Secrets of poker Poker

How many tables are too many?

Written by Ben Blaschke

One of the great joys of playing poker online is the ability to play multiple tables at once. With the exception of the occasional degenerate in Las Vegas during the WSOP trying to play in two tournaments at the same time – and overlooking the hilarity that comes with watching a player run back and forth across the Rio floor trying to do so – it is pretty much impossible to play multiple tables live.

But where do you draw the line? Believe it or not, multi-tabling is an art form and you will require different skills sets depending upon how many tables you have open at any one time.

This makes perfect sense. When you play one table, all of your focus and attention is centered on that table alone. When you play two tables, your attention is now split between two. When you play 20, well, you get the idea.

Most of us can handle a certain number of tables without it having any major impact on our ability to stay tuned into the action. For some, this might be four tables. Others can handle eight without missing too much. But if you want to be successful, it is important you get a handle on how many tables you can play at once and still feel in control. The minute you cross over to the other side is the minute your bankroll will take a hit.

You also need to be aware of your style of play the more tables you have open. The key to succeeding once you near the limits of your comfort zone is to have a good handle on the fundamentals, because the more tables you have open the more you will be relying on ABC poker to get you through. Let’s face it, when you have 30 tables going at once it is pretty much impossible to keep track of who you can 3-bet with 7-2o.

Bertrand Grospellier is a master of multi-tabling

Bertrand Grospellier is a master of multi-tabling

There are, of course, plenty of advantages to multi-tabling. Provided you can handle the action, the more tables you play the more profit you can make per hour. You will also rake in Frequent Player Points at a much faster rate which is essentially the same thing as rakeback.

We do have one piece of advice for you though – don’t try and match the incredible efforts of Team PokerStars pros Bertrand Grospellier or Randy Lew. In 2009, Grospellier broke the world record by registering for a phenomenal 62 $6.50 SnGs in the space of an hour – emerging at the end of it all with a small profit of $23.67. And last year Lew played for eight hours with between 25 and 30 tables open at any one time. Renowned as one of the best online cash game players on the planet, this extreme feat made life difficult even for him and after playing 23,493 hands he walked away with a total profit of just $7.65!