Multi-Tabling to Boost Profitability

Players who multi-table play multiple tables at the same time when playing online poker. Of course you need to be profitable playing at a single table, otherwise all you will do it drain your bankroll at a faster rate. Assuming that you are profitable at the stakes you are playing at on a single table, then you can potentially make more multi-tabling.

Multi-Tabling on PokerStarsAt first glance it seems reasonable enough.  If you make $5 an hour playing one table, then you should make $20 an hour playing four.  The flaw in this logic becomes obvious when you add more tables and track your overall profit over time.  Sadly playing 20 tables simultaneously isn't going to net $100 profit. It's not that linear!

The challenge with multi-tabling is that your focus is divided across all the tables you are playing. You will be paying far less attention to the players. You will pick up less information. You are likely to be mis-clicking far more. You have also have a lot less time to make the right decisions. All these factors impact your overall profitability. As such, adding more tables will increase your profitability, to a point.

If you make $5 an hour playing one table, you’ll probably make closer around the $12 mark an hour playing on three ($4/hr x 3 tables = $12).  The more tables you add, the less you’ll make on each table.  Eventually you’ll add tables to the point that you’re losing money on all tables. This phenomenon is known as the law of diminishing returns!

The trick to multi-tabling is to find the sweet spot – the point when you achieve maximum profitability.  Here’s an example of a players results after several months of multi-tabling different numbers of tables:

1 table @ $5 per table per hour = $5/hour.
2 tables @ $4.50 per table per hour = $9/hour.
3 tables @ $4 per table per hour = $12/ hour.
4 tables @ $3 per table per hour = $12/hour.
5 tables @ $1.50 per table per hour = $7.50/hour.

These results suggest that this player should play no more than 3 tables at a time.  The player could play 4-table but he would make the same amount of money as 3. Why put in the extra work for no rewards?

Another reason playing multiple tables becomes exponentially more difficult when tables are added is because it’s difficult (if not impossible) to track the playing styles of that many player at once.  Tracking software can help, but you’ll still have to deal with the stress of making split second decisions while five different tables flash on your screen and beep for your attention.  You’re bound to make more mistakes which impacts profitability in a big way.

Is Multi Tabling for me?

Possibly. Sadly there is no one rule that fits all. Everyone is different. Some players can cope with 20+ tables whilst others struggle with 2 or 3. The only way to work out what works for you is to do some testing across a sustained period of time. You are not going to get to the answer over a few sessions. It's very possible to play great poker across a number of sessions, get unlucky, and come out a loser. This wouldn't be a result of the number of tables. Variance is going to cause short term swings. We need to track results for long enough so as to know what is variance and what is down to table count.

Other Benefits of Playing Multiple Tables

Another benefit of playing more than one table at the same time is that you get through considerably more hands per hour. It also keeps boredom to a minimum, which means we are likely not to start playing weak hands, which impacts our profitability. In playing considerably more hands per hour, we will see more premium hands. Whilst there is the rake to also consider, we have the benefits of player rewards through the build up of player points.

Most reputable sites have a VIP program which rewards players as they play. This is usually in the form of player points which can be cashed in for cash or tournament entries. These points build up considerably faster when we are playing multiple tables. If you choose a site that offers rake back - the rewards can be even more.

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