Cash game players at PokerStars will no longer be able to grind more than four tables as part of a new policy change on table caps that was recently introduced by the online operator. The change, which started on August 20 applies to all full ring, heads up and 6-max cash games, across all major markets, except for markets in New Jersey and India.
The is the latest change made by the world’s largest online poker site as it continues to experiment and test the patience of its huge global poker player database. The new four-table limit will once again hit the highest volume players who also bore the brunt of the company’s decision to revise its rewards programs earlier this year.
Explaining their most recent move, director of poker innovations and operations for The Stars Group Severin Rasset said that while they fully accept that the change will impact many players, particularly the multi-table grinders, they believe it needs to be done for the future of the game.
PokerStars Explains Decision
With table caps being one of the most-debated subjects among the poker community, PokerStars announced in July 2018 that they would trial a six-table cap in the segregated Italian market, in the hopes of enticing players to act faster, resulting in a more enjoyable playing environment for everyone. Among the players who agreed to the policy was Phil Galfond, who also imposed a six-table limit on his brand new poker site Run It Once Poker which was launched in February 2019.
In light of the six-table trial, PokerStars announced it would collate and analyze data to figure out if the change had a favorable effect on the ecosystem, but the site was not able to provide any feedback until 20 August when Rasset confirmed in a blog post that the company would push through with the cut after carrying out a detailed analysis of the results. As explained in the blog post, PokerStars will reduce the table cap to not six tables as suggested before but to four – a more than 80% reduction from previous numbers where players were allowed to grind up to 24 tables.
Data gathered showed four would be the most appropriate number of tables which is in line with PokerStars’ goal to allow players to improve their win rates at the tables they’re playing at. According to Rasset, the four-table cap will result in increased win rates for the strongest players, and will provide a level-playing field for single-table players. This will mean more chances of winning for the recreational players and a more sustainable future for poker.
Players Against Table Cap Changes
This new table cap policy reform has been met with criticisms from the poker community, with some regulars saying it was just another attack on the winning players.
There is no doubt that multi-tabling has helped build today’s online poker heroes, including Randy “nanonoko” Lew and Hevad “RaiNKhaN” Khan, who both gained popularity for their ability to play massive numbers of tables at the same time. Multi-tabling also became the subject of prop bets – one such challenge saw Joey Ingram playing 50,000 hands in one day.
Poker fans and players on TwoPlusTwo forum have posted about the four-table cap, with one member saying the full ring games quickly became a ghost town in the wake of the changes, with just two games running above the $0.5/$1 range.
Focus On New Players
PokerStars appears to shifting their focus on new players by giving them more opportunities to win by not having to compete with as many regulars. The decision comes at a time when revenue numbers are falling for the leading online poker site, as reflected in their latest quarterly results which show that the operator’s income has dropped below $200 million for the first time in years.
Rasset said the company wants to maintain a sustainable poker ecosystem for players of all abilities. Reducing the table cap from 24 to 4 would minimize the number of multi-tabling players, while at the same time increase the number of casual single-table players at each table. This move is expected to attract and retain new poker players, which is important to the future of the game!

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