One of the many advantages of playing poker on the Internet is the ability to play several games at once and many players obviously take advantage of this. Before making that plunge, however, it’s important to know whether or not such a decision will improve or hurt your chances for success.
IMPORTANT: The decision of whether to play 2 games at once is NOT to be taken lightly! Keep in mind that it can have a huge effect on your win-loss ratio and we don’t mean in a ‘good’ way…
When playing 2 games at once, you WILL NOT be able to pay as much attention to your every move and will most likely play a little worse. This is unarguable; think about it – if you average $25 an hour playing at one table, you might only able to average $18 at each table in a simultaneous set-up when the lack of focus and concentration plays a role.
However, since you’re playing at two tables, you would of course be averaging $36 an hour, which is still better than the original $25. Therefore, the key factors when deciding whether or not to play two tables are establishing what you believe you make an hour by playing at one table; how much this will be decreased if you play at 2 tables (the effect lower levels of concentration will have on your ability to play); and whether or not this new number multiplied by 2 is greater than the original amount you were making per hour.
Because playing at 2 tables decreases rate of profit, you must first establish that you can beat a game consistently in order for it to be profitable to play two games at the same time. If you are breaking even at a limit table and decide to play two games at once at that limit, you will probably begin to lose money since your profit rate will go from 0 to, say, -$5 an hour per table, which amounts to -$10 an hour. You wouldn’t believe how many players make this (stupid) error in judgment.
If you are winning a game, you may or may not be able to continue beating that game if you play 2 tables. If you’re consistently beating a low fixed-limit game for instance, you can probably still beat the game even if you play 2 of them at once. That’s because you’re probably (and hopefully) beating this game not by paying close attention to your opponents, but rather through solid poker fundamentals which have become ingrained in your head! However, if you’re playing no-limit games, you may not do so well if you play 2 at once since no-limit games rely much more on reading your opponents and adjusting your play to the style of those around you.
Another thing to consider when making such a decision is that playing more than 1 game at a time can be incredibly stressful. You’ll constantly be checking each game, making snap decisions every 15 seconds, etc. This may make the game less enjoyable and perhaps not worth the extra bit of cash you’d be making playing 2 games at once.
If you’re really considering playing 2 games at once, your choice should probably boil down to how you answer the following questions:
- Are you able to beat this game consistently?
- Are you beating this game because of solid poker skills rather than reading your opponents?
- Do you think you’ll make more money playing two games at once? If so, does that money compensate for any potential enjoyment, which may be lost because you won’t be able to get into the game as much?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, go ahead and try to play two games at once. See how it goes; some people like it and some people hate it. If you answered “no” to any or all of these questions, you should probably stick to playing just one game for now.