How Do You Multitable and Maintain Focus?

ventrolloquist

ventrolloquist

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It seems if I add anymore than 3 tables of 6 max I start getting overwhelmed. It's more or less fine with zoom because getting reads is not as important. But with regular 6 max it's hard to keep track of players and I find myself overfolding a lot, and the other players sometimes catch on to this.

With 3 tables of regular 6 max my capacity to get reads and take notes basically becomes non-existent unless somebody does something really unusual that catches my attention. It takes me way longer to get reads with several tables.

What do you guys do to deal with this? Does it get better with enough practice? I can't comprehend how anyone can effectively play 12 tables at once without missing a few hands.

Are you all using tools of some sort that help in this regard (aside from just HUD stats).
 
greatgame230

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To play a large number of tables you must have experience in doing so, I have to gradually increase, use programs such as the HUD help, but if you feel overwhelmed with three tables, just play two of nothing, it serves to play several tables and lose money due to the stress that this Cause you, that's my advice play the amount of tables where you are more comfortable and earn money
 
Aballinamion

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Fast fold

It seems if I add anymore than 3 tables of 6 max I start getting overwhelmed. It's more or less fine with zoom because getting reads is not as important. But with regular 6 max it's hard to keep track of players and I find myself overfolding a lot, and the other players sometimes catch on to this.

With 3 tables of regular 6 max my capacity to get reads and take notes basically becomes non-existent unless somebody does something really unusual that catches my attention. It takes me way longer to get reads with several tables.

What do you guys do to deal with this? Does it get better with enough practice? I can't comprehend how anyone can effectively play 12 tables at once without missing a few hands.

Are you all using tools of some sort that help in this regard (aside from just HUD stats).

Hi there Nick, real great question you gave us! Thank you very much for such a solid and important doubt. I will try to help you, and the community, with my little experience:

Table Selection

First of all you gotta select the tables you are going to play in. When you select tables, choose those tables where you will be seat in a good position! (With TAGs and NITS to your left and with FISHES and WHALES to your right)
Playing with table selection will make you have position a lot of times upon weaker players (in the right) and because the blinds will fold too much you can steal and apply preflop pressure a ton, with raises, 3-bet lights, 4-bets light (Caution! See how much these regulars would fold to 3-bet first).
When you select one ideal table like this, play at least 15-20 minutes only with one table and then, open another. Unless, of course, you already have statistics and notes enough about the players. Try to have notes on all the tables you're involved in, and use colors to identify players tendencies and vices. Notes are crucial if you are playing in a deep pool.
My personal color plan goes like this:

No color: Average Regular
Yellow: Aggro donkey
Green: Passive Fish
Red: NIT
Orange: TAG
Blue: Decent LAG (Rare)
and so on :D But these are mine, anyone be free to pick their own colors, for God's sake!:)

Once you open another table, do the same: focus only in this second table for 15-20 minutes (It could be 5-10 minutes, depend how fast you perceive player's images and styles). Once you dominated 2 tables (20 or 40 minutes) open the three and the fourth table. Of course you will not have a great volume of hands, if your session lasts one hour and a half or 2 hours, but once you open 4 tables, you don't have to worry about who you are playing with (because you have notes, colors, stats), which will make your decision making process, smoother.


Do not play multi-table if you are not prepared!

I don't have any shame to say that I play only 3 tables of 6-Max at maximum(4 tables of Full-Ring at maximum, but I stopped playing this for a while), or 1 table of Zoom. It increases my attention and my winrate. (1 table of Zoom = 3 regular tables).
Lemme try to illustrate some example: let's picture a professional chess player, a Game Master, precisely. This guy trained his mind in such a sharped form, that it can play with several opponents, by the same time and with a clock counting!
Now, why many poker players who are in the business for just a couple of years, have the ideia that they can "kill" multiple level thinking players, with the clock counting at the poker tables? Are we professionals or game master? I want to be, but I am not, yet. :D
Why do we have this divine capacity to play 4 tables at once (we are playing against 20 thinking humans beings at the same time!), with the clock running faster as a blitz chess game (a blitz chess game varies from 5 minutes to 15 minutes, I guess).
In poker online we have barely one minute in a half to think, and most of situation we take decisions right off the bat, without even blinking an eye, because certain spots had become our second nature.
And we see how long we take to analyse one simple situation in the turn: it takes hours to fully comprehend the thinking process of a hand. But when we are there, we have at maximum 2 minutes, if we think faster always, because of the "time bank", or whatever. :p
If you don't feel yourself comfortable playing many tables, play the ammount of tables that will allow you to have FULLY:

