Multi-tabling in poker: how to play effectively whilst multi-tabling

Multi-tabling in poker online is an attractive option to many players, as you get to test yourself against multiple players on multiple tables, whilst playing a much larger number of hands. Furthermore, beyond the recreational benefits, this method of playing online poker can be profitable too if utilized well. It can help you increase your overall hourly win rate and ultimately help you develop your game more quickly.

Multi-tabling over a large number of tables requires a significant degree of practice and skill. An inexperienced player is likely to find playing two tables simultaneously a challenging ask, whereas an experienced pro might have no trouble playing 24 tables seamlessly. This article will examine some of the factors to think about regarding multi-tabling.

Arranging your tables

Table arrangement is highly important factor in multi-tabling and can make or break your chances of success. A player wishing to multi-table successfully should experiment with the various options for table arranging, to find what works for them.


In this method of multi-tabling table arrangement, you arrange your table windows in such a way that they’re adjacent to each other so that you can see each table in full with little or no overlapping. The advantage of this arrangement is that you get to see what is happening at all your tables without missing any detail. So, even if you are not currently playing any hand at a given table, you can see the action taking place at that table.


In this method, each table window is placed directly on top of the other windows so that only one table window is clearly visible. If you want to see another table window other than the currently visible one, you will have to switch to that window. The advantage of this arrangement is that it enables you to fully focus your attention on the table you are currently playing at, while being notified of pending action at another table.

What you need to win at multiple tables

Strategically, you should not be playing vastly differently to your normal game whilst multi-tabling. However, there are some factors that cause your decision making to differ between single tabling and multi tabling.

‘ABC Poker’

Many players who multi-table will stick to a more ‘ABC’ style of poker. This involves avoiding unorthodox lines and generally playing strong starting hands and avoiding tricky or unusual situations.  Although playing this way might make you somewhat predictable and easier to play against, it usually leads to fewer long or difficult decisions as you navigate your way through the session.

Stick to one game

Even if you’re playing in an online poker room like QQ poker online where there are many poker variants to try, it is advisable to stick to a single type of game when multi-tabling. The more game variants you play simultaneously, the more liable you are to misclick or make some kind of error that could cost yourself money.

Keep Distractions to a minimum

Multi-tabling a large number of tables will likely leave no room for distractions. Avoid anything that can distract you whilst multi-tabling: Mute your group chats on social media platforms, switch off the TV, keep your phone away from your playing area and avoid eating or drinking outside of scheduled breaks. All these factors should ensure concentrations levels are maintained, which is crucial for effective multi-tabling.

Tournament strategy

If you are playing SNGs or tournaments in your multi-tabling session, there are two main ways to go about it. Some players start all tournaments around the same time, while some others prefer to stagger the games.

If you choose to start your games around the same time, you’ll be able to keep track of what phase of the game you’re in since each table should only be separated by a level or two at most. On the downside, all of the games will become short-handed at roughly the same time, resulting in much less time to make decisions.

When staggering your registration of tournaments, you’d register a tournament as another came to an end, either via a bustout or due to the tournament finishing. This method means that you will be playing different stages of a tournament simultaneously. 

How to decide on the number of tables to play in online poker

The most important factor in multi-tabling is comfortability i.e. the number tables you are comfortable playing on at the same time.  There is really no pressure in choosing your number of tables, and there is certainly no right or wrong number.

Most inexperienced multi-tablers will play up to four tables when starting out. From a win-rate (big blinds per 100 blinds) perspective playing at fewer tables will usually result in a higher in rate in each particular game. The reason why a lower table count offers a greater win-rate is that you’ll have more time to think about your decisions in key hands and allow you to pay greater attention to your opponents.  If however, you want to grind out more hands, win a greater percentage of rakeback, and stand a chance to make more profit, you can look to push above four a potentially into double figures.

The most important thing to consider when deciding how many tables you should play at is your overall aim for the session or playing generally. Is profit your primary motive? Or do you only want to focus on improving your game?

If you are primarily playing to try to improve your poker skills, think more deeply about hands, or implement new plays into your game, then one table will likely be optimal. Playing more tables can lead players to  play on ‘autopilot’, focus less on individual tables and opponents, and ultimately make more mistakes.