One of online poker’s biggest advantages over cardroom poker is the ability to play multiple tables at once. Try running between tables in a casino without winding yourself and annoying the other players. Almost all online poker sites allow you to play at more than one table and/or tournament simultaneously, or you can open up multiple programs if you have money at more than one site. This serves to both gratify the impatient player’s need for constant action as well as the consistent winning player’s desire to increase his hourly win rate. However, before you dive into “multi-tabling” you should follow some simple guidelines to ensure that you play well despite dividing up your attention.
Firstly, and most importantly, is that you should probably employ a consistent and otherwise boring game strategy. If you like to open 3 or 4 windows at a time like I do, you won’t have much time for complicated moves and brilliant tactical plans. For starters, you won’t really be able to study the opponents at your table so you can’t make many adjustments based on their playing styles. While playing multiple tables, you’ll mostly have to play your position and your cards. To stay focused, play in a consistent pattern and play usually play certain hands the same way. Fold your weaker and more speculative hands to save yourself difficult decisions on the flop. Players are much loose and less observant online (they’re probably playing multiple tables like you!) so you don’t have to worry about giving much of your strategy away.
My next piece of advice, and it should go without saying, is that you should pay attention to the table with the biggest monetary incentive. While that may seem obvious, sometimes I’ll open up a $1 Sit ‘n Go on the side to keep myself occupied in between hands at $2/4 No-Limit Hold’em table. The most that I can win at the SnG is a few bucks, yet I’ll sometimes find myself paying more attention to it when it gets down to the especially competitive stages. What I should be doing is paying attention to my main table, which can pocket me a few hundred dollars in a good session. If you play multiple tables, keep your attention where the money is or get out of the cheap game. If you are playing at tables of equal stakes, be sure to also divide your attention equally.
Finally, don’t overlook the technical aspects of multi-tabling. While some sites are beginning to offer options to tile tables, most still do not and that won’t help you if you’re playing on multiple sites. You want to arrange the tables on the screen so that the action buttons from different tables don’t overlap. It can be extremely frustrating (and costly) to try to click “Fold” and one table and have another table pop up at the last second, making you hit “Raise” on your 7-2 offsuit there instead. Turn up the resolution on your monitor to give more screen space to tables. If you’re serious about online poker, you might invest in a larger monitor and/or video card that can fit more onto one screen. You should also take advantage of the act-ahead “Fold” button to both speed up the game and save your attention for more pressing hands. Playing multiple tables can certainly be profitable for the winning online poker player – just be sure to do it right in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes.