Do you click the bet, raise and fold buttons every time you act in online poker? Are you moving the bet slider or type in your bet amount? How about using some hotkeys instead?
With hotkeys you can save valuable time when playing poker online, which in turn will allow you to play more tables. In short, by using hotkeys when multitabling will benefit your winrate and make you more money. Or at least, hotkeys will make for an effortless multitabling.
Previously I discussed multitabling and how your winrate increases by playing at more tables at the same time. Granted, multitabling isn’t for everyone. But if you find it difficult to sit down at more tables or cannot go past four tables, hotkeys may be the answer to your prayers.
Hotkeys allow you to assign keyboard keys, mouse buttons or even your gamepad buttons to specific actions. For example, you can set the fold action to right click, or set the pot-sized bet to the spacebar of your keyboard. Every time you need to fold your unplayable hand, you just right-click and move on to the next table. Every time you need to raise the pot, you just press the spacebar and the action is back to your opponents.
Hotkeys are offered by the most popular poker rooms, such as PokerStars. You can assign different strokes to each command and can program your mouse’s individual buttons, so that you no longer need to use your keyboard at all! A gaming mouse is a must for that reason. Let’s see how I have set up my Logitech mouse.
This mouse allows for three different setups, one of which I have dedicated to poker indicated by the green illuminated color on the side.
But first, let’s check out my hotkeys at PokerStars. Via hotkeys I am able to fold, go all-in, bet 3 blinds when opening preflop and bet a different percentage of the pot, depending on what I’m trying to achieve. You’ll notice that I have not assigned a hotkey for calling, since calling requires more thinking in my opinion. Folding is usually the easiest and most frequent action, while raising and betting are often standard actions, like when open-raising, value-betting, bluff-raising, stealing or re-stealing. In order for me to just call though, there must be a good reason to do so, such as trapping or bluff-catching.
Also note that I have assigned Alt Shift keystroke combinations instead of just a single key. I strongly recommend you do as well, so that you avoid pressing buttons by mistake and harm your bankroll unexpectedly.
Now, let’s go back to the mouse setup.
First of all, the fold action is assigned to the right-most button of the mouse. This is a special gaming mouse with, let’s say, two right buttons. By assigning the fold hotkey on that button, I still get to use the right click the normal way. That is quite helpful, given the general functionality of the right-click button of the mouse, like bringing up menus.
Thus, each time I get dealt a J2 or a Q5, I just hover the mouse over that table and click that button. By doing so, I can fold my cards at 4 tables in one second! Even if the action isn’t at me at that moment, my command is registered and will execute shortly.
Moving over to the bet commands, the first line of mouse buttons allow me to bet full pot or go all-in. These are the most aggressive actions that my hotkeys take care of.
The three next mouse buttons are mostly used for continuation betting. They set the bet amount at 60, 70 and 80% of the pot respectively. Depending on my position or on how many villains are still in the pot, I may elect for a less conservative bet amount. Should the circumstances justify it, I can go even more aggressive with the last 3 buttons. For instance, I will bet 90% of the pot or consider overbetting, in case I value bet against a fishy calling station.
All these hotkeys apart from the fold action, do not send a command actually, unless I manually press the bet/raise button. While you can set the aforementioned hotkeys to complete the relevant action for much quicker response, I have opted to just set the bet amount instead of actually place the bet. Better safe than sorry. When you are starting out setting up your hotkeys for the first time, I suggest avoiding full automation, until you are perfectly sure you know what you are doing – and pressing!
Finally, there are commercial products online offering hotkey functionality for various poker rooms. Feel free to try them out, as most of them offer a trial period. As I’m mostly playing at PokerStars though, I’m feeling comfortable with the built-in hotkey settings. No need to spend money on third-party software in regards to hotkeys.
Practice your hotkeys and you will quickly become a master of multitabling in online poker!
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