I have often received criticism for recommending that some players who are risk adverse but who want to play poker at a certain level would do better multi-tabling. This statement sounds strange but not once you understand the implications behind it. Let us say that you would like to play $10-$20 limit hold’em but a good bankroll for that level would be 500 big bets. This means $10,000 but yet you may not want to take that sort of financial risk when you play limit Texas Hold’em.
Even if you didn’t lose the entire bankroll and had a 300 big bet downswing then this is still $6000 and this may be well beyond what you are prepared to accept. Your optimal earn rate may be 3ptbb/100 which means $60/100 hands. If you were single tabling then you may only see 60 hands per hour at six max. But that $60/hour may be a mirage if you simply cannot mentally accept the losses and swings that come at the level.
But what about if you played $2-$4 but played eight tables at that level and trust me when I say that this is definitely possible if you work up to it. The rake at these low levels is very high but the flip side of this is that your rakeback payments will be far higher also. So eight tables of $2-$4 is probably the equivalent of playing $16-$32 which is far higher than $10-$20!
So let us say that you could manage the same 3ptbb/100 but at sixty hands per hour per table then you would be seeing almost 500 hands per hour and so $12/100 would be nearly $60/hour. The far bigger rakeback payments would mean that a player multi-tabling $2-$4 would actually make more money per hour than a player single tabling at $10-$20.
But yet the biggest factor in terms of variance comes from the size of the swings that a player would incur at $2-$4. That same 500 big bet bankroll would only mean $2000 and not $10,000 and a 300 big bet downswing at $2-$4 would only mean a drop of $1200 instead of $6000 but yet the earn rates would be comparable in both instances and even more once rakeback is taken into account.
If you had a successful run then you may find that depending on how well you played that you never actually encountered a downswing of more than 150 big bets. It seems absolutely amazing that someone could make $60/hour and yet never encounter a negative downswing of more than $600 but yet this is the power of multi-tabling at any form of Texas hold’em. For me these days then the best way to go is to multi-table but the dark side to this is that it has led to the online poker arena becoming far tougher in which to make money. It is also pretty amazing that a player could make $60/hour and still only need a bankroll of $2000 and that to me is the biggest plus point of multi-tabling.