A) Focus
B) Emotional Control

Thus, you can achieve;

C) Decision making

Decision making is really what makes our winrate blows, however, the pressure is too high: besides, there is that whistle, alarm ticking, putting pressure on our minds to force us to make wrong choices!
Time should not be our problem. If we are having issues with time passing and we getting nervous with the alarm ticking, and then you have Pocket A's in one table and the Lag player raises you in the turn with a medium-connected board, plus you are in the BB with AKo and a NIT from the CO opens and a decent TAG from the SB 3-bets, by the same time there are two other tables running and UFF!! :D

I am satisfied opening just one Zoom table, because it increases my winrate a lot. I am not in a rush to make my roll grow fast and becomes a bank. I can work slow, learning every single spot, not ever fast folding just to watch another hand:
When I am playing fast-fold games (Zoom), I simply never fast-fold, as the game dictates: I fold and WATCH, so I can take notes of the players.;)
Okay, the field is highly preposterous, pokerstars 2 NLHE has a field of 1000 (one thousand players per day).
Of course when we go to 5 NLHE, we see a field of 500 players.
I already tried my friend, in the beginning I just opened 9 tables, 10 tables and pay a lot for it, because I couldn't assume to myself that I am unable to such a hard and shopisticated behavior, which is playing several tables at once.
It requires a lot of mechanical thought. There are many masters of multi-table Cash, for instance Nanonoko, from brazil Claudio 'PeixeFeliz' Davino, Nathan 'blackrain79' Williams, etc.
I am sure I am not one of them. I don't feel bad about it! I feel good, because I know myself and I know what I can do and what I can't, what increases my winrate a little.
I hope it helps you buddy, I wish you a wonderful day! :):D:):D

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
 
Last edited:
ventrolloquist

ventrolloquist

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Thanks for all the pointers guys :)
Hi there Nick, real great question you gave us! Thank you very much for such a solid and important doubt. I will try to help you, and the community, with my little experience:

Table Selection

First of all you gotta select the tables you are going to play in. When you select tables, choose those tables where you will be seat in a good position! (With TAGs and NITS to your left and with FISHES and WHALES to your right)
Playing with table selection will make you have position a lot of times upon weaker players (in the right) and because the blinds will fold too much you can steal and apply preflop pressure a ton, with raises, 3-bet lights, 4-bets light (Caution! See how much these regulars would fold to 3-bet first).
When you select one ideal table like this, play at least 15-20 minutes only with one table and then, open another. Unless, of course, you already have statistics and notes enough about the players. Try to have notes on all the tables you're involved in, and use colors to identify players tendencies and vices. Notes are crucial if you are playing in a deep pool.
My personal color plan goes like this:

No color: Average Regular
Yellow: Aggro donkey
Green: Passive Fish
Red: NIT
Orange: TAG
Blue: Decent LAG (Rare)
and so on :D But these are mine, anyone be free to pick their own colors, for God's sake!:)

Once you open another table, do the same: focus only in this second table for 15-20 minutes (It could be 5-10 minutes, depend how fast you perceive player's images and styles). Once you dominated 2 tables (20 or 40 minutes) open the three and the fourth table. Of course you will not have a great volume of hands, if your session lasts one hour and a half or 2 hours, but once you open 4 tables, you don't have to worry about who you are playing with (because you have notes, colors, stats), which will make your decision making process, smoother.


Do not play multi-table if you are not prepared!

