PokerStars Decreases Simultaneous Cash Game Table Cap from 24 to 4

  • Reduction in maximum number of cash game tables follows trial in Italy
  • Poker room says change will be better for recreational players
  • Believes reduced volume for pros will be countered by higher win rates
  • Poker community is not thrilled
Axe cutting wood.
PokerStars has chopped the number of simultaneous cash game tables per-player from 24 down to four. [Image: Shutterstock]

Cash game table cap cut severely

PokerStars announced on Tuesday that it is reducing the maximum number of simultaneous cash game tables a customer may play on to just four. Up until now, the cap was 24 tables at once. The change has already gone into effect.

The new table cap only applies to “regular” cash game tables and covers all stakes. Players may play on as many Zoom Poker tables as they would like. Tournaments and Sit and Go’s also remain unaffected.

The decision comes after a test of a six-table cap conducted in Italy that began last year.

PokerStars trying to help casual players

In a blog post, The Stars Group managing director Severin Rasset said that there is nothing wrong with multi-tabling, but that most of PokerStars’ players only single-table.

He then summarized the concern of multi-tabling, saying:

Without careful management, we risk ending up with an environment where the majority of players find themselves at tables disproportionately populated by multi-tabling players.”

Rasset continued: “This can lead to a difficult playing experience. Action at the tables can be regularly interrupted, and many players can feel outmatched and that their chances of winning are diminished.”

Thus, like many of the major moves online poker rooms have made over the last few years, this cash game table cap is meant to protect recreational players.

By limiting simultaneous tables, the assumption is that single-table casual players will square off against more players like themselves and have more frequent winning sessions. Recreational players will have more fun and be more apt to redeposit if they lose, whereas pros tend to cash out their winnings.

The best players, Severin reasons, would see “increased win rates on any individual table” because the average player would be less skilled. He believes this new table cap will lead to “a sustainable poker ecosystem.”

Poker players not happy

The initial reaction in the poker community has been harsh. Many see it as a simple monetary decision by PokerStars, as recreational players are more profitable than pros and Zoom Poker is more profitable for the poker room than regular cash game tables.

Naturally, people who discuss poker on a daily basis tend to be more avid players and thus are more likely to multi-table. Multi-tabling is important for them because win rates tend to be slim.

Volume, therefore, is required to make enough money for poker to be a profession. Players can also earn more rakeback and rewards the more hands they are able to play. Slashing the table cap for cash games will probably result in pros looking to other online poker rooms.

Those less critical of the move agree with Rasset that skilled players should see higher win rates to make up for lack of volume.

Those less critical of the move agree with Rasset that skilled players should see higher win rates to make up for lack of volume. They also say that poker players can still play on other sites at the same time in order to add tables. Table consolidation, though, is better for rakeback and poker room rewards.

“We’re poker players ourselves,” Rasset concluded. “We understand that this change will have a very real impact on many players, particularly those of you who rely on multi-tabling as professionals. We haven’t taken this decision lightly, and we are confident this is the right thing to do for the future of the game.”