Online poker is a unique form of poker due to the ability to play more than one table and game at once. In live poker, you might be lucky to get 20 hands an hour. At just one full ring 9 man table online you can get anywhere from 60-70 hands an hour on average. The ability to play more than one of these tables can net you astronomical hand volume in a short time frame. My usual session will last anywhere from 2-4 hours and I can get in over 1000 hands an hour when I am 24 tabling simultaneously. I play 6 tables of Rush Poker which is the equivalent of playing 24 regular cash games when calculating hands per hour averages. Rush poker gives you a quick fold option which folds your hand and automatically puts you in a new hand without having to watch the rest of the last hand. This leads to seeing 4x as many hands each hour which for a good profitable player is the perfect scenario, inhumane amount of hands in a very short time frame. It would take 75 hours in a casino to get as many hands in as I do online in a single hour. Each of the six rush tables get me 250 hands an hour, which is a total of 1500 in one hour. This article will touch on the many aspects of playing more than one table and how to do it while showing a profit.
Before You Decide To Open More Than One Table:
There are a lot of factors you need to consider before you being multi-tabling. If your not a statistically proven winning player it doesn’t make sense to open more than one table. You will be putting yourself in a position to lose money even faster. I suggest playing 1 table at stakes within your bankroll requirements and tracking 10,000 hands. If you show a profit after these 10,000 hands you can consider opening up more tables. Opening more tables creates a higher level of variance which will result in bigger bankroll swings for the good and the bad. For this reason, you want to have at least 20-30 buy-ins for the stakes you are playing. Once you have the bankroll requirements and a good solid win rate of 2-3bb/hr (big-blinds per hour) you can experiment with more tables.
Playing More Than One Table:
If you are able to beat your preferred stakes at one table, playing one or a few more tables at one time should not be too difficult. You will have plenty of time to make decisions in very marginal situations when only playing a few more tables. Many online poker sites offer a time bank which you can use to extend the amount of time you have to make a decision. Playing more than one table in effect can multiply your win rate. For example, if you are winning $10 an hr at $1/$2NL you can easily win $10 an hour on more tables as there is not much of a learning curve in multi-tabling for already statistically proven winning players. There comes a point where your hourly rate will decline as you add more tables. This actually isn’t a bad thing. For example if you are winning the same $10 an hr at $1/2NL on one table, you might only be able to make $8 an hour playing 6 tables. If you multiply that $8 by 6, you are winning $48 an hour. A 480% increase in profits per hour. There will come a point where that win rate will decline to a point where it doesn’t make sense to add more tables. Once the amount of tables reaches a point where adding another table will not increase you hourly rate, there is no reason to open up more tables. To figure out this point, you have to use a tracking program like PokerTracker to figure out your hourly win rate at different amount of tables. It will take a lot of hands and time to determine where your true long term win rate stands.
Important Factors to Consider:
Poker is not a robotic game. If you play poker like a robot, you stunt your poker growth and leave money that could be won on the table. Many people fall into the trap of going on autopilot when playing a lot of tables. They make the same decisions every time in similar spots and don’t analyze situations as much as they could. I would not consider playing multiple tables without a good HUD (Heads-Up Display). A HUD is part of PokerTracker’s software which displays all of an opponents stats in real-time right on the table you are playing at.
More Hands, More Action
I can look at how many times an opponent raises pre-flop, folds to a re-raise pre-flop, folds his big blind to a raise and almost every other stat imaginable. I can see the percentages of their moves in early, middle and late position and also how they act on the flop, turn and river. A lot decisions pre-flop are automatic, when you first start multi-tabling, playing tight and folding a lot pre-flop is the way to go. Once you are comfortable with your game you can incorporate a lot of aggressive plays pre-flop to exploit opponents. For example, in Rush Poker I like to re-raise a lot in position pre-flop against a standard opening bet. I due this against weak opponents who have a high fold to 3bet percentage pre-flop. I can pick up a lot of pots right there because many opponents don’t want to make tough decisions, and the quick fold button will get them a new hand immediately. A lot of the big winners in Rush Poker play this style and when in hands where I feel an opponent is making that move on me, I might throw out a re-re-raise (4bet) to counter his play. I like to have big sample size on these opponents and will only make this move if their 3bet pre-flop percentage is relatively high (over 7%), and their fold to pre-flop 4bet is over (60%). Every decision is unique and there are many variable in every hand but these are my standard percentages needed to make these aggressive plays with marginal holdings.
Dealing with Losing and Tilt:
Durrrr Keeps Opponents On Tilt
If you have ever played poker, you will inevitable have to lose hands and sessions. Everyone loses, its that simple. You could be the greatest player in the world and get an unlucky river card that costs you your entire stack. What separates good players from bad players is the ability to stay off tilt. Tilt is the biggest bankroll killer in the world. Tilt comes in many different shapes and forms and can be devastating if not dealt with properly. Many people go on tilt and don’t even realize it. They start making bad calls, stupid raises and the tilt will magnify the longer they stay in the games. Good players avoid tilt completely. I think I am almost completely tilt-proof at this point in my career. I have seen every bad beat possible and results don’t really effect my emotional state anymore. Luck plays a huge factor in poker and many days I play great and get unlucky and lose and there are days where I don’t play as good, get lucky, and win. This is what keeps poker interesting and the fish in the games.
The element of luck creates a thrill for many average players who play just for the rush of gambling. In the long run, these players will be donating money to the better players at the tables. It takes a while to put aside the value of money and the emotions attached to this money. For this reason, I like to play smaller stakes than most with my bankroll that way I can deal with the swings a lot easier. At this point, emotionally I will feel the same way if I have a big winning day or big losing day. I don’t really get caught up on the results, I like to rehash tough hands and spots after each session to re-evaluate my play and continue the learning process. If poker is affecting you emotionally, take a break and leave the game. Don’t even think about it, go do something else you enjoy. The game will always be there when you are ready to return.