With the explosion of internet poker, came the opportunity to play more poker and quicker. The 21st century, so far, can be summed up by instant gratification and convenience. This extends to poker where we can play an great deal more than we can play in live poker, where we are restricted to slow deals, one tabling and players who take time over their decisions.
Cue poker multi tabling… The ability to play lots of tables and hands at once is something that has allowed players to become expert in the time it would take a live player decades to learn. This speed of learning has meant becoming an online professional poker player is a reality. In this article, we will explore some truths about multi-tabling and also offer a quick test for you, to see how many tables are right for you.
Giving up edge for more money
One thing you must realise when choosing to add tables is the edge you are giving up. This is just part and parcel of the game. For every table you are adding, you are giving up a bit of focus and attention overall. This can be problematic for people who struggle with decision making and have a small win rate already. But, for those who crush their stakes and are competent multi-taskers, it’s less of an issue.
Our goal is to earn as much as possible in as little time possible. So, if the data shows you can earn $8 per hour on average 2 tabling and $7 an hour 4 tabling, clearly 4 tabling is the wiser decision as you will be earning $12 more an hour overall.
When you’re only playing one or two tables, there’s no such thing as prioritising decisions really. Very rarely, do you have two difficult decisions at the same time. This is far more prevalent when you multi-table and something you need to incorporate into your game. Prioritising decisions is about giving full attention to the more important hand.
If you have trouble assigning priority to one over another, consider the round of betting and pot size first. If you’re pre-flop in one with nothing committed and facing a pot bet on the turn on another, clearly the latter is more important. In time, this will come naturally and is usually only a challenge at the start.
HUD stats are more important than ever
If you play one or two tables, the HUD stats are useful but you’re not reliant on them as such. You know from observation players tendencies and the HUD is there for insurance and a guide. As you mult-table more, you will have to rely on the HUD to help you. If you’re playing 8 tables, you can’t trust your eye alone. You won’t be picking up as much so you need the stats to help you. It’s simple maths. If you’re playing two tables of 6 max, you have 10 opponents, or less if you have the same opponent. By comparison, 8 tables have potentially 42 different opponents. Not easy to remember them all and how they play is it?
I highly recommend ensuring your HUD is properly setup and revealing only the most relevant of stats. Visit our poker resources page for poker software.
Deciding How Many Tables To Play
It can be tricky choosing how many tables to play. There are a number of factors that need to be considered:
How like are you to tilt?
What are you concentration levels like?
If you have excellent concentration, playing more tables won’t harm you as much as it will others.
What is your win rate like?
If you’re a big winner, you can probably safely add more tables and maintain a decent win rate. If you’re breaking even though, you will surely start losing. Win rate is very important when multi-tabling.
How quickly can you make decisions?
Are you a slow thinker and like to take your time? Multi-tabling won’t be for you. However, if you can make good decisions fast, you will be at home playing lots of tables.
Are you competent with HUDs?
There’s no use having a HUD if you struggle to use it effectively. Anyone who can look at HUD stats at a glance and use it accordingly will be confident multi tabling. You need to be able to look at it in a few seconds and know what to do.
Poker Multi-tabling Quiz (find out how many)
We’ve created a test for those of you unsure how many tables to play. The test only takes a few minutes and will give you an indication as to how many tables to play. All you need to do is take the quiz below. Once completed, you’ll get a grade which suggests how many tables. Please remember this is not a test on your ability or anything like that. There’s no perfect score. What’s right for one won’t be for another.
This was written in 2021 and has been updated.