Multi-Tabling Tournament Poker Strategy
One factor of playing online poker as opposed to live play is the ability to play several tables at one time. This is a key element that can make profitable players even more profitable by allowing the opportunity to be involved in several games simultaneously. Players who are able to remain focused can spread out action over many tables, thereby increasing profits.
Keep in mind that multi-tabling is not for everyone, especially beginners to the game of poker who are still learning the intricacies and nuances of key elements of the game, such as bet sizing, playing your position, mixing up your game to confound opponents, and more. In order to multi-table successfully, you have to be able to excel at multi-tasking.
If you’re the type who concentrates your thoughts heavily in one direction and don’t like to move on to other matters without first completing your attention on the previous area of concern, multi-tabling may not be your cup of tea.
However, if you find yourself extremely bored playing online poker while waiting for others to act and increasingly doing other things such as checking emails or surfing the web, it may be time to think about multi-tabling to increase your profit potential.
Cash Games Vs. Tournaments
Multi-tablers are found on both cash game tables as well as tournament tables. This article will focus mainly on multi-tabling in tournament action. There are loads of cash game multi-tablers who do very well for themselves by achieving high VIP status levels and cash back rewards at the poker rooms of their choice. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, the big money is in making final tables in multi-table tournaments (MTTs).
Successful tournament play requires folding the vast majority of hands and waiting upon premium hands to arrive as your hole cards. In that regard, you have plenty of time in-between waiting for good hands in which to play and focus your attention on other tables.
There is often such a lull in the action that playing only one table will cause you to lose focus from boredom. So it may actually be beneficial to play several tables at once to keep your mind focused on poker as opposed to doing other things on the Internet that can take your mind away from the game.
Ways To Multi Tabling
There are generally two ways to set up your multiple tables on your computer monitor. You can either use the tiling method, which minimizes the size of each table but allows each table to be on the screen at all times simultaneously. If you prefer only a handful of games at one time, this is probably the best way to go.
If you are the type of player who requires lots of action at once, such as a dozen tables or more, then you will most likely be cascading your tables, which means that you will typically only see one game at a time.
When it is your turn to act on a particular table, most poker room software forces the table that requires action to jump to the forefront so that you can check, bet, raise or fold accordingly. Cascading tables normally overlap slightly so that you can click on any table of your choice at any time.
The really serious multi-tablers will sometimes invest in multiple monitors in order to have more room in which to operate. This is certainly a viable option. In fact, this was the method used by Randy “nanonoko” Lew a few months ago in setting a Guinness World Record.
Lew played up to 40 tables at once in an eight-hour period to set the record for most online poker hands within eight hours and turning a profit. The multi-tabling expert used two huge monitors to play 23,493 cash game poker hands in his eight-hour marathon without so much as a bathroom break. Amazing!
Now that you have established how to set up your tables, it’s time to learn a few tips regarding playing multi-tabling tournaments. Remember that one of the drawbacks to multi-tabling is that your focus and attention will be split across all the tables you are playing.
Stick to the Basics
Typically, you won’t be able to concentrate intently on only one table. Your decision-making processes will, as a result, not be at peak levels. Therefore, success at multi-tabling is best achieved by sticking to the basics–betting strong hands and folding the weaker ones.
Since your focus will be divided among several tables, sometimes the ability to get a good read on your opponents will be somewhat lessened. In that regard, any attempts to bluff or outplay the other players must be exercised with caution. Following typical basics of poker strategy will achieve the best end result.
Give Attention to Late Stages
You should play as you normally would, keeping in mind proper hand selection and betting strategies. And a good idea is that the further you progress in any one tournament, the more of your available time and focus should be devoted to those tournaments where you are doing best.
The whole object is to profit and make money. And although you can’t win every tournament, the ones in which you are having the best success should get more of your attention.
If you’re intent on taking advantage of the additional profits that multi-tabling can provide, it would be wise to keep records of your success ratio while splitting your attention among several tables. If you find your focus and profits to be not so good at, say, ten tables, but are in a groove and turning a tidy profit at six tables, then you know your limits.
Find Your Sweet Spot
It’s important to find your “sweet spot” when multi-tabling. In other words, how many tables can you play successfully and maximize your profit margin. All players are different. Remember, too, that there is nothing wrong with you if you find only a handful of tables to be best in order to keep your attention on all tables at a high level.
Even though you may hear of other players playing 12 or 16 tourneys at once, you have to find the number of tables that works best for you.
Multi-tabling tournaments can be extremely advantageous when it comes to maximizing profits. It can also minimize boredom while waiting for hands to be dealt or other players to act. Bored players sometimes crave more action and widen their usual range of starting hands, which often results in losing poker.
So multi-tabling can be beneficial in that regard. If you haven’t tried multi-tabling online, perhaps it’s time to give it a try. Start with a few tables and see how the action flows before adding more tables to your repertoire. Multi-tabling is not for all players and everybody. But if you’re looking to maximize profits and one table tends to bore you, then it may be time to become a multi-tabler.
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