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Old 05-09-2008, 10:43 AM   #1
Belok
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24-Tabling Like A Pro

Some comments on my blog sparked me to write out a guide to multi-tabling. So far, I haven't seen a definitive guide put up, and I feel like I'm qualified to put one together.

I hope it isn't breaking any rules to post this - the blog does not have ads or generate $. I don't get all that many readers, and I think the content is worth being noticed. A link can be found in my profile. (the blog post contains images.)


24-Tabling Like A Pro: Part I

I've been multi-tabling since the beginning of my poker career, ~4 years ago. It really has been a gradual progress from 1 - 4 - 12 - 18 - 24. I remember how mind-boggling it seemed when I watched RainKhan's YouTube video where he was playing 32 tables or whatever. If you aren't used to making decisions that quickly, it really can seem impossible - but it is a learned skill.

There are a few very important tools necessary to maximize your efficiency and play that many tables. I'll be covering Table Layout, PAHud, and AutoHotkey Scripts.


TABLE LAYOUT
There are 3 general ways to set up your tables. Tiled, Cascaded, or Stacked. Pokerstars has automatic Tile/Cascade settings, but I suggest fully personalizing your setup. Keep in mind, these layout options are all assuming that you play on PokerStars, where they have an efficient way of popping up tables that require action.

TILE
Benefits:
- Table Action is constantly available to see.
- Less tables = better table selection.
- Better reads and player dependant plays.

Drawbacks:
- More time spent moving/aiming mouse
- Significantly more head/neck/eye movement
- Generally need 2+ good monitors


Ideal for 2-8 tables. Now that table-resizing is a normal feature, you can usually fit 9 tables on a good 1600x1200 monitor. I was tiling 18 tables at one point. This layout works until your tables just start to take up too much room and the head/neck movement gets to be a problem. 18 tables was the most I could tile.

CASCADE
Benefits:
- Can fit 24 tables on a single 1600x1200 monitor
- Reduced mouse movement time
- Much less head/neck/eye movement
- A small cure for results-oriented thinking!

Drawbacks:
- Difficult to impossible to follow action on tables where you are not in a hand.
- Even in the hands where you are involved, you often do not see the action until it is your turn to act.

I had to switch to cascaded mode simply because my 2 monitors could not fit more than 18 tables. A cascade is where the tables are lined up diagonally across your desktop. 24 is basically the maximum I could fit in 1 cascade, but there is plenty of blank space left on the monitor. The thing you really need to get used to, though, is the fact that you will often not see the results of your hands. It really only took me a day to get used to that drawback, but in the long run I think it could actually be helpful. You no-longer have the option of spending 5-10 seconds watching for the results of a hand. And by the time that table pops up, whatever emotion you would have wasted on that beat/win will be very diminished.

STACK
Benefits:
- Nearly no mouse movement or aiming required
- All decisions and information is within the same small square

Drawbacks:
- In addition to the drawbacks of the cascade, the stack is just a bit more difficult to review and follow previous hands.

In my opinion, the stack is the most efficient table layout you can have. All of your tables are stacked on the same position, and the table with the most urgent action is always on top. You barely need to move your mouse or your eyes at all. All of your energy and attention is focused on making the correct decisions.

An important change that I make when I stack is moving my start bar to the left side of the screen. This allows all 24+ tables to be listed, instead of grouping them all together into "Pokerstars (24)" or whatever. In addition, I believe Windows Vista users have the feature where you can hold your mouse over each table name in the start bar, and get a small preview of that table. I use XP though, and do not use this feature.

With the start bar on the left, and all of your tables stacked in one spot - it is easier to make quick accurate decisions with minor mouse movement. When you do happen to miss some action or need to hop to a different table, it is just 1 click away on your start bar.

RESULTS
I would say that for most people, a Tiled layout is the most efficient if you are planning on playing 12 tables or less.

If you want to learn to play more than 12 tables, LEARN TO STACK. It does not take long to get used to, and it can really increase your hands/hr.


Check back soon for parts II and III, where I will explain:
-How to optimize your HUD for quicker, more detailed reads.
-How to use AHK to immensely speed up your clicking process, and make all of your actions and bet sizing with your mouse alone (I do all of my 24 tabling with 1 hand).
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:13 AM   #2
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

thanks for posting this, it was interesting.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:13 AM   #3
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

very interesting...

I'm currently switching between Cascade and tiling

I have 2 monitors but 12 tables is the max I can do without any overlap.

Stacking 24 tables on 1 screen and then having the hand history + windows bar on the other could be great.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

I haven't tried stacking yet. When you stack, do you maximize the table to the biggest size?

On laptop only, I normally tile 9 and then stack 2 more on each side overlapping each outer row.

Been messing around in the Cap games on Tilt some last week or so, so I have been cascading 12-14 Stars tables on my laptop and then tiling 4 Tilt tables on my desktop monitor and that works ok for me.

My plan is to just tile 20 or so when I get my 30" and keep lobby and other stuff on my 20" when using my desktop but I may have to try out the stacking method and see how I like it.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:45 AM   #5
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

nice post belok, with tiling tables - is it possible to automatically tile more than 9 or is there a limit? Usually after i have more than 9 tables i have to manually minimize/tile the tables

thx
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:46 AM   #6
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Yeah, I would like some information on what stacking is. How do you set it up?

I have always tiled. I am 15 tabling right now using the tiled feature with slight overlap. I have a 24" monitor, so it's not too bad, but I do like the idea of less head/wrist movement.

Thanks for posting this.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:03 PM   #7
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcheel View Post
I haven't tried stacking yet. When you stack, do you maximize the table to the biggest size?

