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.