Most online poker sites offer a variety of different types of poker tournament. The most popular is of course the MTT (Multi Table Tournaments) which do take a while but can be very profitable. As an alternative, there are Sit'N'Go tournaments which are smaller with a fixed number of players.. With the development in poker over the past few years you can now play MTT Sit'N'Go's, however traditionally, the have always been 6 handed or 9 or 10 handed. The concept is simple - you buy in for a set amount and in return you get a set number of chips, usually 1500 however this does vary depending on the site / home game. It is common for the top 3 to get paid.
The internet has vastly increased our ability to not just play in quick time, but to play up to 24 tables at once - something that is not possible in a live environment. How many is the right number of tables to play at once? Well, it does vary between player and there are many different factors to consider. It is sensible to try out playing 2 and see what your win rate is, then increase to 3 and so on until you find that you are not being any more profitable playing any more (saturation point). Some of the best online players successfully play 24 tables at one, but i wouldn't recommend anywhere near this number until you have some time under your belt and a track record with fewer tables!
There are a number of considerations you need to take before considering playing many tables at once. These are more geared to protect you as in playing more tables, whilst your win rate can increase, you have the chance to loose much more money, and fast. You should not try multi-tabling if:
- You have a short attention span - you need to be eagle eyed when playing many tables as your time is naturally cut down on each table.
- You are impatient - this is a given in poker and all good poker players are patient and choose their moments wisely.
- You are losing when playing single tables - if you are not winning playing one table, you need to understand what you are doing wrong before multiplying the issue across many tables, as you will likely only increase your losses.
- You don't have the bankroll to accommodate - don't play above your means, on one table or many. In playing multiple tables you will need a bigger bankroll. As a rule, if you play 5 tables and they each cost $10, you should have no less than a $500 bankroll. Don't commit any more than 10% at any one time.
- You go on tilt easily - again if you tilt easily your losses will be amplified if you go on tilt across 5 tables.
Amongst the many pitfalls that exits in online multi-tabling, there are many advantages.
The average table deals between 50-60 hands every hour. This can sometimes help with impatience. If you play 5 tables at once, you could see anywhere up to 300 hands an hour which will keep you in the thick of the action.
There is a famous saying, 'Time is Money'. If you play a singular table, at an average of 50 hands per hour, it would take you 20 hours to see 1000 hands. Playing 5 tables simultaneously, you can achieve this in 4 hours, so provided you are not playing at a level or number of tables that impedes your game, this can be significantly more profitable and a far reduced time span.
Playing more tables will get you through the tough times much faster (they will be less noticed) and as a consequence will invariantly lower your variance through playing more tables and hands per hour.
You need to be able to maintain concentration when your focus is divided or you will be lost. If you are playing more than one type of tournament, say a no limit Hold'em tournament, a limit Hold'em tournament, and an Omaha hi lo tournament all at once, it's easy to get confused and make mistakes if you're not highly focused. Here are some of the setbacks that are regularly experienced through multi-tabling:
As you are playing more tables, you will require more money to play - in essence requiring you to have a larger bankroll (again - remember the 10% rule). Through playing more games simultaneously, you will experience larger swings and your bankroll needs to be able to absorb these swings.
You will have far less decision time on each hand, and the same goes for getting over your bad beats. When playing online, the hands will be coming fast so it is important to test the waters and record your return on investment (ROI).
It goes without saying that if you play 1000 hands per hour compared to 50 hands per hour, you are going to get far more bad beats. This can have a negative effect on your play so you need to be sure that you can handle these beats and not let it affect your play. If you find that you easily go on tilt, maybe this isn't for you as you will hit far more than playing a singular table.
It is now up to you to do a little research and possible test the water a little to see how you perform. Remember it is key to stay profitable. Just because you crush the $2/$4 limit games doesn't mean you will when you play 10 tables. You can reduce your limits playing 10 tables and still earn the same in less time.
If you are ready to get into the action and are yet to decide which poker site to play on - visit our poker toplists, where we compare most reputable online poker sites by a host of different factors.
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