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StrategyPoker Basics

The perfect introduction to multi-tabling

Video: Click here

Introduction

In this article
  • When to start playing multiple tables
  • Tips and tricks for beginners


The idea behind playing multiple tables (i.e. multi-tabling) is simple. If you can win on one table, why not open another one at the same time, doubling your hourly earnings?

By playing on several tables at the same time you can:
  • … improve your earnings per hour
  • … improve your game, if you get bored playing one table and lose concentration
  • … release your bonus at lightning speed

Sounds easy but it can go horribly wrong if you just open lots of tables and dive in head first. In this article you will learn how to do it the right way!

The right time to start multi-tabling

Being bored is a good indicator that it might be time to open more tables. You know your strategy, you can quickly make the right decisions in standard situations, and have your limit beat? Next time you're bored, just open another table.

  • You have your limit beat.
  • You have mastered your strategy.
  • You can make the right decisions quickly in standard situations.

You don't need to be a pro to try multi-tabling but you should have proven very clearly that you can win playing your limit. Unless you are a winning player, keep your hands off multi-tabling because all you will multiply then are your losses.

Your bankroll management does not change when you start multi-tabling. It might be a good idea to go down one limit when you first open multiple tables, but the same rules apply to four tables as to a single one.

The right number of tables

You should take it slow in the beginning and only open two tables. If you feel comfortable you can try three or four.

On some poker sites you can play up to 24 tables. Unfortunately this does not mean you will make 24 times the profit. The more tables you play the harder it gets to thoroughly examine difficult spots and make the best possible decision which could occasionally give you more value.

The number of tables which maximises your hourly rate in the long run depends on the following factors:
  • … the game format you play
  • … the limit you play
  • … YOU

More tables don't automatically lead to higher profits. Find out what works best for you by trying out varying numbers of tables.

Always remember that it's not about playing on as many tables as possible. If you play 12 tables only so you can show-off to your friends, you'd be better off finding new friends.

You want to maximise your profit, which for most people means playing three to four tables.

Don't drive yourself crazy

More tables means more work for you. Many people don't take into consideration that playing more tables tires you out quicker, which means you will be able to play your best for shorter amounts of time.

To avoid getting tired you should use the following settings in you poker software:
  • Activate four-coloured card decks.
  • Disable the chat.
  • Disable all animations.
  • Use a simple, sharp table layout.

Do everything that helps you assess the situation on the table. All distractions are bad. Once you have climbed through the limits and built a solid bankroll you should think about investing in a bigger screen or possibly multiple screens.

Some poker sites also offer the following options:
  • Preferred seating so you sit in the same place on all tables
  • Automatic rebuying of chips (Auto-Rebuy)

How you arrange your tables also matters. Some people prefer to cascade their tables whilst others play better when they tile them. Poker sites like PartyPoker or Poker Heaven can arrange the tables automatically for you.

Set yourself a limit

Have set breaks if you want to play for a couple of hours. Sets of 90 minutes have worked well for most people. Try playing for 90 minutes then have a break for six minutes.

Set yourself a stop-loss limit. For example you could say that when you're down 200BB you will stop playing for the day. It could save your bankroll some day. More details about this principle can be found right here: Stop-Loss Limits - Pulling the Ripcord.

Master you strategy and don't hesitate in standard situations. You should be able to play your game and not find yourself confronted with confusing situations. If you keep missing the action on one table because you were busy playing another one, you probably have too many tables opened.

Very helpful with the increased number of tables, are stats, displayed directly on the tables by e.g. PokerStrategy.com Elephant (when you're able to use them). You should be familiar with VPIP and PFR. Don't overload your table with pointless stats; keep it clear and simple.

Conclusion

Players that have eight or more tables open are the rule rather than an exception in today's online poker world. Strategies like PokerStrategy.com's short stack strategy are made for multi-tabling.

The simple formula of double the tables, double the profit that we mentioned earlier doesn't reflect the real world. If you play too many tables it can lead to unnecessary losses.

