Online poker is much quicker and more fluid than offline poker. You can blaze through a tournament in less than half the time, and you can fit more players into a single tournament as well. But even with this improved speed, some online poker players find that it’s not fast enough, so they turn to multi-tabling.
What is Multi-Table Poker?
Multi-tabling is the act of playing several poker games at once. This is something that can only be done online (you can also play an offline game while playing online on your mobile, but this may be considered bad etiquette in some places) and you are not limited to how many games you can play. However, most players limit themselves to 5 to 8 games, as it can be difficult to manage more than this at a single time.
Multi-tabling is typically reserved for longer and slower tournaments, as it is common for players to fold most of the hands they get and to only play a few hands every hour. These tournaments can go on for hours and it is not uncommon for players to crash out without getting any money.
By playing multiple tournaments at once players can avoid this bitter disappointment and go straight onto the next one. On average, a pro player will expect to run deep into at least 1 in every 4 or 5 tournaments that they play. If they were to play these tournaments one at a time, they might be playing all day without running deep once. By playing them all at once they can expect to run deep in at least 1 tournament per session and and several tournaments per day.
When you consider that a pro player will make a final table in between 5% and 20% of the major tournaments that they run deep in, this means they are hitting one major tournament final table a week.
If they play 10 tournaments at a time and they have a good run, that could easily increase to 1 or more final tables a day in tournaments that have 5,000+ players.
Tips for Playing Multi-Table Poker
The odds quoted above only apply if you are good at multi-tabling and it’s not as easy as you might think. It can be difficult to juggle all of those tournaments at once and it takes a lot of practice and experience. So, keep the following tips in mind when it comes to playing multi-table poker:
Just like everything else, practice makes perfect. The biggest mistake that people make when they try multi-tabling for the first time is to take on too many tournaments. They get comfortable folding and taking it easy, they start stacking up the hands, and then they start panicking when they have hands they want to play and when those tournaments start running deep.
Always start with just 3 tournaments and play them through. If you are comfortable with that, increase it to 4 and then keep adding one table at a time.
Choose the Right Tournaments
Multi-tabling works best when you’re playing tournaments that are deep-stacked, have 9 players per table, and typically last for 6+ hours from start to finish. You can easily stack half a dozen of these tournaments, knowing that most of those will be over in a couple hours. The worst games are high-speed cash games and most of these, especially the short-stacked 2 to 6 seater ones, do not need to be multi-tabled.
It’s important to choose very carefully and to always make sure that you can handle what you have. You may find, for instance, that it’s better to have one turbo cash game on the go at the same time you have a deep stack tournament or two. You may prefer to stack a few sit-and-go tournaments with a few turbo ones.
This is one of those “tips” that seems obvious. You might even skip this bit with a sigh and a shake of your head. But you would be surprised at how easy it is panic when the chaos starts. As soon as the tournaments go deep and you find yourself trying to control several hands at once, it’s normal to get a little ruffled.
In these cases you just need to learn to use your time limits. Every site gives you a fixed time period in which to make you move and you will also be allocated a time bank. This time bank gives you an extended break if you select it, and it typically regenerates with every bubble. It buys you time on a hand if you’re a little overwhelmed, and if you want to multi-table successfully then you need to learn how to use it sparingly.
Generally, you should learn to play at a leisurely pace, because it will buy you a lot of time in the long run and will make life much easier for you.
Shut Off Distractions
If you’re playing at home then it’s easy to get distracted with phone calls, doorbells, kids, roommates, and god knows what else. Once you get distracted you’ll be thrown off your game. You’ll end up folding more hands than you can afford to and you’ll be unsettled when you return. So, switch these distractions off.
The Best Sites for Playing Multi-Table Poker
You can multi-table most poker sites, but some of them are better than others. To find the very best, take a look at the graphic at the top of this page. It will point you to the very best site for bonuses and multi-tabling and it follows all of these key principles which are essential for multi-table poker sites:
- They need to be devoid of major graphics and animations. 3D poker is fun, but it is terrible for multi-tabling.
- They need to have a quick option for popping-up new windows, otherwise it can be a slow and laborious process.
- There should be a lot of different tournaments available at any give time, which means they need to have hundreds of thousands of members.
- They need to have large tournaments that contain over 1,000 players if you really want to profit from this technique.
- They need loyalty schemes, as you can generate a lot of rake using this technique and that will ensure you get lots of points in return.