario be extremely frowned upon by a poker community?
     
  8. Shipppp09

    Shipppp09 Tourist

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    Edit - wish I could spell scenario...LOL
     
  9. dhlamar

    dhlamar Low-Roller

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    Yes it's usually always or never but you weren't the villain in that hand, once you said you wanted to play hand he should have mucked his hand and tossed you your dollar to which you should have tossed to the dealer.
     
  10. TriggerMN

    TriggerMN High-Roller

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    You had chopped all night and then in one hand you are asked for a chop, THEN look at your cards, and decide to play? I'd call that pretty rude. How many times did you look down at rags and take the chop? If you're going to chop, don't even look at your cards. Bad etiquette.

    However like dhlamar said, he should have mucked, tossed you one dollar, and grumbled. In my book he's right to be irritated, but wrong to toss all his money away.
     
  11. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    I believe in getting an advantage any way I can at a poker table. Since you are from out of the country you are not there to make lifelong friends; you are there to win. I would never fault any player for deciding to play a strong hand in that situation after having chopped with me earlier. Most people I have encountered will chop most of the time unless it is a potential jackpot hand. There is absolutely nothing wrong with switching between chop/no chop unless you have already made a verbal all-or-nothing agreement with your neighboring players. Don't be concerned with the table grumps! If they were afraid of losing a couple of bucks when folding blinds they shouldn't be playing.
     
  12. bta15

    bta15 Tourist

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    Your hands don't matter. If you chop, don't even look at your hand, ask the guy next to you to chop and pull your blinds back.

    If you don't chop either call or raise.

    I personally chop, does not matter if I look down at AA or J3o, I'm taking my blind back regardless if my and the guy next to me have agreed to chop previously.
     
  13. mrstealth

    mrstealth High-Roller

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    What bta15 is saying is 100% correct. Simple poker etiquette.

    Was playing in a 2-5 NL game, and a situation like this came up, except with a little twist. Player had been fine chopping all night and suddenly he's in the small blind looks down at jacks and decides to pop it to $35. Big blind has not looked at his cards yet, and says - "I thought you chopped ?" and he replies , well, I'd like to play this hand. Big blind says fine, I'm all in (Had around $500 or so in front of him and had the small blind covered", small blind calls instantly with his jacks and big blind turns over Aces and wins a huge pot.

    Are situations like this going to happen, sure, but they are rare. In the majority of cases it's best to just chop and go on to the next hand.
     
  14. sabre

    sabre Low-Roller

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    So angle shooting or cheating is just fine with you too?

    Either always chop or never chop. You can also switch things up midgame if something changes as long as you announce it between hands. For example, two players leave and it's now shorthanded. Before the next hand is dealt, you can tell your neighbors you don't want to chop anymore since it's now shorthanded. Not an issue there.

    But if you chop based on your hand strength, you are a being a dick. That's just how it is. Don't listen to people who say otherwise.
     
  15. dooner

    dooner High-Roller

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    This is my response. I never look at my small/big blind until it comes to me, so no big deal in chopping. I always announce first that I will chop regardless.

    In a 1/2 NL game (the ones that I want to play in), this situation may come up once every couple of hours with a full table. If there are more chops, then the action at the table is too tight for me.
     
  16. Shipppp09

    Shipppp09 Tourist

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    No I totally agree with poker etiquette and have certainly never been one to seek an advantage. I think a lot of people in this thread are probably classed as more of a reg than a rec. I have been playing the game for the best part of 10 years and would consider myself to be a fairly experienced player however some of the things I've heard in this thread are very new to me. I think some are underestimating the amount of people who would be willing to fold their cards regardless of the strength. I certainly know that it a recreational player looks down at a hand such as QQ/KK/AK etc then there is absolutely no way in hell that they are open folding this, regardless of what has gone on before.

    One point of interest, a couple of people have been quick to kind of agree with the guy that I made abit of a dick move here. For the record this was actually the 1st time this had cropped up in my session and certainly the 1st time it had happened with the guy as he had just sat down. Seems to me that there certainly is an option of always or never however MOST expect this to just be chopped up regardless of weather it's the 1st occasion this has arisen or not.
     
  17. dooner

    dooner High-Roller

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    I think most of our responses are based on countless hours of sitting around Vegas poker tables - I guess more like 'regulars' then rec players. Everyone has a slightly different take on chopping when it relates to whether you look at your hand first or not. That's why I state to the table that I always chop (and rarely look at my hand before action comes around to me).

    I have played poker in many Northern Europe Casinos, and noticed that their idea of chopping was non-existent (mind you, Danes, Swedish and Norwegian players never seem to play passive, and almost all pots are raised before button). Maybe the North American way is the 'newer' way?
     
  18. natedog666

    natedog666 17 and 20 Expert

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    I've met people that say I only chop with the person on my left.
     
  19. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    you're either a player that chops or you don't.

    if you chop, you always chop. if you don't, you never chop.

    you don't look at your hand first and then decide to play if it's good.

    that's very bad form.
     
  20. Gaylord Focker

    Gaylord Focker Low-Roller

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    What you did is fine. Like others said, you either always chop or never chop. It's an unwritten rule in Vegas and any other casino I've played in here in the States.
    Whenever I'm asked at a new table for a chop, I'll just make it clear that I'll always chop. I can't stand a player that will base their chop decision on the strength of their hand. Don't be a dick, just be consistent with your decision, and all is good. Screw any of the nits that get mad if you are a 'never chop' guy.
     
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