You may have heard this old chestnut at some point during a business seminar: Find an edge, and mass-produce it. This is a tried-and-true method for getting rich; neither of the two steps is easy in and of itself, but once you’ve developed an advantage over someone in your chosen market, if you have the means of production, you can basically start printing money.
That’s what multi-tabling poker is all about. If you aspire to be a professional at this game, your most direct route is to multi-table poker cash games – you can try it with tournaments, too, but there’s a lot of variance in these events, so cash games are recommended for players who seek a relatively steady source of income. We’ve got six important tips for poker multi-tabling at Ignition, but before we start, let’s take a moment to look at this feature and what makes it so useful.
What Is Multi-Tabling in Poker?Whenever you sit down at an online poker table, that table pops up in its own window, separate from the rest of the poker client. This allows you to navigate through the poker lobby and do other tasks while your game is in progress. It also allows you to open more than one table at the same time. If you have two or more games going at once, that’s multi-table poker. You can play up to four cash games when you multi-table at Ignition; Zone Poker can be played on two tables (for even more action, you can play two Zone tables and two regular cash tables), and tournament players can fire up as many as 15 tables.
It’s all about volume, volume, volume when you play multi-table poker tournaments at Ignition. Assuming that you play the game well enough to have an edge on your opponents, you’ll want to play as many hands as possible in order to crank out a profit and build your bankroll. Multi-tabling also allows you to climb the ladder of poker success without moving up in stakes. If you’re a winning player at, say, 25c/50c cash poker, you can take the next step by playing two tables at the same level, instead of moving up to the $0.50/$1 stakes. Generally speaking, the competition is easier at the lower levels, and by playing twice as many hands at half the stakes, you’ll also lower your variance and make an extended downswing less likely.
Six Tips for Effective Multi-Tabling
Multi-tabling sounds great on paper, but you have to do it right if you want to succeed. Here are six of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re ready to add more tables to your game:
There are two ways to arrange all those added windows on your computer screen: tiling, and stacking. Tiling is when you have all the windows completely visible on your screen at the same time. Stacking is when you have the windows piled on top of one another. Most players prefer the tiling method when they multi-table at Ignition. If you play four cash games at the same time, you should have no problem seeing each of your tables clearly once you’ve shrunk your windows down to fit on your screen – if you’re on a desktop, that is. No matter how many tables you load up, playing poker on your mobile device should be for fun, not for grinding out a profit.
2. Adding Tables When You Can Handle Them
It takes a certain amount of mental energy to play poker. The first time you try multi-tabling, chances are you’ll find yourself overloaded with decisions – your heart might race, and your brain might have trouble making otherwise simple choices between raising and folding, or betting and checking. Mis-clicks are common when you’ve got too many tables on your poker plate.
To avoid having your poker session go off the rails, don’t attempt multi-tabling at Ignition until you’re comfortable playing a single table of poker. Once you’ve got that figured out, add a second table – but drop down at least one level in stakes first. This will make the transition easier and protect you from draining your bankroll while you get accustomed to 2-tabling. Don’t move up in stakes or add a third table until you’ve once again proven to yourself that you can handle where you’re at.
3. Using 4-Colored Decks and Preferred Seating
If you’re not already using the 4-color deck and preferred seating features at Ignition Poker, you’ll definitely want to use them when you’re multi-tabling. The 4-color deck will make it easier for you to recognize what cards you have at a glance, so you’re less likely to overlook valuable Flushes and Flush draws in the heat of battle. And with preferred seating, your hole cards will be in the same position in every window, making it that much easier for your brain to process.
4. Minimizing Distractions
You can make life easier when you multi-table by making all your windows as uniform as possible, so you don’t get distracted when you play. In addition to preferred seating, choose the same layout for each of your tables – black and grey are good options, and will help your 4-color deck stand out even more. Don’t have any other windows on your screen, especially browser windows with non-poker content.
If you consider yourself an aspiring pro, set up a proper workstation with multiple displays; put your poker tables on one screen, and the Ignition Poker lobby on another. Also, invest in a chair that you can sit comfortably in for extended periods of time. A kneeling chair might be a good choice for you. These chairs distribute your weight over a larger surface area of your body, and help you maintain good posture while you’re playing. Standing desks can be useful for shorter sessions; treadmill desks might be healthy in general, but the extra walking will probably be too much of a distraction while you’re trying to move your mouse around.
Speaking of which, you can make your multi-tabling even more efficient and distraction-free by using a glove controller in tandem with your mouse. These gloves have electronic sensors which you can program to represent certain button-clicks; for example, pinching your thumb and forefinger together can replace clicking the Bet or Raise button, thumb/middle finger can be Call, and thumb/ring finger can be Fold. This will add economy of motion to your multi-table sessions by reducing the amount of activity your mouse hand has to perform. Every little bit helps when you’re playing a heavy volume of hands.
5. Taking Notes
Although you’ll be playing at anonymous tables when you play at Ignition Poker, you still have the opportunity to take notes on your nameless opponents when they’re at the tables. Ideally, you’ll be jotting down their tendencies so you can take advantage of them. This will naturally be more difficult when you’re multi-tabling. You’ll be better off playing a more balanced style of poker and folding/checking in marginal spots, rather than trying to squeeze every last bit of profit out of your opponents with more complicated exploitative strategies. However, as long as you have enough time and attention, try making simplified notes here and there. If your opponent limps a lot, type “limp” in your notes. If they’re aggressive, type “aggro” or something similar. No need to go into much detail with your note-taking.
6. Remembering Your Gameplan
The whole point behind multi-tabling at Ignition is to increase your volume of hands, so you can manifest your edge at the tables and make more money per hour. Each table you add will take away somewhat from your edge; eventually, if you add too many tables, you won’t have any edge left. Try to find the sweet spot when it comes to how many tables you play at the same time, and at what stakes. Keep accurate records, and make sure you have a large enough sample size of hands to make reliable judgments on your performance.
Before you embark on your multi-table odyssey at Ignition Poker, keep in mind that there’s no special trophy for putting in the largest volume of hands. Don’t get greedy by thinking you can increase your bottom line without any consequences; multi-tabling is a challenge, and the more stress you put on yourself, the closer you’ll be to breaking down. Remember the story of Icarus. Don’t fly too close to the sun, or you’ll melt your poker wings.
With that in mind, there’s no harm in pushing the envelope and seeing if you can handle a little more volume by adding more tables – provided you follow the advice we’ve given you. Take it slowly and carefully, one table at a time, keep accurate records of your progress, be as economical as possible with your attention and decision-making, and in the long run, you’ll be more likely to add those precious zeroes to the end of your account balance. Ready to play?