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What’s so good about multi-tabling in online poker?

August 17, 2022

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You may have noticed that some players on Replay Poker sit at more than just your one ring table, or play more than one tournament at the same time. Maybe even a mixture of the two.

But what do they gain from that? 

Well, chances are their priority is to win chips — even if it means that they forego the chance to watch every hand in detail.

It’s a math thing. When a player is successful at poker, they often express their win rate in big blinds per 100 hands. Or buy-ins per tournament size they play in. Playing one at a time consecutively is profitable, but in theory, playing two together could be up to twice as profitable.

In practice, double is obviously not really achievable. For every extra game you add to your workload, the win rate declines to some degree.

For example, if you make a profit of an average of 5,000 chips from each 100,000 SnG you play, then playing two simultaneously will be more profitable than just one. But almost certainly less than double your win rate.

The same applies to ring tables. A 5 big blind per hour win rate diminishes each time you add a new table, but even triple 3 big blinds is more than the original 5, even if it is three times the effort.

One of the benefits on Replay is that if you’re restricted to just a couple of hours poker time a day, it’s much easier to complete the Best 20 or First 20 in (for example) Astral SnG Leaderboard for the week. Even if you’re a moderately skilled player, piling in as many events as possible will give you more Best scores over the week, or the month, in the SnG Monthly Leaderboards 

Playing is learning, too. You get the chance to expose yourself to more opponents and have more hand IDs that show interesting situations to study and improve your play.

Is it fair, though? Some players seem to overestimate their skills and start to slow down the tables where they’re seated.

Well, if they are struggling to keep up, they might be rushing their decisions — or even missing hands altogether — to their own detriment. It may start to get annoying to see them eat up most of their time clock each time, but they are perfectly within their rights to give themselves the chance to post as many scores as possible. (Try one of Replay’s turbo tables, which have a filled in lightning bolt in the lobby, if you like a faster-paced game.)

Besides the lack of time to chat, there are other downsides:

  • Opening several tournaments at once means you are committed to play them all to the end. 
  • Taking notes begins to take a backseat to keeping up with the betting if you’re frequently making snap decisions.
  • Spotting obvious blunders in real time is much less likely if you aren’t watching all the action.

Despite this, the benefits can be substantial: 

  • Leaderboards that require serious grinding can be conquered and your learning curve is accelerated. 
  • Hourly win rate improves.
  • Decisions can become more instinctive. 
  • Losses or mistakes can quickly be put behind you and not affect your mood. They become less alarming when you learn to take variance in stride.

It’s not for everyone. Many Replay stalwarts want to chat while they play and check out their friends’ latest posts on the forum. But the so called poker boom inspired a generation of players to hunker down at their keyboards and challenge themselves to extract every last shred of ‘value’ from their perceived poker ability.

Why not fire up a second table and give it a go?