How many tables should I play?
I get asked this question often and there is not a one size fits all answer. There are a number of aspects to consider before you decide what you are capable of and how you are going to optimize it. It should go without saying, but if you are a breakeven or losing player, do not add more tables. Focus on getting yourself established as a winner and then consider table adding strategies.
Anyone who is capable of 30 tabling did not get there by making a big giant leap in one day from being a 6 tabler. It happens gradually. If you regularly 4 table and you have a bit of dead time between hands add another game or two to see how it feels while being aware of the mistakes that come along with it.
These mistakes show themselves as misclicks, timing out, losing track of the action, and not playing your intended ranges. When these things begin to occur more than normal it’s time to scale back.
I scaled back, now what?
So you’re normally a 4 tabler and you tried to 6 table because you realized you could improve your hourly rate by 50% if you just added 2 more tables! Seems trivial right? Struggled a lot with 6 tables and now you feel bad and don’t know how you’re ever going to add that 50% to your hourly right? Don’t worry!
Start by looking at your game and seeing how it can be streamlined. Most professionals have streamlined strategies for a wide array of preflop and postflop decisions. If you ever find yourself taking 20 seconds to decide whether to open raise A9s in the cutoff, you may want to consider creating some ranges you can trust and play without any extra thought. Think about what flop textures you can c-bet with a near 100% frequency for a small size. Take some extra time studying basic preflop shoving and calling ranges if you find yourself timing out facing a 4BB shove in the BB with KTo.
Take a close look at situations that are causing you to take more time than normal and ask yourself if a better player would struggle with the decision as well. The ability to play several games at once isn’t just about making quick decisions, it’s also about making high quality decisions.
If you feel like your strategy is sound and you are comfortable with it (I’d advise making sure of this before continuing onto this step) look into multitabling helper programs like TableNinja, Stack&Tile, or TableOptimizer. If you are a gamer, there are programs out there that can configure your game play with an XBox controller.
If you are unfamiliar with these programs there may be some growing pains with the initial setup and getting used to how everything works, but within a few days you will be flying and wonder how you ever played without it. If you need any help configuring your multitabling software, please don’t ask me!
So now you’ve trimmed the fat in your strategic decisions, you’re all set with a multitabling software you like, it’s time to give ‘er heck and add some tables. It’s reasonable to expect up to a 25% increase in table count if you do this properly.