Here’s a short clip of me playing 8-tables of Zoom Poker, averaging approximately 1300 hands per hour.
Multi-tabling comes with many advantages and disadvantages. Benefits include being able to amass a higher volume (more practice = greater proficiency within a shorter timespan), preventing unnecessary boredom which may result in loose, sub-optimal plays (recreational players who play a single table tend to play way looser than they should), and earning more cash bonuses. Some drawbacks of multi-tabling include auto-piloting whereby the player has less time to think through each decision carefully, and timing out. The aim of this article is not to convince you of which is the superior option, but rather to provide some quick tips on how to boost your multi-tabling capabilities.
1. Play Tighter Preflop
Using a tighter preflop strategy reduces the amount of decision points that one has to make. Tighter preflop styles could also help reduce variance by reducing marginal decisions. Do note that it’s unadvisable to play overly tight and sacrifice profit just for the sake of being able to maintain a high volume. Personally, I was accustomed to the mass 24-tabling style within the first month of my career, simply because I was using an extremely nitty beginner’s full-ring strategy which only required me to play 9% of my starting hands preflop. Now I’m not recommending for you to do the same, but tightening up slightly could be a decent starting point for being able to focus on playing more tables at once.
2. Automate Decisions
The automation of decisions in poker is often portrayed in a negative light. “Ooh that guy is always on auto-pilot, he’s a brainless grinder who’s just randomly clicking buttons.” What I actually mean is that it is your job to put in more work off the tables.
Design a useful HUD for your tracking software so that important stats are readily available. Create different preflop ranges based on various player types in various positions. Come up with well-balanced default lines for Flop, Turn and River play while doing post-session reviews. Most of your common decisions should be easily answered with default lines you can take.
Example 1: Should I open Q2o from the BU?
I look at the positional 3-bet % of both blinds vs the button. If the sum of both numbers exceed 30, I would fold this. This default strategy has already been pre-planned outside the game and I don’t need to waste time pondering over this trivial decision in-game.
Example 2: What is my preflop strategy like in a Blind Battle
I have pre-determined strategies based on the opening range and raise size of the player in the SB. For example, against a player opening 50% with a 3BB open, I would be 3-betting hands like Q6-Q2o. But against a player opening 60% with a 3BB open, or 50% with a 2BB open, I would be flatting all those hands instead.
3. Effective Note-taking
While recording detailed hand histories in player notes could make more sense for a player playing 4-tables, it is extremely important for a mass multi-tabling grinder to master the art of writing short and concise notes.
Example 3: Concise vs Detailed
Our opponent is a passive player. Let’s say that our opponent check/calls 6s7s on a 6c 5c Ad 3c 2d on the Flop. The Turn is checked through and he leads pot on the River.
Detailed note: BBvBU call 67s, A65s3s2 c/c F and pot R
Concise note: TWMHIB (turns weak made hand into bluff)
While the first note tells me a lot more and could be more useful in a situation where I was only playing a single table and had all the time in the world to read every single note about each player, the second note is much easier to process instantaneously. I find myself often having insufficient time to even look at the player notes, let alone slowly digest and process that huge amount of information contained in that single hand history.
I must admit that I’m still guilty of making overly detailed notes but I have tried to stray away from that and have come up with some of my own abbreviations and short-forms in my notes to increase my multi-tabling efficiency.
4. Play Zoom instead of Regular tables
I find Zoom much more appealing than Regular tables. The average player plays around 250 hands per hour at a Zoom table, compared to 80 hands per hour at a regular table. This means that the average Zoom table is the equivalent of 3 Regular tables. Zoom games offer numerous advantages.
Firstly, it is significantly easier to start/stop sessions while playing Zoom as opposed to Regular tables. It takes 30 seconds for me to start an 8-table Zoom session and around 3 min to finish playing on all my tables. In comparison, it takes at least 10-20 min to get all 24 tables opened and running for Regular tables, and at least 5-10 min to close all of them.
Secondly, it is much easier to focus on 8 tables than 24 tables. When you 8-table, you rarely have to make more than 3-4 important decisions at the same time. When you 24-table, it’s not rare for you to be facing at least 6-7 tough decisions at the same time.
The advantages arising from playing Regular tables (being able to keep track of frequencies and dynamics more closely) is lost when you 24-table anyway, so I do not really see any real advantage in playing Regular ring games if you do intend to play more than 10 tables.
5. Use Hotkeys
Hotkeys will help you to increase your actions-per-minute, enabling you to act faster, and play more hands. There are some 3rd party programs out there like Table Ninja, but Pokerstars has already enabled Hotkeys in its software so those are no longer needed.
6. Buy a larger monitor, or add a second one
This will allow you to tile your tables, enabling you to monitor the action at each table more closely. If you’re playing Zoom, this allows you to fast-fold your junk hands more quickly as well. Playing with a small screen forces you to cascade or stack your tables, making multi-tabling less efficient.