Is Multi-Tabling a Viable Way To Play Poker Online?


Is Multi-Tabling a Viable Way To Play Poker Online?


Aerial view of a person playing online poker on a tablet with chips next to them.

Is Multi-Tabling a Viable Way To Play Poker Online?


Aerial view of a person playing online poker on a tablet with chips next to them.

One of the great things about playing poker online is that you can do things that were impossible before the internet — multi-tabling being one example. Although they maintain the same premise and fundamentals, the dynamics of online casino games can be slightly different from the in-person variation. For starters, it’s physically impossible to play at more than one in-person poker table at a time, but it’s easy in online poker. Simply open a new window on your poker client and there you go.

Some players swear by multi-tabling, while others avoid it entirely, claiming that it prevents them from playing at their best. Multi-tabling definitely comes with both advantages and disadvantages, some of which we explore in detail here. Read our guide to multi-tabling to decide if it’s a suitable online poker strategy for you.

What Is Multi-Tabling in Online Poker?

Multi-tabling is the practice of simultaneously playing more than one poker table on your client. You’re officially multi-tabling if you can keep up with the action on two different tables and make decisions without timing out. Experienced multi-table players will take on more than two tables, with the best online poker players switching between 24 tables. It takes much practice to achieve the focus required to make so many consecutive decisions.

The Pros of Multi-Tabling

What are the advantages of multi-tabling? For many players, it’s mainly about the opportunity to make more money. Imagine that a player has been winning 10¢/25¢ games consistently. Those stakes may seem too low for anything more than recreational gaming, but what if the player could multiply their hourly win rate? The more efficient use of time is perhaps one of the main drawcards of multi-tabling; it’s about getting the most possible value from time spent. 

Multi-tabling offers the opportunity to increase your hourly earning potential and overall daily winnings, which makes small stakes potentially much more profitable. The same logic applies to playing multiple online poker tournaments. If you’re playing multiple tournaments at once and you maintain the same standard of play across them, you stand a better chance of making the final table of at least one of them. This is also one of the main differences between cash games and poker tournaments. While the former leaves very little to no room for increasing your hourly earning potential, the latter has no limits! It’s all about your mental fortitude and ability to multitask.

Another benefit of multi-tabling is that it can be more entertaining than playing one game at a time. With the internet, many people have gotten used to playing fast, so they get bored if they have to wait between hands. They may even be tempted to play more loosely just to get some action going (even if that’s potentially to their detriment.) Multi-tabling solves this problem.

The Cons of Multi-Tabling

A man plays online poker on a laptop from his couch.

The greatest strength of multi-tabling is also its greatest weakness. Is it really possible to maintain the same standard of play across multiple tables? In practice, even the best online poker players will experience a deterioration in the quality of their play. It simply isn’t possible to apply the same standard of analysis when you have to keep track of 24 Texas Hold’em poker games and make potentially critical decisions in all of them.

You can’t reasonably expect to multiply your hourly win rate by the number of tables you’re playing at. That said, even though there will be an incremental dropping off, you should make more money overall if you strike the right balance between playing as many tables as possible and maintaining a decent hourly win rate.

Another vital thing to remember is that multi-tabling can prove very expensive (just imagine all the blinds you’ll need to put down!) You’ll need to set a spending limit for your gambling session before you even begin, or you may give yourself a nasty shock when you “come up for air.”

Before committing to multi-tabling and playing several poker games online at once, another key consideration is your ability to split your attention. With single poker online games, you can gather all the information you need on your opponents because that’s your sole focus. But when you’re multi-tabling, your attention is split between different games and multiple opponents. As a result, you may not be able to take notice of your opponents’ tells. Essentially, you may struggle to gain the upper hand or identify bluffs in multiple games if you’re not skilled enough to do so.

General Tips for Multi-Tabling

If you’re still learning how to play poker or you’re new to playing live poker online, the best multi-tabling advice is: don’t do it, or you could lose your bankroll very quickly. Push this maxim to the back of your repertoire of basic poker tips and strategies until you’re confident that you can hold your own at a single table. After gaining experience and know-how, you can try playing two tables. If that doesn’t throw you, keep adding tables one by one until you reach your personal limit.

At the same time, you should seek to apply an optimal multi-tabling strategy. For most players, this means playing what is known as ABC poker. Bet your strong hands, fold your weak hands and don’t try anything too fancy — you won’t have enough time to finesse things. And don’t waste time trying to analyze your opponents’ actions. If you play a solid game of ABC poker, the statistics should favor you and you’ll hopefully win more than you lose.

Table selection is also essential. If you’re playing at a table that’s too loose or tight for your taste (or your opponent turns out to be a loose-aggressive savage,) just walk away. Multi-tabling is about trying to outplay the majority of players on average over time. It’s not about being drawn into costly shoot-outs. There are always many more tables to choose from.

Multi-Tabling Poker Tournament Tips

An online poker game on a mobile phone, resting on a real poker table.

One of the most significant differences between online and offline poker tournaments is that, with the latter, you can play multiple sit-and-go tournaments simultaneously. General multi-tabling tips apply, as well as a few tournament-specific ones.

The first is simply to fold all marginal hands in the early phase of a tournament. Remember that only 18% of the starting hands in a Texas Hold’em poker game is profitable; nursing a marginal hand simply demands too much attention, especially after the flop.

Speaking of focus, it’s a good idea to eliminate all distractions when you’re multi-tabling. Switch off the TV, put away your phone, turn off the live chat and devote your attention to the games in your orbit. For some people, poker is a recreational activity or a chance to socialize and mingle with friends. The same can be said for games such as bingo. If this applies to you, you may have to choose between the two if you’re looking to get ahead. Because multi-tabling requires you to focus and reduce distractions, friends can split your attention and ruin your chance of winning at one of your multiple games.

If you’re serious about playing poker in this way, you’ll want to invest in some equipment. A second desktop monitor is a great help when trying to keep track of multiple tables. A poker tracker with a heads-up display ( HUD) that shows your opponents’ live statistics is even better. This invaluable tool provides instant insight into the players you’re up against, which helps with those rapid multi-tabling decisions.

Multiply Your Poker Options at Borgata Online

Looking to play real live poker online? Borgata Online has the best in online Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Seven-Card Stud, both with and without pot limits. We have daily and weekly cash games, sit-and-gos and multi-table tournaments suitable for every player, from novice to pro.

And don’t worry if it’s your first time — you’ll find all the poker tournament rules on our website. As a member, you’ll also have full access to our online casino with its broad range of slots, casino table games and live dealer casino games

Register to enter the captivating world of our online casino.