Should I Play more Tables or Higher Stakes?
So you’ve booked a few wins in online poker the past few months and you’re ready to step up your game. You want to increase your win rate (bb/100), but you’re not sure if you should just add more tables or play higher stakes.
Doing both can achieve a higher win rate, but depending on your comfort level with faster decisions or bigger decisions, it can also have a very negative effect on your bankroll.
In the following paragraphs we’ll discuss what you can expect by both increasing tables at your current stake or playing the same amount of tables in the higher stakes games.
Playing the same amount of tables at a higher stake:
- You will run into stronger regular players who make fewer mistakes and are more aggressive
- The blinds, pots and variance will be twice as big as your previous stake
- You may feel uncomfortable/hesitant to put your whole stack in on bluffs or marginal spots
- You will be forced into trickier and more marginal situations since the players are better
- The fish will be twice as big but you will find them less frequently
- You won’t have reads on many of the players when you start - making the transition slower
Playing the same stakes but adding more tables:
- You will need to make decisions much faster for every table you add
- You will likely play fewer hands making you easier to read for regular, observant players
- You will have better reads on your opponents due to larger hand sample sizes
- Your decisions will become easier as you will be in less marginal spots
- You should feel very comfortable risking your entire stack at any point in the hands
So, how do I decide which route to take?
Obviously this is a very personal choice, and the best way to find out is to test both of them out and see how you do! In either case, you will need to have a bigger bankroll than usual to fund either method. It is recommended for playing cash games that you have at minimum 40 buy-ins for the stake you’re playing, however we recommend an even higher 60+ buy-ins to be extra safe and you never go bust.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself that might help you decide:
- I find the game is too slow and I’m getting bored → Add more tables
- I am out-thinking my opponents and this is getting easy → Move up stakes
- I am able to easily play poker and watch videos, read articles etc → Add more tables
- The money I am winning is virtually meaningless and I’m not happy when I win → Move up stakes
Hope this helps some of you decide on how you want to step up your game. Now get out there, and Get Stackin'!