Playing in Multiple Tables

A big benefit of internet poker is the ability to play in more than one game at the same time. Informal polls show that nearly half of all players avail themselves of this opportunity. Here are some of the advantages afforded by playing in multiple games:

  1. Your risk is distributed. Not all your eggs are stuck together in one basket.
  2. You do not fall into the trap of playing weak hands out of sheer boredom.
  3. You can play in several smaller-stakes games rather than one larger-stakes game. Naturally, this means jousting against weaker competition, on the average.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. It is much harder to get a line on someone’s play if involved at several tables, because the main source of your information then will come only from how they play against you. When they play a pot against someone else, your attention may well be elsewhere. It is also possible that you may occasionally make a bad decision because you feel rushed, or have overlooked something important like a third person in the pot when you thought you were heads-up.

Despite the drawbacks, I much prefer to play in multiple games rather than being confined to only one. My favorite number is four games at once. More than that is a bit much, since you need to use two monitors and are constantly rushed. Three games are reasonable, but I find only two is a bit on the slow side. To each his own; many of you will find two is the perfect number, and three’s a crowd.

What do you need to do in order to play in multiple games? Naturally, you ought to have reached a certain competence in poker. Make sure you know how to play in one game before you start playing in two or three games.

Having the right equipment is helpful, so there is no overlap of one window on top of another. It is possible to play with an overlap, since when it is your turn, that game will pop up to become the active window, but it is much more comfortable when you can see the whole table of each game. I used to have a viewing problem with overlapping until I went out and bought a new flat-screen Samsung 21-inch monitor. Now I can set the screen resolution to 1600 by 1200, and see four games at once with no overlap. I also have a new laptop computer, a 17-inch Sony that can use the resolution of 1600 by 1200, which also shows four windows without an overlap. The smaller-size screen is apparently okay if you can set the resolution to a fine enough setting. To set the screen resolution of your monitor, right-click on your desktop, left-click “Properties,” then left-click the “Settings” tab.

The maximum resolution available is influenced by both your monitor and your video card. Check with your favorite tech person to see what the capability of your equipment is and what can be done to obtain the high resolution you need. When using a high resolution, you may need to change the dots-per-inch (DPI) on your screen to a bigger number so you can read everything clearly. You can adjust the DPI from the “Settings” tab by clicking on “Advanced.” I use a DPI setting of 125 (not all monitors will allow this high a number).

Another option for playing in multiple games is using two monitors at once. I do not like this method as well as having all my games on the same screen, but it does work, and without having to purchase the latest in high-tech equipment.

If you have to leave the room where you’re playing, be polite enough to use the “sitting out” button. Besides showing courtesy, this will avoid depleting your time bank. Also, you will want to use the auto-post function, so whenever you are due for the blind, you will not be annoyed by an unwanted screen popping up asking if you wish to post.

It is easy to get totally focused on one table when you have a good hand and a big pot is developing. However, if there is a slight break in the action at that table, I look at the other games and see if I can fold, so I do not get annoyed at a critical point where there is an important decision to be made.

If your skill level is that of a winning poker player, I suggest that you try playing in multiple games. You will make more money – and have more fun while doing it.

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