I don't have any shame to say that I play only 3 tables of 6-Max at maximum(4 tables of Full-Ring at maximum, but I stopped playing this for a while), or 1 table of Zoom. It increases my attention and my winrate. (1 table of Zoom = 3 regular tables).
Lemme try to illustrate some example: let's picture a professional chess player, a Game Master, precisely. This guy trained his mind in such a sharped form, that it can play with several opponents, by the same time and with a clock counting!
Now, why many poker players who are in the business for just a couple of years, have the ideia that they can "kill" multiple level thinking players, with the clock counting at the poker tables? Are we professionals or game master? I want to be, but I am not, yet. :D
Why do we have this divine capacity to play 4 tables at once (we are playing against 20 thinking humans beings at the same time!), with the clock running faster as a blitz chess game (a blitz chess game varies from 5 minutes to 15 minutes, I guess).
In poker online we have barely one minute in a half to think, and most of situation we take decisions right off the bat, without even blinking an eye, because certain spots had become our second nature.
And we see how long we take to analyse one simple situation in the turn: it takes hours to fully comprehend the thinking process of a hand. But when we are there, we have at maximum 2 minutes, if we think faster always, because of the "time bank", or whatever. :p
If you don't feel yourself comfortable playing many tables, play the ammount of tables that will allow you to have FULLY:

A) Focus
B) Emotional Control

Thus, you can achieve;

C) Decision making

Decision making is really what makes our winrate blows, however, the pressure is too high: besides, there is that whistle, alarm ticking, putting pressure on our minds to force us to make wrong choices!
Time should not be our problem. If we are having issues with time passing and we getting nervous with the alarm ticking, and then you have Pocket A's in one table and the Lag player raises you in the turn with a medium-connected board, plus you are in the BB with AKo and a NIT from the CO opens and a decent TAG from the SB 3-bets, by the same time there are two other tables running and UFF!! :D

I am satisfied opening just one Zoom table, because it increases my winrate a lot. I am not in a rush to make my roll grow fast and becomes a bank. I can work slow, learning every single spot, not ever fast folding just to watch another hand:
When I am playing fast-fold games (Zoom), I simply never fast-fold, as the game dictates: I fold and WATCH, so I can take notes of the players.;)
Okay, the field is highly preposterous, PokerStars 2 NLHE has a field of 1000 (one thousand players per day).
Of course when we go to 5 NLHE, we see a field of 500 players.
I already tried my friend, in the beginning I just opened 9 tables, 10 tables and pay a lot for it, because I couldn't assume to myself that I am unable to such a hard and shopisticated behavior, which is playing several tables at once.
It requires a lot of mechanical thought. There are many masters of multi-table Cash, for instance Nanonoko, from Brazil Claudio 'PeixeFeliz' Davino, Nathan 'blackrain79' Williams, etc.
I am sure I am not one of them. I don't feel bad about it! I feel good, because I know myself and I know what I can do and what I can't, what increases my winrate a little.
I hope it helps you buddy, I wish you a wonderful day! :):D:):D

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa


Thanks bud, solid advice as always :). Much appreciated.

I actually have a similar color coding system. Green is for fit or fold fish. Yellow is aggrofish or semi-fish. Orange is Reg. Difference is I use various shades of blue for different kinds of calling stations. Purple for super bluffy players. Pink for nits or super TAG's. And red for maniacs who shove a lot or sometimes for LAG's.
 
GreenDaddy1

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Even using a HUD that has a ton of color coding in it (effectively tagging player types), I struggle to multi table. The correct answer is just to play what you are comfortable with, and accept it. We all want to play more hands, but if you have lost your edge what is the point of playing so many unprofitably? I play 6 max cash and 3 tables is the most I can play without losing composure and making bad decisions and missing spots. Some days I will only play two tables. Have to know your limits. We're not all multi-tabling legends and that is ok. If you can get better and move up to more tables great, but dont force it if it is going to mean you play terribly.
 
Evan Jarvis

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Even using a HUD that has a ton of color coding in it (effectively tagging player types), I struggle to multi table. The correct answer is just to play what you are comfortable with, and accept it. We all want to play more hands, but if you have lost your edge what is the point of playing so many unprofitably? I play 6 max cash and 3 tables is the most I can play without losing composure and making bad decisions and missing spots. Some days I will only play two tables. Have to know your limits. We're not all multi-tabling legends and that is ok. If you can get better and move up to more tables great, but dont force it if it is going to mean you play terribly.