If you have mastered your strategy and you can make the right decisions quickly, then give multi-tabling a shot. Start slowly and work your way up to the number of tables that makes you feel comfortable and maximises your profits.

It comes down to a simple rule: don't lose sight of what you're doing and don't go over the top. Good luck at the tables and if you have any questions come check out the forums.
 

Comments (24)

#1 vhallee, 09 Feb 10 13:56

Nice article, enjoy!

#2 robpettitt, 09 Feb 10 16:26

Would be interested in a comparison of multi tabling versus Rush on FT. I have found 2 tables at Rush better than 6-8 standard tables. You get the same fast throughput but can concentrate better in the tighter spots. More profitable for me anyway! Good guide.

#3 alister15, 09 Feb 10 17:19

Good read. I already multi table, but it does get tiring. I'm going to try disabling animations and change to the 4 color deck and see if it helps.

#4 marvinas, 21 Mar 10 14:37

would say Rush poker is better - you have way fewer tables to track, screen is not cluttered with action, and yes, you will never get bored. I play at titan, with their incredibly stupid software, and its worse than torture. <br /> <br /> Also a point to note - when multitabling, it gets difficult to find enough good tables, and then manage them, ie close down bad ones and find new good ones.

#5 timinsa, 10 Jun 10 19:43

Also get yourself a good HD monitor,

#6 janez444, 30 Jul 10 09:37

nice

#7 mattisks, 12 Mar 11 03:28

I just started doin multitabling on party.. It got funny. They've got some great feature for multitabling so playing 9 gets overwhelming only when I get too many hands to play. I jumped from 4 that I played comfortably on stars immediately to 5 and 9 on party. I couldn't believe that I can maintain my loose aggressive play and profits on about the same level. And.. Even though that on party the game feel amazingly soft and hard at the same time. It is like 30% of time when I raise somebody 3bets me or goes over the top..<br /> <br /> I know that my loose approach might not be good for multitabling but somehow I manage. <br /> <br /> And this is what they say about me on poker edge: He is a very loose player. He's always willing to see a flop. <br /> <br /> Interesting that I have always about the same stats no matter if it is stars, party or other venue. LOL<br /> <br /> GL with multitabling. I am just wondering why I dind't start before. Now it all makes perfect sense to me. If you play online cash games.. <br /> <br /> ..MULTITABLE!!!

#8 ilovemagic, 05 May 12 15:34

This is my 2nd time reading this article. What stuck out most to me was the sentence, "set a stoploss limit and follow it . It could save your bankroll SOMEDAY. " now i realize what i couldn't before; i may not be on tilt when i reach my stop loss limit very often, but all it takes is one slip up and its over. So just stop. Don't even analyze if it's ok to continue. Just stop playing.

#9 mamorys9, 20 Oct 13 03:59

good

#10 kanpoker, 01 Nov 13 04:50

Nice

#11 Marsimillion, 07 Apr 14 16:04

good read!

#12 kunfo2, 05 Sep 14 19:17

good

#13 biggood, 07 Sep 14 13:09

nice

#14 tashaleigh3, 09 Oct 14 10:03

good

#15 catblank, 14 Oct 14 09:01

ok

#16 toske1, 13 Mar 15 18:31

nice

#17 mirth, 27 Mar 15 20:43

4 colour deck definitely helps. if you multi-table and glance at all black cards, you may think you have a flush when you don't!

#18 rubberduckie000, 13 Aug 15 10:23

Does a stop-loss limit count if your still in profit for that session? Eg: Your up 5BI and your stoploss was 3BI if you proceed to lose 3BI and still in profit of 2BI should you still stop? Stupid question maybe sorry.

#19 bubamarasr, 20 Jan 16 22:51

Read it. Thank you.

#20 hassux, 25 Jan 16 21:28

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#21 Hieunguyen9283, 18 Mar 16 10:34

Great

#22 sedinbsng, 01 Apr 16 20:38

ok

#23 CroZoZo, 26 Apr 16 13:21

ok

#24 pleuropouwe, 18 Mar 17 05:46

ok