The Pros and Cons of Multi-Tabling Poker Cash Games
By Bob Garcia
There are a variety of ways to play online poker, but the most popular one remains cash games. Cash games are played with real money and allow players to sit down and leave at any time. One item that has come from online poker that was never possible before is the ability to “multi-table.”
Multi-tabling is the act of playing more than one table at a time and has both benefits and drawbacks. So, if it’s something you’ve been considering, make sure to continue reading and consider both the pros and cons before you begin.
Why you should multi-table poker cash games
One of the most obvious reasons to multi-table is that it can help increase your winnings. The more hands you play, the more money you can potentially win. Although it comes with certain dangers (more about those below), if you’re a winning player, multi-tabling has the potential to greatly increase your all-important hourly rate.
Higher Rakeback & Rewards
In addition to simply winning more money, multi-tabling also has the potential to increase your rakeback and rewards. Online poker sites often offer rewards programs that give players points for every hand they play. These points can then be redeemed for cash, prizes, or tournament entries. The more hands you play, the more points you earn and the more rewards you can get. This means that you can potentially play break-even poker (or even slightly losing poker!) and still come out ahead if you make use of your rewards program or first-deposit bonus.
This one is subjective, but for many players, multi-tabling simply means more fun. Poker is a competitive game and some players simply enjoy the challenge of trying to beat as many opponents as possible. If you’re the type of player who enjoys this challenge, or simply feel too restless and distracted when trying to play just one table, then multi-tabling might be a great option for you.
With those benefits in mind, let’s now turn our attention to some of the downsides of multi-tabling poker cash games.
Why you shouldn’t multi-table poker cash games
Nearly Impossible To Get Reads On Your Opponents
One of the biggest drawbacks to multi-tabling is that it makes it nearly impossible to get reads on your opponents. If you’re trying to play eight tables (or 30!) at once, you’re not going to have time to pay attention to how your opponents are playing. This can be a big disadvantage, especially if you’re playing against better players who can take advantage of your lack of focus. Additionally, by not focusing on each individual game, you’ll often miss crucial information about your weakest opponents that would have allowed you to extract much more value from them down the line. This issue can be negated somewhat through the use of tracking software (otherwise known as a Heads Up Display or HUD), but even then, you’re not going to have nearly as much information about your opponents as you would if you were only playing one table.
Bankroll Can Suffer Very Quickly
Another potential disadvantage of multi-tabling is that your bankroll can suffer quickly if you’re not careful. Since you’re playing more hands, you’re also going to have much more money at risk at any one time. If you run into a downswing or make a few bad decisions, your bankroll can dwindle much more quickly when multi-tabling than it would if you were only playing one table. This can be a particular problem if you’re also making suboptimal bankroll management decisions and playing above your means.
Tilting Becomes Much More Dangerous
If you’ve ever gone on tilt before, you know how dangerous it can be to your bankroll. When you’re tilting, you’re often not thinking straight and can make some very costly mistakes. Unfortunately, when you’re multi-tabling, it’s much easier to go on tilt without even realizing it. If you have a few bad beats or make a few poor decisions, it can be easy to start playing recklessly without even realizing it. This can lead to some very costly mistakes that can quickly eat up your bankroll.
Multi-Tabling Can Be Stressful
Finally, it’s worth noting that multi-tabling can be a very stressful way to play poker. If you’re constantly trying to keep track of multiple games at once, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and make mistakes. Additionally, the constant action can often lead to decision fatigue, which can further compound the issue. For some players, the stress simply isn’t worth the potential rewards.
So, those are some of the pros and cons of multi-tabling poker cash games. As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to this approach. Ultimately, the decision of whether to multi-table is up to you and will depend on your own goals, preferences, and playing style. If you’re struggling to make a profit at one table, it’s unlikely that adding more tables is going to help you in the long run. However, if you’re a skilled player who enjoys the challenge of playing multiple opponents, multi-tabling could be a great way to increase your profits.