Definition of chip race
The chip race is the action of removing small denomination chips in a tournament when the blinds increase. This happens only in tournaments. There is no such thing as chip race in a cash game. Let's imagine the following situation. You start a tournament with 1500 chips. The blinds are then 25/50. After several hours of play, the blinds are at 500/1000. Tokens with a small denomination will no longer be needed. A break in the tournament is usually taken to see all the remaining players and clear their mats of the denominations they no longer need. If you are only a poker player online, this is something you have never seen before. The chip races can occur at several times in the same tournament.
How the chip races work
When it comes time to exchange denominations, the tokens alone are rounded up. For example, if a player has only one 500 chip in their stack and we get to the point where we remove the 500 chips and replace them with 1000 chips, even if they don't have two 500 chips to make 1000, they are not eliminated, but they are given the smallest chip of the next denomination, a 10,000 chip.