This is really REALLY great Advice from GreenDaddy. Esepcially love the point about 'whats the point in playing if you've lost your edge?'

It seems if I add anymore than 3 tables of 6 max I start getting overwhelmed. It's more or less fine with zoom because getting reads is not as important. But with regular 6 max it's hard to keep track of players and I find myself overfolding a lot, and the other players sometimes catch on to this.

With 3 tables of regular 6 max my capacity to get reads and take notes basically becomes non-existent unless somebody does something really unusual that catches my attention. It takes me way longer to get reads with several tables.

What do you guys do to deal with this? Does it get better with enough practice? I can't comprehend how anyone can effectively play 12 tables at once without missing a few hands.

Are you all using tools of some sort that help in this regard (aside from just HUD stats).

It is a slow steady process of getting comfortable with more tables. The better you know your opponents (small player pool is ideal) and the more complete your HUD the easier it is. Also the young gamers have an edge on this over the old guys like yours truly because their eyes can move faster and fingers click faster.

These days I like 1 tabling honestly, and I've played up to 12 in the past no problem.
Jared Tendler's Mental Game of Poker 2 has some good insights on it, as does this video

 
Secret Rival

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I play the ACR and Sportsbetting/Bet online tournaments at the same time and I usually end up bailing on one to concentrate on the other. I just can't focus like that. :eek:

It would be nice if they were staggered an hour or so. :D

best I ever did in 2 at the same time is 2nd and 23rd, forget about 3 or more! No chance!
 
ventrolloquist

ventrolloquist

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Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated :)
This is really REALLY great Advice from GreenDaddy. Esepcially love the point about 'whats the point in playing if you've lost your edge?'



It is a slow steady process of getting comfortable with more tables. The better you know your opponents (small player pool is ideal) and the more complete your HUD the easier it is. Also the young gamers have an edge on this over the old guys like yours truly because their eyes can move faster and fingers click faster.

These days I like 1 tabling honestly, and I've played up to 12 in the past no problem.
Jared Tendler's Mental Game of Poker 2 has some good insights on it, as does this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rwk9_mVs1c


Always lovely getting feedback from you Evan :). Thanks!

You dont have to be focus If You play only strong hands.lol


Honestly this has printed me so much money with (semi?)regs multitabling fast-fold on MPN that it's not even funny. They just play tight ABC by default because they are on multiple tables. The player pool is small enough that I can build the table image of being a difficult LAG, thus they tend to fold more often at tables where I open (in addition to being tight by default). As a result I get a good laugh out of it when I get to steal from the small blind or button with nearly all my hands and I get a fold very often. Same for cbets. Some catch on but then firing 2 barrels does the trick. I'm cbetting like 80% of my hands with great success. My winrates so far have been astronomical lol.

I play the ACR and Sportsbetting/Bet online tournaments at the same time and I usually end up bailing on one to concentrate on the other. I just can't focus like that. :eek:

It would be nice if they were staggered an hour or so. :D

best I ever did in 2 at the same time is 2nd and 23rd, forget about 3 or more! No chance!


My dilemma exactly. I once managed 3 fast fold tables but I'm pretty sure I stopped being able to keep track of my own position causing me to miss cbets accidentally lol. Also, I use a certain cadence to imply strength and to not give off timing tells which tends to not be possible with several tables.
 
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fundiver199

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The truth is, everybody play worse, when they add more tables. Its different from person to person, how much their game deteriorate, but deteriorate it does. More decisions are made on autopilot, less good spots found, and sometimes hands or situations even misread. Like you miss the fact, someone has limped into the pot, before the action got to you. You dont even know, who called you preflop, because you were paying attention to another table. And so on and so forth.

As someone said already, for most of us the solution is to simply accept it. This is also related to, what games we play, and why we play. Most people play micro stakes games, and they are not for making money. They are either for fun or for practicing. Sure we might make SOME money in the micros, but this should not be our main goal or focus.

So there is no point in adding more tables to "increase our hourly winrate", as long as we are playing the micros. Sure we might want to build a bankroll and move up, but that will come soon enough, if we are actually a winning player. There is no point in trying to rush it by playing more tables, than we are comfortable with.
 