On laptop only, I normally tile 9 and then stack 2 more on each side overlapping each outer row.

Been messing around in the Cap games on Tilt some last week or so, so I have been cascading 12-14 Stars tables on my laptop and then tiling 4 Tilt tables on my desktop monitor and that works ok for me.

My plan is to just tile 20 or so when I get my 30" and keep lobby and other stuff on my 20" when using my desktop but I may have to try out the stacking method and see how I like it.
When I stack, I keep it a relatively small size, 702x512. Dont ask me why, It just ended up that way

The key is to minimize necessary eye and mouse movement - to allow faster clicking.

When getting 1500 hands per hour, you're making about 1 decision every 2 seconds. Maybe a little more. That half second it takes to move your mouse across the screen or focus on the right table really adds up.


Give stacking a try - maybe with a few less tables at first.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:06 PM   #8
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by boston View Post
nice post belok, with tiling tables - is it possible to automatically tile more than 9 or is there a limit? Usually after i have more than 9 tables i have to manually minimize/tile the tables

thx
On stars, you can save your table layout, so just open/observe and customize as many tables in whatever formation you are comfortable with, and save them.

A helpful program is "AllSnap" - you should be able to find it through google. It helps window resizing and placement "snap" together to make uniform tables.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatPurdue View Post
Yeah, I would like some information on what stacking is. How do you set it up?

I have always tiled. I am 15 tabling right now using the tiled feature with slight overlap. I have a 24" monitor, so it's not too bad, but I do like the idea of less head/wrist movement.

Thanks for posting this.
For stacking, all you need to do is make every table the same size and put it in the same location. They will pop up when necessary.

Which reminds me, I should include that it is necessary to have
Options > Advanced Multi-Table Options > [x]Popup table whenever user action is required
or else the tables will not pop up.

There is a picture of what it looks like on my blog post.

Even if I had 2 30"ers, I'd stack. After extended play, it really gets to your neck.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

nice post.

not sure if u've seen this...but it seems to offer a 4th option

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...d.php?t=195716
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:58 PM   #11
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Obviously a lot of effort went into this and it is a nice post. However, it is like doing a doctorate on how people who live on the upper floors of an apartment building use the elevator more than people living on the 1st floor.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:00 PM   #12
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Split Suit View Post
nice post.

not sure if u've seen this...but it seems to offer a 4th option

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...d.php?t=195716

Wow, havent seen that yet - I'll have to give it a try
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:01 PM   #13
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulkis View Post
Obviously a lot of effort went into this and it is a nice post. However, it is like doing a doctorate on how people who live on the upper floors of an apartment building use the elevator more than people living on the 1st floor.
2 more parts on the way

plus wat?
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:25 PM   #14
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Thanks for taking the time for this post. I've always wondered about stacking, since when I'm at home on my laptop I feel maxed out at about 12 tables. But stacking, I could easily go higher.

Multitabling not only increased my hands played, but my BB/100 shot up. When I was playing 3 or 4 tables, I was always trying to 'outplay' everyone. I'd also overthink everything and convince myself that people were always making moves against me. When I started playing more tables, I transitioned to a more ABC style which is perfect for the lower stakes that I play. Also cascading forced me to be less results oriented, another plus.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:19 PM   #15
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Hey belok,

don't u missclick like all the time when u have the tables on the same place? (i mean: you want to click at a table, and close before you do it, another table pops up)

also i don't agree with what you said about tiled tables. You said, you have to make about 1 decision every 2 seconds. But if you tile, you can use the "fold" box preflop. And this makes the biggest part of decisions. I hope you understand what I mean.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:23 PM   #16
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

nice post belok. Question. How do you know if you've timed out at a table and it has you sitting out or if you've been moved off a table for inactivity and its just sitting there open on your screen but never popping up?
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:35 PM   #17
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

good job belok. i would also suggest playing 16 tables tiled with minimal overlap if you have 1600x1200 resolution. granted ive been playing for a while now, but on a 20" moniter 16 is seriously not a problem to follow all action.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:39 PM   #18
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by dudeldo View Post
Hey belok,

don't u missclick like all the time when u have the tables on the same place? (i mean: you want to click at a table, and close before you do it, another table pops up)

The table that pops up for action should stay until you acually click on it, so no other table should pop up.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:43 PM   #19
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Belok, you stack your tables which part of monitor? I mean bottom left or top right or? And why?

And you can keep eye on IHH and lobby if your tables are stacked and you are using only one monitor. But if you miss that your table is breaking up or you time-out then it's god damn hard to find table where you timed-out or which table breaked up.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:45 PM   #20
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

I stack on the bottom right
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:57 PM   #21
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

I tried stacking a few years ago and I remember I would just get into a fold fold fold fold clicking and then click fold when I got AA. That alone is enough reason for me to stick to cascaded as it forces me to look at the hand while moving my mouse for like .1 seconds.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:29 PM   #22
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

very nice post belok. ty
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:44 PM   #23
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Thanks for the post. Especially look forward to the AHK info.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:49 PM   #24
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

i use one hand on the keyboard for my AHKs... just not a fan of the mouse
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:10 PM   #25
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Re: 24-Tabling Like A Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinmoon View Post
nice post belok. Question. How do you know if you've timed out at a table and it has you sitting out or if you've been moved off a table for inactivity and its just sitting there open on your screen but never popping up?
Well I keep my alert sounds on, so if you have a table that is about to be inactive, or if you are running behind, stars lets you know. And when you get sat-out on a table, that table pops up, so you can usually sit-in, or at least see the table name so you can get to it.

Plus, if you keep an eye on your PT import text, it tells you how many files it is reading from - which lets you know how many tables you are actually active on.
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