Online Poker Multi-tabling Guide

Guide to Poker Multi-Tabling

Who said you can't be in more than one place at a time? When you take advantage of the multi-tabling feature offered by most online poker rooms, you can take your seat at as many tables as you can handle all at once. It's a poker player's fantasy that you can only experience online. Whether your goal is to increase your profits, kill the downtime between hands, intensify your game, or test your mental potential, multi-tabling delivers. Learn how easy it is to start playing at multiple tables right now.

How Many Tables Can You Handle?

The number of tables you can play at once will depend on your chosen site, the size of your computer monitor, and poker appetite. Many sites will let you play 24 tables or more, but beginners are advised to start with two tables and work their way up. Many poker rooms have multi-tabling policies that will reduce the number of tables you can play simultaneously if you take too long to act.

A decent computer setup is essential for multi-tabling, especially if you want to play more than four tables. As you add games, you'll want multiple monitors and screens that are at least 27” in size. Serious players often connect their computers to a large HDTV for maximum real estate. Most players prefer to tile their table so they can see them all at once, although it is possible to cascade or stack the tables to focus on the table at hand. Please note that multi-tabling is usually reserved for PC and Mac games and is rarely supported on tablets or mobile devices.

Multi-tabling Advantages

  • Makes playing smaller stakes profitable
  • Eliminates waiting in between each hand
  • Can improve your game over time
  • Prevents you from overplaying hands, which can be expensive in the long run
  • Dramatically increases your potential hourly profits

Multi-tabling For Profit

The main motivation for multi-tabling is money. The logic is easy to follow. If you can play and win more hands then you will make more money. But don't expect your profit to double when playing two tables at once and definitely don't expect it to quadruple while playing four. That's because multi-tabling changes the way you play poker. As you spread yourself thin, you won't be at your best. Your concentration will drop, you'll be pressured to make quick decisions, and you won't get to know your opponents or exploit all their weaknesses. Yet by playing more hands in a shorter period of time you'll quickly compensate.

Let's take a look at an example. Imagine you buy-in to a $100 SnG tournament and win $120 for a profit of $20 after an hour. That's a 20 % ROI (return on investment) or $20 for an hour of work. If you could somehow pack 10 games into that hour with the same results you could make $200/hour. That's where multi-tabling comes in. If you actually try playing ten $100 SnG tournaments at the same time, you'll spend $1000. But what if you only win $150? That's only a 15% ROI but you'll net $150 in an hour, which is 7.5X more cash than the $20 in the first example.

Finding The Sweet Spot

Multi-tabling Disadvantages

  • Rarely works with mobile devices
  • Beginners may be easily distracted or confused
  • Approach doesn't translate well to live play
  • Your win rate will drop even if your total profits rise

The goal while multi-tabling is to strike a balance between the number of tables you play and the number of hands you can win each hour. If you don't play enough tables, you won't win enough money to justify multi-tabling. At the same time if you play too many tables the number of hands you can win per hour and the profits they represent will fall dramatically. It's best to start with a couple of tables and keep tabs of your ROI. Keep adding additional tables and see how many you can handle. If your win rate drops dramatically don't hesitate to scale back the number of tables as you look for the sweet spot.

Learn Quicker

The best way to learn anything is by practicing hands on. When you multitable, the sheer volume of hands will give you more opportunities to practice in less time. That means you can learn more in a two-hour session playing a few tables than you would otherwise learn in a whole day playing a single table. Who doesn't love saving time?

Multi-tabling For Excitement

If you've ever played poker with your mates, you probably know how annoying it is when someone takes their sweet time to make an obvious decision. When you play online at a single table, you better get used to the so-called waiting game. People can leave you hanging because they are legitimately weighing their options. More often your opponents are distracted or surfing the web. When you multi-table, you'll automatically fill those gaps with other hands at other tables. The real question is whether or not you can keep up.

A Whole New Game

Guide to Poker Multi-Tabling

It's important to remember that even the most skilled multi-table players will admit that their gameplay changes when they multitable. You simply don't have the time to deliberate and are more likely to play by the book. That's not necessarily a bad thing when you profit overall. It does make for more robotic play, which won't translate well if you ever find yourself playing in a major live tournament. Beware that if you make the Aussie Millions, you're going to need a different approach. You can worry about that later after you afford your buy-in by multi-tabling.

Multi-tabling Tips

While multi-tabling, many players take advantage of third party software like Table Ninja and Table Optimizer to improve gameplay. These tools help you enter the game faster, provide you with hotkeys for faster gameplay, and enhance the visuals. You can use these tools with poker tracking software to compile and access player statistics for even better results. We also recommend using a four-colour deck on sites where available. Standard suits can be hard to distinguish as your game windows get smaller.