Multi-Tabling in Poker
An MTT (Multi-Table Tournament) is a scheduled online tournament that will start regardless of how many runners register (this is different to a multi-table Sit 'n Go which starts as soon as all seats are filled).
MTTs can run from 10-10,000 players and will follow a strict blind structure. Full details can be found in the tournament lobby, including details of blinds and rebuys (if any); study it before you play just so you're clear on the payout system and how the blinds increase later on.
Most MTTs just pay out straight cash, but others give players the chance to win major live event packages or holidays.
Making more money in online poker is essentially down to two factors: time and volume.
The more hands you can play in a single session, the more money you can (in theory) make. Assuming you're a skilled player with an understanding of basic poker strategy, it stands to reason that the time you can put in the more money you'll get out of it.
Fortunately, the online poker world is perfectly pitched for players to increase their volume. Multi-tabling is the process of playing more than one game at a time. However, adding more tables doesn't necessarily equate to more money unless you know what you're doing. Multi-tabling is a poker skill just like any other and if you try to run before you can walk you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.
Choosing Your Levels
The first thing you need to do if you're trying to increase the number of tables you have active is drop down a level. If you're used to playing two tables of $1/$2, drop down a level and play four tables of $0.50/$1.
The result of playing more tables is that you'll be confronted with more situations and it takes time to develop the mental thought process needed to tackle these decisions.
Once you start adding new tables, the next thing rule you need to follow is: go slow. Just add one at a time. We recommend four sessions at each level before adding a new table.
On top of that, it's important to reflect on your sessions when they're over. Make sure you felt comfortable throughout and that weren't completely unprepared for situations that resulted in you getting outplayed.
Improving Your Hardware
Eventually, once you're on your way to playing a large number of tables, you'll probably need to invest in a decent computer set-up.
Being comfortable is incredibly important, so get a high-quality, ergonomic office chair to make you sessions more comfortable.
Additionally, purchase a second monitor. A dual monitor set-up is really important as it allows you to spread your tables and keep them at a visible aspect ratio. Also, you can be inclined to play for longer, putting in more hours if you're comfortable.
The Dangers of Multi-Tabling
Now you've got some idea of how to increase the number of tables you play, the next thing to point out is some of the dangers.
The first danger with multi-tabling is that it's difficult to do and that it's not for everyone. It takes a unique person to be able to think quickly on what to do if they need to flat-call a button raise with aces against an aggressive early-position player who's 3-bet with 100bb on one table, while at another table deciding whether or not to 3-bet a LP opener with 5-5.
There's a lot of game flow to be considered in both decisions, but it's difficult to follow each and every hand in detail when you're playing 1,000 hands per hour.
Here's a good tip: after a session, go back and look at your biggest hands of the session. A brief recap will show if you are making any big mistakes. Did you lose money during the session because you just lost a few key flips or was it because you made a few bad decisions while trying to do too much?
The more decisions you have to make, the more stressful it can become and this will often lead to tilt. If the amount of information you're having to process is getting too much, then cut down the amount of tables you're playing. Poker is all about making optimal decisions and you can't do that if you're stressed.
Another danger with multi-tabling is the cost. Every time you add a new game you increase the amount of money you're risking.
If you're thinking about adding more tables, make sure your bankroll is big enough to cover it. Your overall buy-in should be consistent with your bankroll, so don't ignore this if you're thinking about multi-tabling.
On top of increasing the amount it costs for you to buy into your games, the effects of a downswing will also be increased when you play more than one table. A bad run of luck will be magnified massively when you multi-table, so you have to make sure that your bankroll is robust enough to endure a tough session.
If it's not, then either scale back the number of tables you're playing or dropping down a level or two. Either way, you have to keep an eye on the money you're spending when you multi-table.
More Tables = More Cash
Although there are pitfalls when it comes to multi-tabling, it can be a hugely profitable endeavor if you can employ a solid winning strategy.
As long as you remember to start off slowly and not put yourself under too much pressure, there's a lot of value in playing more than one table at a time.
The most important thing to remember is to ensure you can master a couple of tables at once. If you can't focus on ALL the action at BOTH tables, don't bother adding a third. And the same goes for three tables moving up to four, and so on.
But for those looking to trigger a juicy bonus at that swanky new poker site, multi-tabling is essential to earn some much-needed rakeback.