When you’re playing live poker, you’re limited to just one table, whether you’re playing in a tournament or grinding at a cash game. Online, you can fire up as many tables as you can handle and even play across different sites at the same time.
One of the biggest advantages of online poker is that you can multitable and increase your winnings by a significant margin.
If you want to make money playing online, it’s quite important to be able to play several tables simultaneously.
However, this only works if adding new tables won’t significantly impact the quality of your play. You should only play the number of tables that you’re comfortable with and stop as soon as you feel that you’re failing to properly keep track of what’s going on across all of them.
Luckily, multitabling is a skill (or a set of skills) that you can learn.
These tips should help you gradually improve your multitabling abilities and slowly reach the point where you’re playing five, six, or even more tables simultaneously while sticking to a solid, winning Texas Holdem strategy.
Tip #1: Play two or three tables to begin with
You may have seen one of the internet wizards playing a dozen or more tables at the same time, not missing any of the action, but it does not mean you have to do it.
While it could look impressive to someone just starting, you will be setting yourself to failure if you start to mimic what they are doing, since that comes with years of practice.
While there is no reason to play just one table when playing online (unless you’re truly just doing it for fun with a few beers and while doing something else on the side), you should not overdo it at the beginning.
Fire up an extra table or two to get the feeling for what it’s like to multi-table, and take it from there.
This will give you a pretty good idea of how well you can keep track of the action across several tables, but it won’t put too much pressure on you.
Tip #2: Keep all your tables visible to start with
Experienced pros will often stack tables one on top of the other to save space and get as many games going as possible, but that could lead to many problems at the beginning.
When you’re just starting, you’ll be better off keeping your tables in a way where you can see all of them all the time.
Usually, you’ll be able to cascade up to six tables on the screen without any problems. Doing so will enable you to have all the action in view all the time and think about your play ahead of time.
You won’t have this benefit if your tables are stacked because they’ll only pop out when it’s your turn to act. I keep all my tables visible to this day, and I am pretty sure it helps me make better decisions and play my poker hands more profitably.
Tip #3: Don’t mix cash games and tournaments
Even experienced players try to stick to the same format when playing multiple tables. There is absolutely no upside to mixing tournaments and cash games, and there is rarely a reason to do so.
If you’re getting ready to fire up a tournament session, wrap up any cash tables you might have open and switch your focus to MTTs.
Mixing different game formats can be confusing, especially if you’re playing them stacked. Having a cash game table pop up all of a sudden can get you out of the zone and will require a quick switch in your brain.
There are significant differences between cash game and tournament strategies, and having to switch between them all the time will likely negatively influence your results.
Tip #4: Don’t mix different stakes if you can avoid it
Mixing different formats is not advisable, but playing across different cash stakes when multitabling can also hurt your results.
As you move up the stakes, you’ll be adjusting your strategies to population tendencies and other important aspects.
When you’re playing all the tables on the same stake, you’ll have no problems figuring out what to do in a particular spot.
However, if you’re playing a few NL100 and a few NL50 tables, this might not be the case. In the same exact spot, you might want to 3-bet at NL100 while calling or even folding might be a better option at NL50, which obviously mostly depends on your opponent in hand.
Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of having enough tables at your preferred stake, so you’ll have to include some games from a stake below. If you want to do this, you’ll have to be focused, and you really can’t afford to go on autopilot at any point.
Tip #5: Get rid of any distractions
If you’re used to playing just one or two tables, you might have a habit of also watching something on the side, chatting with your friends, or playing games on a casino online. While having distractions when you play is never a good idea, this isn’t a big deal if you’re playing only a couple of tables.
As you start to add more games, you need to avoid these types of distractions.
When you have six or more tables running, you’ll really need all your focus to play your A-game and avoid missclick or other mistakes.
You shouldn’t even be watching poker training videos while multitabling. Many players believe this is a good way to optimize the use of their time, but this isn’t the case.
You won’t be able to give enough focus to either the coaching material or the games, and you’re better of playing a shorter session with the full focus and leaving some extra time to watch that video later.
Tip #6: Use the four-color deck and sit at the same place
With action fast and furious, you want to reduce your reaction time as much as possible. The last thing you want is to misread your hand at one of the tables and fold the winner or make a big call with air.
By using a four-color deck, you’ll be able to eliminate many of these mistakes.
It makes it much easier to figure out what’s going on quickly. It virtually ensures that you’ll never think you have a flush in poker when you don’t.
Similarly, you want to be seated in the same place across all your tables. It doesn’t matter what seat you choose, just stick to the same one across all of your games when multitabling.
Tip #7: Get Good Using HUD
When you’re playing multiple tables at the same time, you really won’t get much information from observing your opponents. You simply won’t have the time or the opportunity to do this, especially as the number of tables you play starts to grow beyond four or five.
This is why the Heads Up Display (HUD) provided by poker tools such as Holdem Manager 3 is your biggest ally.
HUD will provide you with all the relevant information at a glance and enable you to make correct decisions quickly even if you don’t remember a single hand you played against a particular opponent.
However, a HUD is only as powerful as your ability to correctly use the information it provides. You’ll need to spend some time figuring out your HUD setup and learning it by heart.
This will give you the ability to immediately notice all the important information about your opponent (VPIP and PFR, 3-bet %, Aggression Factor, etc.) and make the correct play.
Conclusion: Boost Your Winning With Proper Multitabling
If you’re aiming to play online poker for profit, not just for fun, you’ll want to get good at multitabling.
Every extra table you can add without hurting your game will increase your bottom line, whether you play cash games, tournaments, or sit and goes.
However, adding more and more games just for the sake of numbers while making fundamental mistakes left and right and timing out all over the place misses out on the whole point of multitabling, which is to increase your hourly win-rate.
So, take these multitabling tips to heart and try to use them to become a better player. Keep gradually adding more tables as you improve and join one of the best poker training sites to progress even faster.
If you do it right and build your way towards playing more and more tables, you’ll be able to steadily improve your profit margins without ever hurting your game in the process.