A Guide To Successful Multi-Tabling In Online Poker

In the old days, multi-tabling meant walking across a casino floor to sit in a cash game while letting your stack blind off in the tournament on the other side of the cardroom.

These days, with online poker so convenient, multi-tabling is as easy as logging on to a popular site and loading up two, three or eight tables at once.

Multi-tabling is great for smart poker players as it improves your volume (you play more hands) and can improve your overall ROI (Return on Investment). You can also rake more (pay fees) and claim more back in the form of cashback or a rakeback bonus. Put those elements together and you can see why multi-tabling is so vital for the serious online poker grinder.

What Is Multi-Tabling?

Simply, multi-tabling is playing more than one online poker game at once. You might have two cash games running with a longer tournament 'in the background', or you might have three or four Sit 'n Gos running simultaneously. You may even be facing some of the same players in all games who are also multi-tabling.

Good online poker sites make multi-tabling a breeze. They allow simple "tiling", or ordering of the various screens you will have open. At the click of the mouse you can quickly get to a table that requires an action. If you're on a small monitor, you might have one table in the foreground while the others are tiled behind it. When it's your turn to bet, raise or fold, the tile in question will flash to let you know the action is on you.

Alternatively, if you have a widescreen monitor, you can easily display 16 tables at once. Many poker sites now allow you to adjust the size of the table manually by dragging the corner of the screen in and out. Only a few years ago, most poker rooms would have just two views: standard or 'mini'. Now, the choice is yours.

How to Pick the Right Stakes

Before you even sign up to a site, think about what stakes you're going to play at. If you've been used to logging on and playing one $10 Sit n' Go at a time, it's easy to work out your bankroll: you might save 5 percent of your roll for a single game (in this case, you'd have a bankroll of $200) and stick to those levels religiously.

But what if you're playing two SNGs at once, or three, or four? With each table you add, so your bankroll must also increase. If you're comfortable at beating $10 Sit 'n Gos, you'd need $200 FOR EVERY TABLE YOU LOAD UP. So, if you can comfortably concentrate on three games at once, and not everyone can do it, you'll need a $600 roll. Can your budget handle that?

Budgets are great for handling the inevitable swings (or 'variance') that all Aussie players will face. Sticking to strict stake levels will ensure you don't go bust or leave your comfort zone.

The Good Monitor Buying Guide

Improving your hardware is a great way to multi-table effectively. If you're playing mobile poker, try to play on as big a tablet as you can afford. The new range of Windows tablets have large screens and are inexpensive. While not as good as standard desktop monitors, they can allow for two or three tables to be played at once.

If you're on a standard PC or Mac, you're in luck. Widescreen monitors have dropped in price massively over the past couple of years. You can pick up a cheap Samsung LED monitor for under a couple of hundred bucks and they let you cram in 16 tables. You'll even have room for a surfing window so you can read your emails while you grind.

If your budget allows, consider buying two widescreens. That way, you can use one for "work and surf" while keeping the other one for your online poker.

Don't Become The 'Multi-Table' Monkey

Multi-tabling is about building your confidence slowly. If you're terrible at multi-tasking you might find it a bind. You need to be able to concentrate on two or more games at once and also follow what your opponents are up to.

Once you've cracked two tables comfortably, consider moving up to three, then four, and so on. If you're constantly using your time bank to make decisions, your opponents will know straight away that you're multi-tabling. They know you're not giving the situation your complete attention and they might be able to exploit it.

Multi-tabling has many pluses: your volume improves, and because you see so many more hands you can improve your experience as well as your profits.

Online Poker Multi-Tabling FAQ

What Is Multi-Tabling?

Multi-tabling is playing more than one online poker game at the same time. You might multi-table three cash games at once, half a dozen SNGs, or a large MTT and several smaller ring games.

How Do I Start?

You need to sign up with poker sites that have enough traffic to make multi-tabling possible. Start off by playing two tables at once. If you can comfortably crack those, add one more table and keep going from there. It's important not to lose focus on the tables you're not involved in, and always keep an eye on your opponents.

Is It More Profitable?

In theory, yes. Because you're playing more hands your potential profits can increase. However, if you lose track of your tables, you can also lose money and miss out on big pots. Multi-tabling is great for tight-aggressive grinders who are playing a simple, 'ABC', style of play that doesn't require too much thinking.

How Do I Manage My Bankroll?

If you take a standard management system of 5 percent of your bankroll on each table, just double that for two tables, treble it for three tables, and so on. If it means dropping down stakes to fit more tables in, do it.

Does Multi-Tabling Reduce Variance?

It depends on the game you're playing. A bad beat on one table can hit your bankroll hard. But spreading your roll across six games can even out the luck. Solid gameplay is always the best way to avoid variance.

Is It Suitable For Beginner Players?

It depends on your budget and games. If you are a competent beginner and you pick the right sites with lots of fishy players, there's no reason why you can't comfortably multi-table two or three tables straight away. As with anything in poker, it's about getting practice in and experiencing lots of situations.

Is It Safe?

Yes, but as with anything in online poker, it's important to pick reliable sites. Collusion on many tables does exist so you need to know your site is secure and set up to deal with cheating. Also make sure your Internet connection is solid as there's nothing worse than having 16 tables go down all at once.