What Is Multitabling and Should You Do It?
Last Updated: October 7, 2021
When it was first invented, poker was a game you could only play at one table at a time, and that's absolutely still the case with live poker. At least unless you are so hungry for action, you run between tables, like the popular pro Tom Dwan has been known to do on occasion.
Online poker, on the other hand, is quite a different game. Not only do some players play more than one table at a time, but it has become the norm to do so.
Playing one table can simply be too slow and boring at times.
Without the additional social elements that are a part of the live poker environment, online poker can seem very slow at times, even though you get to see more hands than in a live environment.
The desire for more action and more stimulation has led to the invention of multitabling, a trend in which a single player fires up multiple tables and plays them all at the same time.
While multitabling can seem very attractive at first, I looked at all the positive and negative implications it carried and weighed them against one another in this piece.
The Positive Side of Multitabling
If you are an absolute novice, you should probably focus on playing on one poker table at a time and getting your bearings.
After all, there is plenty of time to play multiple tables once you are more skilled and confident.
As soon as you are at a level where you feel confident you can beat your opponents, firing up more than one table makes sense.
After all, every table you have up is another chance to be dealt a premium poker hand or simply outplay your opponents and win a big pot by applying all your poker skills and knowledge.
In a perfect scenario, you would like to be much better at poker than your opponents, and playing them on multiple tables at the same time would multiply your profit. This is the main goal of multitabling in general.
On top of making more money, multitabling allows you to have more fun when playing online poker since there is no waiting time between hands, and you can always remain in action.
If you are an action junkie and can’t get yourself to fold the hands you should, it may be easier once you have many tables up and have better hands to pick on other tables.
If you do plan on playing multiple tables, make sure you do so on a room with good software. There are other sites offering more info on poker that you can consult for this advice.
The Negative Side of Multitabling
It may seem very attractive at first to play on many tables at the same time, but it also comes with some risks and dangers.
First of all, multitabling is not easy and will require more focus and will drain you mentally more than playing a single poker game.
If you are not 100% confident in the games you are playing, multitabling can lead to timing out when you take too long to make a decision or to making some really bad plays as the time pressure mounts.
The more tables you add, the more difficult it becomes to play your A-game. This is the case in every form of online poker, but even more so in some.
Poker tournaments sit n’ goes, and Spin & Goes are more multitabling-friendly, as the plays you need to make in these are simpler and more automatic in many cases, thanks to the shallow stack depths.
Deep stack cash games, on the other hand, are certainly not the place to experiment with multitabling too much. They require more concentration, and some very tricky situations can arise in them.
In either case, the biggest downside of playing on many tables at once is the fact you will lose focus and concentration by playing so many games.
This may result in diminishing profit or even losing your edge completely, which can be dangerous, especially if you play poker for a living.
Should I Multitable and How Many Tables to Run?
I have considered some of the top reasons for and against multitabling, and it leads us to the big question; should I multitable, and if I do, how many tables should I run?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. If you want to make money with online poker, you should absolutely multitable, as it allows you to win in multiple games at the same time.
On the other hand, it can also cost you some of your hourly win rate on each table.
Whether or not you should multitable will depend on your skillset. To be efficient at it, you will need to be at a point where you know what to do in nearly every situation without much hesitation.
Most players think they have the game solved and know what to do in every spot, but the truth is they find themselves confused more often than they would like to.
You should be honest with yourself and examine just how fast you are playing and how confident of your decisions you are. If you are very fast and sure about the way you are playing, especially if you stick to the GTO strategy, adding more tables might be good for you.
The same goes for choosing the number of tables you play on. The more tables you add, the more difficult it can become to play good poker. You should make sure to play the number of tables that does not distract or confuse you.
If you find yourself constantly timing out, losing your focus, or making completely dumb plays and missclicks, you are probably just playing too many tables and should reduce the number to play your A-game.
All that said, I believe one should not play more than eight cash game tables or 20 sit n' go tables at one time. Only expert players should play this many, as tracking action can be extremely difficult and nearly impossible at times.
If you are playing multi-table tournaments, I would suggest starting the session out with more tables but focusing on your deep runs and not firing up too many tables if you run deep in one tournament and are likely to make the final table.