Multi-Tabling Texas Holdem

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Do you multi-table when you are online? It doesn’t matter whether you are playing a Texas Holdem poker tournament or cash game multi-tabling is as popular as ever. With so many technological advances I with the new monitors and video cards playing multiple tables is a way to potentially increase your profit margin if you are a cash game player. Tom Dwan is probably one of the most popular multi-table poker players around today. Hevad Khan was banned for multi-tabling 64 tables at once until he sent them film of him actually doing it. Initially the poker room he was playing in thought he was a bot. In any event if you play online poker then you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to play as many tables as you care to.

Why Multi-Table?

The main argument for multi-tabling is that it increases your profit margin by increasing the number of hands you see per hour. So, assuming that you are an above average poker player, the more hands you see and play correctly the better your chances of increasing your hourly profit by adding additional tables. Of course none of that changes how variance affects the game or table you are playing at that point in time. In other words there is no guarantee that you are going to rake in huge profits just because you are playing several tables at once. If you keep track of the online poker pros you will notice that they can have some very radical swings. This is particularly true in Omaha.

Another reason strikes me as a bit strange in that many poker players seem to be bored played one table. Professional poker players and amateur poker players alike have admitted to being bored when they play poker. How that is possible is beyond my understanding but perhaps it is just the makeup of some player’s personality. I tend to have the patience of Job in most any endeavor I take on. I don’t live my life at 100 miles per hour intentionally so that I can enjoy the experiences that come my way daily. However, the game of poker, particularly online poker attracts a player type that can be very impatient even when playing live poker tournaments.

Fighting off boredom is not very difficult to do when you think about it. Considering that we all must constantly profile our opponents, track showdowns, monitor betting patterns and the like there is no reason for any poker player to be bored. Online poker moves even faster and makes it easier to monitor these things. Ultimately, it all depends on what kind of makeup you have I suppose.

The Down Side

The down side to multi-tabling is the fact that most of us cannot keep track of and focused on more than 3 to 4 tables at a time. Why? Because once you have more tables open than you can see at one time on your monitor you do not have the time to watch the action at those tables. Now you are reduced to simply playing the hands you are deal. There is a caveat to this scenario and that is if you happen to be a Limit Hold’em player. Limit Hold’em tends to lend itself to multi-tabling because the betting patterns are fixed so the risk factor is minimized considerably even when you have only seconds to make you bet or fold the hand.

Another problem with multi-tabling is that you cut down your reaction time. Imagine having 20 to 30 tables opened with 60 seconds to respond to each hand. By the time you should be acting in the hand you very likely will be down to only a few seconds. That is not nearly enough time to even quickly think through the action and where you fit in.

Clearly multi-tabling can and is done successfully every single day of the week. You just need to be smart about how you go about doing it. If you want to try multi-table don’t try to fire up 10 tables at once. Start out with two or three tables and get a feel for what is comfortable for you. Some players may be OK playing 10 tables at a time while others may be more comfortable with no more than 6. Only you know when you skill level begins to deteriorate. Once this begins to happen you need to acknowledge it and cut down the number of tables you play. It seems simple but I know players that consistently lose multi-tabling but continue to do so.

Be smart and know your own limitations.

Curtis Mayfield III