Playing Poker on Multiple-Tables (Multi-Tabling)
Multi-table poker, or multi-tabling, is a method of playing online poker in which you participate in multiple tables of poker simultaneously. It is not to be confused with multi-table tournaments, which is simply a description of a large poker tournament that begins with several tables. Players often choose to play multi-table poker in order to maximize their profits versus time.
The general concept here is that if you can be a winning player at one table, you might be able to also be a winning player at two, four, or many more tables simultaneously. Most online poker rooms have built-in features that facilitate multi-tabling.
Methods of Multi-Tabling
In order to play multi-table poker, you’ll need a way of efficiently organizing your tables. There are two methods of doing this – tiling and stacking:
Tiling is somewhat more popular. When you tile your table windows, you arrange them such a way so that they’re adjacent to each other. In order to do this you should have a large, high resolution computer monitor. Some online poker players like to play across multiple computer monitors. But one monitor should suffice most people.
Tiling your poker tables means you get to see everything that’s going on across all tables. This has its advantages because you can easily follow the action and use the preset fold buttons to quickly discard your poor hands, and concentrate on tables you’re involved with. It also allows you to follow the action of your opponents, even when you’re not involved in the hand.
Stacking is usually the method of choice for most players who play more than six poker tables simultaneously. Each table window is placed directly on top of the other windows and you should check the preferences of your poker software and have it bring a window to the front of the stack when it’s your turn to make a betting decision.
There are advantages to stacking your tables. Firstly, unless you have a very large monitor, you can play on more tables simultaneously – and have them sized larger. Also, since the active tables will pop up in the same position each time, you don’t have to move your mouse cursor across your screen for each betting decision. Moving your mouse across the screen might not sound like a huge chore, but it can become annoying when using the tiling method.
Which method of multi-tabling is best? It’s really down to personal choice. It’s probably wise to experiment with both methods and see which setup you prefer.
Developing a Uniform Strategy for Playing Multi-Table Poker
As you’re playing multi-table poker, you’ll want to use a strategy that requires little thinking and minimizes difficult decision making. One of the best strategies for multi-tabling is ABC poker. Basically, this a strategy that will require you to tighten up your pre-flop play, bet or raise with a good hand, check or fold with a weak hand, avoid bluffing, and avoid slow-playing. ABC poker is very easy to follow and will allow you to make quick decisions based on basic information.
Although playing this way might make you somewhat predictable, and won’t necessarily maximize your profits at each table, it’s a great way of ensuring positive winning percentages and making steady profits in the long run. In higher stakes games you will probably want to reduce the number of tables you play, because experienced players will pinpoint your strategy and defeat it.
Avoid Mixing Game Types While Playing Multi-Table Poker
With the popularity of online poker, more and more people are discovering alternative game types to traditional Texas hold’em, such as stud, Omaha, and mixed games. Although all of these games can be a lot of fun, you shouldn’t play two different types of games simultaneously while playing multi-table poker. Games such as Omaha and Texas hold’em have several similarities, but they also have some crucial differences that could slow you down or cause you to make costly mistakes while playing.
In general, your goal during a session of multi-tabling should be to minimize the amount of different factors coming into play. When you have to think about strategy differences every time you move from one window to the next, you’re likely to experience problems and reduce your profitability.
Avoid Chatting With Other Players
Most online poker rooms have a chat function that allows you to communicate with other players as you play. Although this is a fun social feature, it’s something you should ignore while playing multi-table poker. For one, you’re unlikely to gain any information from the chat box that will actually help you win. In addition, participating in chat can cause you to play on tilt, and allow your emotions to influence your decision making.
If a player starts insulting you in one window, it could affect your performance on the other tables as well. Remember, the purpose of multi-tabling is to multiply your winnings. But by definition, it can also multiply your losses.
Last but not least – do not play more tables than you can handle. It can take time to adjust to playing poker at several tables at once. It’s best to start with just one table, then once you’re comfortable, add another, and then progressively add more, one at a time. If you find yourself struggling to make key decisions within the allocated time – or find multi-tabling is negatively affecting your game, then reduce the number of tables until you find your optimum number.