What Does Chop Mean in Poker and How to Negotiate

What Does Chop Mean in Poker

Do you know what does Chop mean in poker? And what actually it is?

Well, as someone who has spent a lot of time playing poker, we have discovered various terms and strategies that are important in mastering the game. One of these terms is “Chop” in poker that may not be familiar to everyone, especially new players. 

In this article, we will be discussing what is poker Chop means and its importance in this card game. So, keep reading to understand more about its term!

Understanding What Does Chop Mean in Poker

Chop in Poker Meaning
Chop in Poker Meaning

The term of what does Chop mean in poker refers to an agreement between 2 or more players to split a pot or tournament winning, rather than playing out the hand or tournament. This is commonly done when the remaining players have an equal chance of winning, and they choose to split the pot to lower the variance and risk involved. 

You could find chopping the pot in both cash games and tournaments, and it is a common practice among experienced and new players alike. 

Example of Chop in Poker

There are a few examples where Chop will be used in poker, and they involve:

1. Cash Games

In Cash games, players are able to agree to Chop the blinds or the pot, when they are the only two remaining players in the hand. This is usually done when they are in the blinds, and they both have weak hands. Well, Chopping the blinds will help to save time and avoid playing out a hand with small potential. 

2. Tournaments

To know more about what does Chop mean in poker, in tournament games, especially Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs) and Sit & Go’s, players are allowed to agree to Chop the remaining prize pool, when they reach the final table or when only a few players are left in the game. 

The most usual way of Chopping in tournaments is the Independent Chip Model (ICM) chop that splits the prize pool according to the players’ current chip counts. 

3. Satellites

In satellite games, where the goal is to win a ticket to a higher buy-in event, players are able to agree to Chop the remaining tickets, ensuring that every player will get a seat in the target tournament. 

Pros and Cons of Chop in Poker

After knowing what does Chop mean in poker, as a player, you should also consider the pros and cons of this term. There are some advantages of disadvantages that are important for all players, such as:


These are some pros of Chopping in poker game that you should know:

Risk and Variance Reduction

Chopping in poker will reduce the risk and variance with playing out the remaining hands, especially when the players included have relatively equal chances of winning. 


From what does Chop mean in poker, it can save time, as players can avoid playing out a hand with small potential for or when they have worse hands. 

Guaranteed Winning

In tournament games, Chopping the remaining prize pool will ensure that every player involved gets a share of the profits, based on how the remaining hands play out. 


Besides the pros of Chopping in poker, there are also some cons of this term. They are:

Lowered the Potential for Maximum Winning

What does Chop mean in poker can reduce the potential for maximum winning, as players are settling for a guaranteed share rather than playing for their entire prize,

The Perception of Weakness

Agreeing to chop can sometimes be recognized as a sign of weakness, especially when one player has a significant chip lead or skill advantage over the other players. 

Complex Negotiations

Yes, what does Chop mean in poker can be complex, especially in tournaments with multiple players included. It also can lead to disagreement and disputes if not handled correctly. 

Tips to Negotiate a Chop in a Poker Game

As we already mentioned above, negotiating a Chop in poker might be a complex process, especially in multi-player tournaments. However, there are some tips that you can learn when negotiating a Chop:

1. Maintain Your Poker Face During Negotiations

Even if you are thrilled with the agreement, you don’t want to “show your hand” and so give up any potential bargaining power that you had. Even if you are excited about continuing to play for that much money, an appearance of confidence will be helpful so that people don’t run you over. 

2. Understand Your Current Position

On what does Chop mean in poker, you need to understand your position. If you have a 2 – 1 chip advantage over someone, you really should not be taking even money with that player unless you are convinced you will lose to that person if play continues. 

3. Identify the Players Involved

You can identify the players that are involved in the Chop. Make sure that they are willing to participate in the negotiations. 

4. Discuss the Terms and Conditions

After identifying, you need to discuss the terms and conditions of the Chop like the method of splitting the pot or prize pool, and any other relevant reasons. 

5. Considering to Use a Chop Calculator or Formula

About what does Chop mean in poker, you can use a Chop calculator or formula like the  Independent Chip Model (ICM), to decide a fair prize pool. 

6. Reach a Mutual Agreement

Make sure that all players included in the Chop agree to the terms and conditions and are satisfied with the result. 

7. Confirm the Chop with the Dealer

Once your agreement has been reached, then you can confirm the Chop with the dealer and proceed accordingly. 


In the end, understanding what does Chop mean in poker is important in mastering the poker game. It can be a useful way in lowering the risk and variance, saving time, and ensuring a fair distribution of the prize pool. However, most professionals and good poker players, Kamberis included, generally don’t favor to chop. 

It is because most of the time they are the best players at the table and are confident that they will be able to take it down. However, if you are playing for a life-changing amount of money, you may want to consider making an agreement.