Nov
26
2008

Improving Your Hand Rate At Full-Ring No Limit

One of the things that attracts a lot of people to full-ring cash games online is the ability to mega-table them and play a lot of hands every hour. The pace and lack of complexity of a lot of decisions allows experienced players to play up to 30 tables at once. I don’t take it that far, I feel like I’m giving too much up if I play anymore than 18 tables or so. That being said, I thought I’d give you some tips about how you can get the most out of your session by playing as many hands as possible. If you feel that the push to play hand volume is having too much of a negative impact on your play, game selection and ultimately your bottom line then take it easy for a while and work back up.

Know Your Game & Opponents
In order to mass-table you really need to have a good feel for full-ring poker and it mostly comes with experience. Knowing your opponents, both specifically and just by looking at certain stat ranges is very important too. The speed with which you can adjust your decision making depending on player type is crucial. If you aren’t across a lot of the intricacies of what is going on, you are going to be stuck thinking long and hard all too often and you won’t be able to manage a heavy table load.

Use AutoHotKey Scripts
If you don’t know what these are I wrote a blog titled Auto Hot Key Scripts – PokerStars FRNL Cash Games a while back. That should cover all you need to know about AHK scripts!

Build Your Table Load Up
Don’t suddenly jump in the deep end and decide you are going to go from playing 4 tables at once to 12. Slowly add tables at a pace you are comfortable with. If you reach a point where you feel like you are struggling then don’t be afraid to drop a couple for a while. Slowly you will find yourself more comfortable as you get more experienced with it.

Remove Distractions
When you only play a handful of tables you probably aren’t costing yourself much by having your IM open, reading forums while you play or watching the ball game. As your table load increases though you are going to need as much time as possible to ponder your decisions. Do yourself a favour and remove temptation at the start of your session and switch all distractive devices off.

Play Longer Sessions
If you are really looking to maximise your playing time, you should try and play as long as you can each session. You are going to get in more hands playing one 5 hour session than you are five separate hour long sessions. Loading up tables at the start of a session and then winding down tables at the end actually sucks up a lot more time than you may think.

Play At Good Times of Day
On some sites the traffic might be lacking at certain hours for you to sufficiently fill your table quota with good games. Even if you play on the bigger sites where getting games is never a problem you should still try and play at the peak periods. This is when the best games are going to be available and you are going to have to waste less of your time on waiting lists. Wherever possible, try not to sacrifice good table selection just in order to play hand volume.

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