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Multi-Tabling Basic Tips

Published August 04, 2009 - RSS/XML Feed RSS
By Sean Gibson

For both tournament and cash game players, as soon as we play one single table well at an online poker room, we think to ourselves that if we were to add one more table that we could double the amount of money we would take in for the same amount of time played.  Since all major poker rooms support at least four tables of simultaneous play, and some of the major rooms such as PokerStars supporting up to 24, being able to properly multi-table is a very important skill to learn if a player is going to increase their hourly win-rate.

TECHNOLOGY

There will be some mandatory investments you will have to make into software packages that will make multi-tabling easier and more efficient to maximize your ability to profitably play at multiple tables.  Let's take a look at the core basics of what you might need.

Tracking Program - Either Holdem Manager or PokerTracker 3 will do, and you'll need to set up a basic HUD to help you get stats on each player.  Since your attention will be divided amongst many tables, the HUD serves as a shortcut on reads.  There are two great articles about using a HUD here at pokerhandreplays.com, the first is a HUD primer while the other article has more advanced tips on using a HUD.

Table Highlighter Script - When you have 6, 9 or even 12 tables open at once which you will able to do after a few months of adding tables to your sessions, you'll need a script or program that highlights the window of the table that requires your attention.  This will be a quick and obvious visual queue to act, as there are times when two or more tables will require your attention immediately, but you will not sure which one you should be at first.A good highlighter script is free for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.  If you are not familiar with AHK, it's a very easy process to setup and get rolling with, and suggest you check out this AHK FAQ.

BetPot Script - Typically another free AHK script, this little program will allow a player to automatically set bet amounts by programming particular mouse buttons.Usually they come pre-installed with set amounts, such as 3.5x the big blind when you right click on a table, and other appropriate amounts on various streets.  A good BetPot script is free for most sites, such as the aptly named BetPot Script which works on Full Tilt, PokerStars, iPoker and more.

Click Time Back Script - This one can be an absolute life saver.For sites that come with a time back that requires a click (specifically Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars), a script that automatically clicks the time bank can literally be the difference between winning a stack and folding the nuts.  Free AHK scripts for clicking time banks are free with StarsAssistant and Robin's Full Tilt Tools.

PSYCHOLOGY

Now that you've armed yourself to the teeth with the best programs and scripts that you could find that suit your needs, you're ready to start adding tables.  Most people start out by playing two tables at once to begin with, so that's a great place to experiment.  The worst thing you can do is jump from a number to a much bigger number because you'll simply overwhelm yourself and end up folding 99% of your hands.  The best thing to do is add just one more table and play at least four sessions (of one hour or more) with it.If you feel like you've got an absolute firm hand dealing with that new number, add one more.Keep adding a table, slowly but surely, and stay there until you are 100% comfortable and practically bored with that number of tables.  Don't be in such a rush to keep adding tables as you have to constantly ask yourself the question, "With this amount of tables can Istill 100% play my best game?"If the answer is no, then you need to drop a table until you can say yes.

BENEFITS

As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, the benefits to multi-tabling are pretty obvious. Play more tables, and you win more money during a session.  Let's say you play two tables regularly at 25nl ($0.10-$0.25 blinds) and your expected win-rate is 3BB/100.That equates to $1.50/100 hands, and if you play 200 hands per hour, your "pay" is $3/hour.  Now let's say you can play 8 tables of the same stakes and because you can 100% optimally play your game with 8 tables, your expected win-rate stays the same.  That $3/hour just turned into $12/hour.  Now imagine if you were playing for decent stakes!

SUMMARY

Even part time recreational players like the multi-table.  You should be looking into doing it as well.  Be sure you have the right tools to make it happen such as a good tracking program with a HUD and the right AHK scripts.  Only add one table at a time and give yourself at least four sessions to determine if you can 100% play your best game with that amount of tables.If you can definitely say yes, you can add one more and let the process continue.


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