The Tsunami

Strategize. Optimize. Pulverize.


The Three Keys to Effective Multitabling

Multitabling is essential if you’re looking to maximize your profits as an online poker player. Here are the three keys to effective multitabling:

1.) Don’t play N tables unless you can play N - 1 tables well

2.) Don’t waste time watching the outcome of hands when you’re all-in

3.) Take advantage of third party software

Don’t Play N Tables Unless You Can Play N-1 Tables Well

Multitabling requires decisions that are both quick and strategically sound. Do you have reflexes like this guy:

If so, they mean jack and shit if your strategy is fundamentally flawed. More hands per hour when you’re playing hands incorrectly means more money lost per hour. Meanwhile, having a Ph.D. in poker strategy doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be the next Nanonoko. If it takes you an average of 10 seconds to make a decision, there’s going to a be substantial limitation on how many hands you can play per hour. However, having a Ph.D. in poker strategy is the necessary foundation for multitabling. Master strategy first. Then worry about testing your mental and physical reflexes.

When pushing your limits, just remember this: don’t play 2 tables unless you can play 1 table well. Don’t play 3 tables unless you can play 2 tables well. Don’t play N tables unless you can play N – 1 tables well. If your decisions feel rushed and you can point out hands that you would have played differently if you had more time to act, then you’re playing too many tables for your own good. Meanwhile, if you have ample time to make decisions and you feel like there’s too much dead time between hands, then it’s probably time to add a table.

(It should be noted that one unique way of increasing your multitabling skills is to take advantage of play money tables. For example, if you normally play 4 real money tables, try 8-tabling play money tables for 15 minutes before starting your session. This exercise is a risk-free way to decrease your time per action.)

Don’t Waste Time Watching Cards Get Dealt When You’re All-in

You’re all-in, meaning that there’s no future action to be had in the hand. Do take the effort to see what hand your opponent has. Don’t waste precious seconds watching the remaining cards fall. Not paying attention to what happens can be a very tough habit to break – particularly if you tile your tables like I do. However, there’s simply no point in devoting mental energy to something that you have no control over. The time you free up by not watching board cards fall can help you add more tables and/or allow you more time per decision. (if you need some help with being process oriented rather than results oriented, listen to the first segment on the 1/7/2011 edition of Killer Poker Analysis)

Take Advantage of Third Party Software

Use Poker Tracker 3 or Hold’em Manager to keep track of your opponents’ stats, so you can make subtle exploitative adjustments to your fundamentally solid game plan. Also, use the HUD feature that displays known hole cards and the board from the last hand – this feature can assist you with getting key information about your opponents that you may have otherwise missed.

If you play on PokerStars or FullTilt, you should also use TableNinja, which allows you to set hotkeys, assign default bet amounts, automate actions such as buying into cash game tables, and much more. Customizing TableNinja to work for you might take an hour or so. However, the hour you invest in setting up TableNinja to your liking will reward you substantially by reducing not only your time per poker-playing action, but also the time you spend on random actions such as buying into cash games and closing verification pop-ups.

I’ve revealed the three keys to effective multitabling to you, but you’re not going to turn into a megatabling beast overnight. Only with patience and diligence will the door to a higher hourly win rate be unlocked. And always keep in mind that more tables doesn’t always mean more money. Sometimes, the best path to take is to play fewer tables at higher stakes.

May Your EV Always be Positive!

The Tsunami



2 Responses to “The Three Keys to Effective Multitabling”

  1. SuperShove says:

    What about this Poker-Edge ? I keep getting ads about it and they say they have millions of hands tracked that you do not have to have been at the table for.

    Will check back, thanks.

    You are awesome Tony !!!!!!!!!!

  2. Note that you’ll be in violation of many sites’ terms of service if you use mined hand histories (for example, Poker Edge is on the PokerStars list of prohibited software). If you really want to go down that road, you don’t want to use an identifiable piece of software like Poker Edge. Instead, you’d want to use a service like HH Smithey that provides text hand histories that you can import into PT3 or Hold’em Manager (which are allowed pieces of software on most – but not all – sites).

    Poker sites realize that they have a bit of an unenforceable rule as a result of this, and the only way they can stop datamining is by being proactive in making mining technically difficult. For example, Full Tilt Poker recently seems to have effectively stymied Poker Table Ratings (PTR).

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