The Multi-Tabling Guide for Poker Players

Learning how to multi table can be difficult. With every table that you add, you decrease the amount of time that you get to focus on any one individual situation. You’ll have to get better at reading situations and making decisions quickly, otherwise you’ll time out repeatedly, missing out on +EV spots.

This obviously isn’t the goal — making more money is. So what I’m going to do to help you is walk you through a beginner’s guide to multi-tabling in poker. Don’t worry though, there are some tips for advanced players too.

Starting Off Small When Adding Tables

A massive mistake when adding tables is to add too many at one time. All you’ll end up doing is overwhelming yourself.

Think of adding tables like weight lifting. If you bench 150lbs and are looking to add more weight, you don’t go and add 50lbs to the bar. That’d be stupid. It’s likely that you won’t be able to get the weight up in the first place and if you do, you’ll be lucky if you don’t hurt yourself.

Instead, what you do is add the weight gradually, 5 or 10lbs at a time. It’ll still be a challenge to get the bar in the air, but you’ll likely be able to, and without hurting yourself.

You should take the same approach when adding tables to your session. If you currently play 6 tables, then add 1 or 2.  Do this until you hit your max number of tables, either hourly or comfort level — or both.

Should You Stack or Tile Your Tables?

I’ve had students ask me whether they should stack or tile their tables. My answer? It’s up to you. I’ll share my experience though, and hopefully that will help you to make your decision.

When I first started to play online, I only played 4-6 tables at once. And I tiled them. I tiled my tables because I liked to see everything that was going on.

Little did I realize, trying to watch all of these tables at once was actually distracting me. It wasn’t possible for me to keep track of the action on all of my tables. My coach recommended that I try stacking my tables and I did — it made a night and day difference for me. I only saw 2 tables at once, which helped me to focus more. I also found that I had more time to think about spots and make better decisions. And there was no worries about missing my turn, as I had an auto hotkey program, which I’ll discuss in abit.

Find a Balance

I know a lot of players that try to play as many tables as they possibly can. They want to earn as much as they can per hour. While I understand this thinking, what I think many of these players fail to see is that more isn’t always better. It’s important to find a balance.

One thing to find a balance between is how many tables you play and your hourly rate. In other words, why would you play 40 tables at $.75 per game on average, if you can play 25 tables at $1.50 a game (assuming an hour per game)? It doesn’t make sense. You earn almost $7 more per hour more by playing fewer tables.

But do you know what the right balance for you is? It’s actually more time consuming than it is difficult. The best way to do it is to play as many tables as possible for a decent sample, like 1,000 or 2,000 games. Then play fewer tables (maybe half) for the same amount of games. Then figure out where you’re making the most money. From there you’ll start adding or removing tables until you find where you’re making the most money per game.

Another balance to find is the point where you stop playing poker and start going through the motions — playing robotically.

The problem with playing robotically is that you’re not making the best decisions, but are making ‘OK’ decisions. The difference is minimal if you look at it from the short term. But in the long run, making slightly better decisions due to playing poker vs. playing robotically will add up over time. A good example of this is shoving AK in a SNG verses playing a flop. For better players, it makes more sense to play a pot since we’ll have an edge. This means a higher ROI and less variance. However, the more tables you play, the more you’ll be shoving AK instead of playing a pot.

Invest in Tools

Certain poker tools are going to be helpful when multi-tabling. I suggest having two — a poker HUD and some sort of auto hotkey software.

A poker HUD will help you to keep track of the players at your table and what they do. Do they open a lot or are they tight? Maybe they 3-bet a lot and hardly ever steal blind verses blind. It’ll be difficult to know if you don’t use this software. But if you do, you can make decisions on the fly based on the stats given, which is especially helpful if you haven’t paid attention to a particular table. There are two programs that I recommend; Hold’em Manager and Poker Tracker.

The second program you should invest in is auto hotkey (AHK) software. What this will allow you to do is set each button on your keyboard or your mouse with an action, such as raise, shove, fold, call, bet, etc. This is much faster than trying to move your mouse and click buttons, and always having to enter a bet amount. The program I used is called Table Ninja, which will run you $50. There are free options too, such as AutoHotkey. Either way, just be sure to get one of these programs as it’ll make a night and day difference for most players when multi-tabling.