In this paper the effects of the magnetic self-field on the transport properties of a multi-layer high-Tc superconducting (HTS) cable are investigated by means of 2D finite element method (FEM) simulations. Analyzed is a 3-layer HTS cable, but the developed methods can be used for a different number of layers. The superconductor is described by the non-linear power-law relation E=Ec(J/Jc)^n, where the parameters Jc and n depend on the magnetic field experienced by the material. This dependence decreases the global transport capacity of the superconductor, enhancing its AC losses. It is shown that, especially at high transport currents, the AC losses are considerably higher than in the case where the dependence on the magnetic field is neglected. A simple electrical model, considering the cable from macroscopic point of view, has been proposed for finding the optimal winding pitches, leading to a uniform current repartition. The use of this electrical model allows to overcome the difficulties of direct 3D FEM computations. In addition, the rapidity of solutions by the electric model gives the possibility of testing quickly many geometrical configurations in order to find the ones leading to an even current repartition. This optimization process would not be possible with detailed FEM simulations.