Dailon Arroyo Blandon

Dailon Arroyo Blandon

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The amount of tables that a player can play depends on the experience and ability to have control of what happens at each table ... in my personal case today I can only play with three tables and have control of them. .. but if I try to play at 4 or more tables I lose control and I get very stressed and therefore I end up losing ...!
 
Rosxana13

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I have read and agree that the most correct thing to do is to play the number of table that you feel comfortable and are winning then with experience you will gain speed on reads and decision making is part of the process... add 1 table when you master the previous number
 
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Fryesmetalroofs777

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Yeah i like to take player notes when I am playing. Also color coding helps too. You might not see a certain player for a couple of weeks, but your notes are still available.
 
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kkonicke

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Everyone plays worse when you add more tables. Pros tend to look at it as, their play level at 90-95% playing 10 tables is more profitable than 98-100% playing 2-3 tables. For me, I get bored playing just one table unless I've run deep. I prefer 2-3 tables, but even 3 tables can be tough sometimes if you happen to get hands in all 3 at the same time. Also if you take notes, it's much tougher to have time for this with more tables. Bottom line, find that sweet spot where you can play each table effectively but don't feel overwhelmed. For me, that's 2-3 tables. For AllinPav, that's probably 15 tables. Different for everyone.
 
gravac

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More and more players purchase a HUD because they are playing multiple tables and want to be able to focus on important decisions, as there is more tables, you are in a situation where is more likely to miss out on what is happening on the other tables. There are plenty of hud's on the market, if you are planing playing more tables always, then you should get some. Its very easy to understand and with time and more experience you will get use to it, but be careful some poker rooms not allow to use HUD such as Unibet and some are restricting in cash games for example. Now as I'm reading this I'm getting flash-back from Elky when he was running tables like a monster, no help from HUD sure. With time comes everything, keep trying and you will succeed
 
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encdz

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HUD it's great! I used to hate it. But once I understood it was fantastic. I can MTT 4+ tables.
 
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PantherRhei

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Live players play only one table, so what? Multitable "legends" are mediocre bots with a lot of discipline. If you are good you are feeling what each player exactly has no matter if HUD or not, but this gets impossible when playing multitable. Quantity or qualitaty, you have the choice.
 
Newzooozooo

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Hi.
I play no more than 2-3 tables at a time. If there are more than three tables, it is difficult for me to concentrate, and usually I start making mistakes.
Good luck.
 
ventrolloquist

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So I tried 4 tabling 9max instead of 6max and it's a night/day difference. Much much easier.

Do those of you who multitable usually do 9max?
 
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sryImPro

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Actually you can't, if it's only about making decisions on time than it's on player how many he can handle but when it comes to monitoring the game, analyze on other players everything above 2 tables make no sense in my personal experience.
 
dallam

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I recommend only one, cause 'll see everyone's true colour, and have time to do other activities. Two is risky, but can be completed. Three or more is just not a good idea, cause u 'll get eliminated soon.
I know there are expections, but do not overload yourself. It may result U will be disinterested in it.
 
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DAVID KEHRER

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I will play two thats enough for me to follow my screen is very small plus getting older mine has slowed up.
 
finaltable1

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It seems if I add anymore than 3 tables of 6 max I start getting overwhelmed. It's more or less fine with zoom because getting reads is not as important. But with regular 6 max it's hard to keep track of players and I find myself overfolding a lot, and the other players sometimes catch on to this.

With 3 tables of regular 6 max my capacity to get reads and take notes basically becomes non-existent unless somebody does something really unusual that catches my attention. It takes me way longer to get reads with several tables.

What do you guys do to deal with this? Does it get better with enough practice? I can't comprehend how anyone can effectively play 12 tables at once without missing a few hands.

Are you all using tools of some sort that help in this regard (aside from just HUD stats).



If you want to play well at 6 tables, then you have to practice at 9-12 tables for several months, then step down to 6 tables, and you will find it slow and boring. I played 16 tables during training just to keep playing with full focus at 12 tables, 10 hours a day, during several years :ciao:

It's also good to have APM counter (Actions Per Minute) together with keyboard shortcuts or some sort of program like "keyremapper" running. This way you can track your activity level and have better setup for your actions.:cool:
 
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