A slots tournament is unlike anything you have ever seen. Usually, tournaments would make players face each other and will be based on skill and proficiency in a certain area. There is a steep competition with everyone being hell-bent on winning and competitors have to train long and hard for even a shot at victory. However, things are a bit different in a slots tournament.
Yes, the atmosphere might be exciting and the whole idea of beating others to get a prize – alluring, but at the end of the day, there is nothing in this sort of tournament that requires any skill. You just have to sit in front of a specific slot, bet and press the buttons as fast as you can in order to get as many tokens or points as possible. No skill, no preparation. Simple as that.
Usually, anyone can participate in this special event if they can pay the entry fee, which is not a problem in most cases as it is just a few dollars. Members of the VIP Club of the casino organizing the tournament might be given a bit of an advantage such as free entry, extra tokens, as well as being informed in advance about the event. The rules of these tournaments may vary significantly, depending on whether you play at a land-based or online casino.
Reasons for Tournament Organization
Why do casinos organize these tournaments? Well, there are several reasons. First of all, the casino might pocket some of the prize money. Even if it does not, however, there are other, not-so-obvious benefits. Special events attract more people at the time of the event, especially when it comes to land-based casinos. This means that more people are likely to play and, therefore, lose and leave their money into the casino.
As for the tournament itself, it is sometimes played with virtual credits rather than real money and on special machines that offer more winnings. This means that you will more frequently win when you play – this is not a problem for the casino, however, because they are not losing any money. The game becomes rather stimulating and packed with action. The atmosphere is exhilarating and the people are excited. There is lots of jumping, screaming, dancing and high-fiving going around.
If you are having a good time at a certain moment in that casino, two things are bound to happen: one, you will associate having a good time with the casino itself; and more importantly, you are going to want to recreate that excitement and electric atmosphere so while you wait to see if you have won, you will probably go and play slots for real money. You, as well as many others. This often leads to playing quickly and without thinking, thus losing a lot. Whatever happens, the house always wins. The only way you can be victorious in such a scenario is to be prepared and know how to take advantage of the perks you are given without falling for the traps.
Types of Slots Tournaments
There are various slots tournaments you can play at land-based and online casinos. Some of them have small enrollment fees, while others do not charge participants. The prizes and rules will also differ.
Freeroll and Buy-In Tournaments
The main types of slots tournaments are freeroll and buy-in tournaments. Freeroll events are not very common but they attract a lot of players since they are free to access and anyone can participate. We should note, however, that when it comes to online slots, players first need to register a real account into the casino site and verify it, which may take some time, depending on the operator’s verification procedures. In some cases, to be eligible for tournaments and other promotions, players will need to make an initial deposit into their balance. Usually, this would be some small amount of money – $10 or $20.
Another thing to consider is the range of prizes in freeroll tournaments. Casinos typically reward winners free spins instead of cash prizes, which is not what some people would expect. Still, free spins are a great option, especially when they can be used on a game of your choosing. You can have a great time playing with them and, besides, you will have a chance of winning real money. Note that free spins have quite strict conditions and requirements, however. To withdraw any winnings generated from them, players will typically complete a certain wagering requirement determined by the casino.
The other type of slots tournaments is buy-in tournaments where players need to pay a small fee to enter. Do not expect to be charged a lot, though – buy-ins are usually within the $5 range. There are also $2 and even $1 buy-in events where you can participate almost for free. Despite the fees, most players prefer this option to the freeroll tournaments because here, they can win real money. The prizes are typically given as cash rewards that can be instantly withdrawn from the casino. You will notice that the greater the buy-in, the larger the prize pool is.
Playing with Tokens Instead of Money
There are two other options players need to consider when choosing a slots tournament online or in a land-based casino. One of them is playing with real money in the tournament itself – you need to have money in your balance and wager them on selected games as per the rules of the tournament. But there is an alternative – playing with casino credits or tokens rather than your own money.
In this case, all participants receive the same amount of tokens, which are a form of virtual money that can be used only for the purposes of this particular tournament. Once players get their tokens, they start playing the slots included in the event – this could be one or several different games. The goal is to win and accumulate as many tokens as you can. The winner is the player with the most tokens gathered within the given time-frame, which can span from hours to days.
Slots Tournament Rules
Before entering a slots tournament, players will need to check some additional details themselves since each casino and special event will have its own rules. Sometimes, access to this type of tournaments is limited to members of the VIP Club or those enrolled in some Loyalty program. Also, some online casinos restrict the slots tournaments to players from certain countries and to those who have made a deposit via a specific payment service. There are many more specific rules and details that players need to check with the casino.
These are the standard slots tournaments offered in most online and brick-and-mortar casinos. They are advertised in advance and start at a specific time of the day or night. There are daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments that are held regularly by the casino but there are also special events that may occur during holidays.
Players should also check how long the tournament will last – an hour, several hours, or several days. The important thing is that such tournaments are always held for a limited time. Land-based casinos typically organize them for several hours, starting in the afternoon or in the evening. But when it comes to online casinos, the slots tournaments can last for several days. As you can imagine, however, a week-long tournament could be quite costly if you play with real money and not casino tokens.
Sit and Go Tournaments
The term “sit and go” or “sit ’n’ go” is used for poker tournaments with a pre-defined number of participants. However, some casinos tend to offer the same format for slots tournaments, too. The event is announced for a predetermined number of players – once the seats are filled, the competition begins.
Such tournaments are rare and can be seen only in the large casinos or online. The prizes are fixed and their amount depends on the position a player ends their participation. Sometimes, there are different stages – players are eliminated one by one until only the best ones remain for the top prizes. Usually, casinos display the current scores and the names of the participants on leaderboards.
The Buy-In Fees and the Prize Pool
Another thing players should check before entering a slots tournament is how the prize pool is accumulated. Usually, the casino takes a percentage of each buy-in as a service fee, for instance. This is not a huge sum, though – if you pay $5 to enter, $0.25 will probably go to the casino.
The rest of the fee, however, is accumulated in the prize fund. The total amount is then divided between the best players – the winner, of course, takes the lion’s share. Another thing to know is that the amount of each prize will depend not only on the prize pool but also on the total number of competitors or, to be more precise, the total number of players, who get to receive cash rewards.
How to Win a Slots Tournament?
If you are interested in competing in a slots tournament, there are a few things you can do. Being informed and well prepared is crucial. Players should first make some research into the slots tournaments available to them online or in a local casino. After seeing the entry fee (if there is one), they should check whether foods and drinks are included. They should also look into the possible rewards and the prize fund – how it is collected and how it is divided between participants.
Frequent players may also join the Slots Club, Loyalty Program, or VIP Club of the casino they visit the most. Casinos typically advertise these tournaments and special events to their loyal members first so patrons will be notified in advance and will be able to enter even the most popular sit and go tournaments with limited seats. Other than that, there is not much players can actually do to increase their chances of winning a slots tournament.
What they should focus on is the objective of the competition. In most tournaments, you win first place if you manage to win the most credits or real-money winnings within the limited time-frame. So, the best strategy here is to simply spin the reels – play as fast as you can, so you can make the most of the tournament time. It is also a good idea to play with the maximum number of paylines and – if you can afford that – to play with maximum bets. This is how you can advance quickly in the leaderboard.
There are also tournaments where the winner is determined based not only on the amount of the winnings but also on the wagered amount for the duration of the competition. This is an important detail players need to consider because, in some cases, it may mean one thing – that they simply cannot win. After all, few people can compete against a player with a seemingly unlimited bankroll. Of course, there is no such thing as an “unlimited” bankroll but if you are entering with $150, a budget of over $1,000 would probably seem so to you in this context.